15 MAY 1936, Page 38

Books like this of Mr. Price's (Allen and Unwin,6s.) are

often more illuminating than the clever productions of the bright young things of modem letters. Mr. Price has had the good idea of publishing together the travel diaries of two generations of Englishmen, his father's in 1809 and his own in 1934. His

father toured America just after the Civil War, in the company of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach; Mr. J. F. Cheetham and Lord Garlies, all of them young M.P.s and all bent on seeing the New World. He found the Indian summer too good " to be wasted in pottering about Niagara," which is "not in the least. degree comparable to a-storm at sea or wild mountain scenery." And he thought that the Toronto militia could " whip the Yankees into fits "—this, within four years of the Civil War ! On a later journey which was actually their honeymoon Mrs. Price (the present author's mother) opined that " General Sherman shared with Thomas Hardy the credit of being the best informed man she had ever met." Coming along on his parents' track sixty years later, the son finds the process of the Americanisation of the immigrant complete in the second generation, and sees " Liberty beginning, under Roosevelt, to acquire a social conscience." He detects in Chicago a welcome process of belated reform, which is perhaps not so visible to her own citizens ; and he gives Salt Lake City, after Washington, the palm as the " best laid-out city in the United States." Mr. Price went about America with his eyes open, though he looked at some things with an altogether too English bias. His comments, if not very. profound, throw a good deal of light upon the new America which faces the future with an uncertain mind. There is, indeed, a naivete in his writing which is the quality which gives a travel diary the interest of a spontaneous and living record, and justifies the expectation that it will have many readers at this moment when there is so much lively interest in American affairs.