The Prosperity Sop
OUR NEW PROGRESS. By James Bayard Clark. G. P. Putnam's Sons. New York, 1930. Price: $2.00.
PROSPERITY, Wealth, Happiness, these obviously are the goods held out to the American citizen today," says James Bayard Clark at the outset of his examination of "Our New Progress." He then proceeds to discuss the subject in two essays, "Cornucopia" and "Caritas." In each he finds the status quo woefully unsound and the promise of "Our New Progress" a sop to take in the great American public.
Dr. Clark, who is a physician of considerable experience with hospital work, writes as one would expect a professional man to speak on a subject on which he is well informed, but not a specialist. His comments are the result of thoughtful observation, and they form a criticism of American standards that is decidedly interesting and somewhat disturbing. If the statements are at times rather sweeping and general, they are none the less challenging.
In many respects Dr. Clark's ideas on charity and his repudiation of large-scale American philanthropy, which he compares to the dole, will attract most of the attention given to the book. But an historical study, in the first essay, of the idea that prosperity is based on slavery and Puritanism is equally worthy of consideration.