Inside U.S.A.

The fiftieth anniversary edition of Gunther’s classic portrait of America

Inside U.S.A. is far from a panegyric. Gunther listed ‘the worst American characteristics—covetousness, ignorance, absence of aesthetic values, get-rich-quickism, bluster, lack of vision, lack of foresight, excessive standardization, and immature and undisciplined social behavior.’ America was still ‘an enormously provincial nation,’ he wrote. ‘I do not know any country that is so ignorant about itself.’ Have we improved noticeably in the half century since?” —Arthur Schlesinger Jr.,The Atlantic Monthly

John Gunther’s Inside series were among the most popular books of reportage of the 1930s and 1940s. For Inside U.S.A., Gunther set out from California and traveled the entire country. His frank, lucid observations along the way—on race relations, labor, the Tennessee Valley Authority, farm life, the politics of the big cities, and much else—yield fascinating insight into life fifty years ago.

This fiftieth anniversary edition of Inside U.S.A.provides an invaluable picture of American as it was then, both for those old enough to remember it and for young people who may be astonished to see the ways the country has changed.



“A superb compendium. The whole picture is true and to describe such a vast complex and get anywhere near the truth is a magnificent achievement.”
—Rebecca West
“By far the best of the Insideseries. . . . If any book can tell us what it means to be an American, this is it.”
—Clifton Fadiman
“The richest treasure-house of facts about America that has ever been published, and probably the most spirited and interesting.”
—Sinclair Lewis

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