NOBODY'S PERFECT: A New Whig Interpretation of History
By Annabel Patterson. Yale Univ. Press. 288pp. $27.50
vators and ignoramuses were rearranging all metaphysics to suit themselves and their pragmatism—Ben Franklin adjusted Time Itself, urging people to move their clocks forward in summertime for a brighter workday—and it does seem characteristically American to remove the superstition of value from barbaric yellow metal and print value instead on worthless paper.
"This knack for substitution came as second nature to men dealing with novelties every day," writes Goodwin...