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Madison Grant and the American Nation

The critic Northop Frye wrote of Oswald Spengler’s magnum opus, “If The Decline of the West were nothing else, it would still be one of the world’s great Romantic poems.”[1] Much the same could be said of Madison Grant’s Conquest of the Continent, or rather that it is, all at once, a great history and a great poem. The book is exhaustively researched, with some four years of preparatory work[2], and it announces itself, modestly and scholarly, as “an effort to make an estimate of the various elements, national and racial, existing in the present population of the United States …

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