The American Scene is a book of travel writing by Henry James about his trip through the United States in 1904-1905. Ten of the fourteen chapters of the book were published in the North American Review, Harper's and the Fortnightly Review in 1905 and 1906. The first book publication was in 1907, and there were significant differences between the American and the English versions of the book. Without question the most controversial and critically discussed of James' travel books, The American Scene sharply attacked what James saw as the rampant materialism and frayed social structure of turn-of-the-century America. The book has generated controversy for its treatment of various ethnic groups and political issues. The book still has relevance to such current topics as immigration policy, environmental protection, economic growth, and racial tensions.
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