Cesar Grafla's work critically examines the continual rebirth of cultural romances on the part of literaiy Intellectuals. Grafia's disdain for contrived rejections of modernity and for grand destructive gestures is combined with his intense appreciation of the romantic sensibility. Fact and Symbol embodies Grafta’s views of the enterprise of cultural sociology in which both words are given equal play.

This book consists of seven essays. Five shorter pieces on the relation of art to American democracy are bracketed by two long essays, the first on the literaiy critique of modern life, the last on Spanish American cultural nationalism. Among the temes covered throughout the book are attitudes prevalent during the post-romantic era, the French impressionists, art museums, the transformation of the industrial and commercial elite of America, and Spanish-American literary Utopians.

In a new Introduction, written especially for this edition, Marc Galanter outlines Graiia’s ideas and explains what he was aiming to do when he originally wrote these essays. Fact and Symbol presents Graiia’s unique viewpoint and will be enjoyed by scholars of art and literature, as well as sociologists. One can well appreciate why this book was nominated for a National Book Award on its original release. It is a pioneering achievement in the sociology of culture.