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March 05, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

ANCESTORS: A Family History by William Maxwell (Vintage: $12; 311 pp.). The American Book Award-winning author of "So Long, See You Tomorrow" mixes personal anecdotes with old documents in this engaging history. Maxwell's ancestors range from sensible farmers and lawyers to fundamentalist preachers who took part in heated doctrinal controversies. His affectionate account of his relatives' foibles and achievements provides insights into the settlers who moved into the wilderness of Kentucky and Illinois during the late 18th/early 19th Century.

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