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The story of America : essays on origins / Jill Lepore.

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Author/Creator:
Lepore, Jill, 1966-
Language:
English.
Publication date:
2012
Imprint:
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
Format:
  • Book
  • viii, 416 p. ; 23 cm.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Here he lyes
  • A pilgrim passed I
  • The way to wealth
  • The age of Paine
  • We the parchment
  • I.O.U.
  • A Nue Merrykin Dikshunary
  • His Highness
  • Man of the people
  • Pickwick in America
  • The humbug
  • President Tom's cabin
  • Pride of the prairie
  • Longfellow's ride
  • Rock, paper, scissors
  • Objection
  • Chan the man
  • The uprooted
  • Rap sheet
  • To wit.
Summary:
In this book, the author investigates American origin stories, from John Smith's account of the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural address, in order to show how American democracy is bound up with the history of print. It excavates the origins of everything from the paper ballot and the Constitution to the I.O.U. and the dictionary. It presents readings of Benjamin Franklin's Way to Wealth, Thomas Paine's Common Sense, The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, and Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, as well as histories of lesser-known genres, including biographies of presidents, novels of immigrants, and accounts of the Depression. From past to present, the author argues, Americans have wrestled with the idea of democracy by telling stories; here, she offers both a history of origin stories and a meditation on storytelling itself.
Subjects:
ISBN:
9780691153995
069115399X

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