The Story of America
Essays on OriginsBook - 2012
In this book the author, a Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, 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 that Americans have wrestled with the idea of democracy by telling stories, and here offers both a history of origin stories and a meditation on storytelling itself.
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012
Description: viii, 416 p. ; 23 cm
Branch Call Number: 973 Lep