Founding Myths

( 4 )

Overview

Widely praised following its initial publication, Founding Myths is a page-turner created out of the stuff of American history primers. Reexamining thirteen well-known tales from the American struggle for independence, the book documents the errors and inventions that permeate these cherished national myths - myths that are often still taught in American history classes - in what Baltimore's City Paper calls a ''debunking that does not disappoint." ''Engaging and eye-opening" (The Sacramento Bee), Ray Raphael's ...
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Overview

Widely praised following its initial publication, Founding Myths is a page-turner created out of the stuff of American history primers. Reexamining thirteen well-known tales from the American struggle for independence, the book documents the errors and inventions that permeate these cherished national myths - myths that are often still taught in American history classes - in what Baltimore's City Paper calls a ''debunking that does not disappoint." ''Engaging and eye-opening" (The Sacramento Bee), Ray Raphael's bold and provocative book reexamines the story of Paul Revere's midnight ride, which turns out to have involved far more than one rider; Patrick Henry's famous (and fictitious) ''Give Me Liberty" speech; and the made-up character of Molly Pitcher, among many others. Raphael cleverly demonstrates how these stories evolved over time. And in each case, he offers an alternative version, one that is both more historically accurate and more in tune with our nation's democratic ideals. For anyone who is curious about the true story of the nation's founding, and for those searching for a genuine chronicle of democratic struggle, Founding Myths is American history at its truest and most vital.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Author of A People's History of the American Revolution, Raphael once again turns to that period, aiming to punctuate popular perceptions deriving from the 19th century's penchant for solitary romantic agents. He focuses on 13 stories revolving around either mythical or genuine figures and events, including Paul Revere's ride, Molly Pitcher's battlefield heroics, Sam Adams as the supposed architect of independence, the shot heard 'round the world, the Valley Forge winter, the lauded generation of the Founding Fathers, and the presumed denouement at Yorktown of a global conflict that continued elsewhere. Curiously, the fabricated tale of flag-maker Betsy Ross is not included as a separate entry. Raphael buttresses his points by introducing each chapter with iconic illustrations by Jonathan Trumbull, John Singleton Copley, Howard Pyle, and others. Amply annotated, this anthology underscores the idea that knowing the truth about numerous anonymous players rather than holding to elaborate story lines is more empowering for a starkly realistic age. Especially recommended for all public library and undergraduate collections.-Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Library of Congress Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781458781147
  • Publisher: ReadHowYouWant, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/8/2010
  • Pages: 614
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Ray Raphael has taught at a one-room public high school, Humboldt State University, and College of the Redwoods. His twelve books include A People's History of the American Revolution (The New Press) and The First American Revolution (The New Press). He lives in Redway, California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    Very enlightening reading. Provides new information on "historical" tales.

    The author grabs your attention in the first tale by debunking myths of the Paul Rever ride. He reminds us that many old "tales" accepted as fact are not historically accurate. The inaccuracies change the "facts" we have learned and teach us the need to research.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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