Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

2.7 3
by Ray Raphael
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1595580735

ISBN-13: 9781595580733

Pub. Date: 07/28/2006

Publisher: New Press, The

With wit and flair, Founding Myths exposes the errors and inventions in thirteen of America’s most cherished tales, from Paul Revere’s famous ride to Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech. Exploring the dynamic intersection between history-making and story-making, award-winning author and historian Ray Raphael shows how

Overview

With wit and flair, Founding Myths exposes the errors and inventions in thirteen of America’s most cherished tales, from Paul Revere’s famous ride to Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech. Exploring the dynamic intersection between history-making and story-making, award-winning author and historian Ray Raphael shows how these fictions—conceived in the narrowly nationalistic politics of the nineteenth century—undermine our democratic ideals.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595580733
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
07/28/2006
Pages:
354
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Inventing a Past 1

Heroes and Heroines 7

1 Paul Revere's Ride 9

2 Sam Adams's Mob 27

3 Molly Pitcher's Cannon 49

David and Goliath 73

4 The Shot Heard 'Round the World 75

5 The Winter at Valley Forge 99

Wise Men 121

6 Jefferson's Declaration 123

7 An Assembly of Demigods 141

8 American Aristocracy 157

Doing Battle 173

9 "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!" 175

10 The Whites of Their Eyes 189

Good v. Evil 203

11 Patriotic Slaves 205

12 Brutal British 225

Happy Endings 241

13 The Final Battle: Yorktown 243

14 March of the American People 263

15 Storybook Nation 279

Conclusion: Why We Tell Tall Tales 299

Afterword: Which Myths Persist, and Why 311

Acknowledgments 327

Notes 329

Photo Credits 401

Index 403

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Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a little opinionated, exactly what the author criticizes in previous American History authors. For instance, in the story of Valley Forge the author insists that the 'Hard Winter' of Morristown was much worse for the patriots than in Valley Forge and goes on to precisely cite the Temperatures for that year. However, he very obviously ignores the difference in living conditions in both places, which factors strongly into the cause of so much suffering/death at Valley Forge. What was their housing like? The author thinks that simply because there was less mutiny, Valley Forge paints a better picture for the American eyes. I would question whether or not the author has even visited both places in order to compare simple differences in topography or distances to water and nearby towns as a form of resource, none of which is touched on in his book. He also argues against Lexington and Concord being 'the shot heard 'round the world,' and the actual start of the Revolution, saying it really began when Bostonians overthrew the British Government in 1774. Should we then say the Civil War began when the South Seceded? No, that's absurd. Dates are affixed to Wars based on when the two opposing sides first collide. Any scholar can recognize the seeds of discontent began long before the actual start of the Revolution-I might even put it as far back as the French and Indian War. However, the actual 'War' did begin at Lexington and Concord, and Mr. Raphael shouldn't try to impose his skewed views on others. He could have written the same book, with as much little-known information in it, without trying to change our history. It's not important that Molly Pitcher was not a real woman. What is important and what most people take from her story, is that women were out on the firing lines alongside the men, helping wherever and whenever they could and deserve the recognition that 'Molly' got. There was a lot of useful information in this book, but people need to read it with a critical eye. Be warned.
anselmus More than 1 year ago
Like "Lies My Teacher Told Me" this history of the American Revolution serves to correct the self-serving, laudatory accounts of the Revolution which are the common currency of American politics. Nevertheless, you will learn that Sarah Palin was right that the stores of munitions that the colonists possessed were the target of the British actions at Lexington and Concord in 1774; but you will also learn that there were much more significant events of 1774 that proceeded Lexington and Concord. This book is very well researched and definitely be read by anyone who is really looking for the true history of our country. You will still emerge with a sense of the importance of the Revolution, but without the tendentious moral lessons that politicians love to draw from it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was by far the worst book I have ever read. The only reason I read it was because it was required from AP American History. Raphael constantly tries to tell us that our history is full of "myths" when he has no point at all. I have found tons of flaws in his thinking. Do NOT buy. It's a waste of money. Rahael is one dumb f***. Im sorry, but it has to be said.