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In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation
     

In the Name of the Father: Washington's Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation

by Francois Furstenberg
 

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In this revelatory and genuinely groundbreaking study, François Furstenberg sheds new light on the genesis of American identity. Immersing us in the publishing culture of the early nineteenth century, he shows us how the words of George Washington and others of his generation became America's sacred scripture and provided the foundation for a new civic

Overview

In this revelatory and genuinely groundbreaking study, François Furstenberg sheds new light on the genesis of American identity. Immersing us in the publishing culture of the early nineteenth century, he shows us how the words of George Washington and others of his generation became America's sacred scripture and provided the foundation for a new civic culture?one whose reconciliation with slavery unleashed consequences that haunt us still. A dazzling work of scholarship from a brilliant young historian, In the Name of the Father is a major contribution to American social history.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
How were the ideals that were articulated in America's founding documents-freedom, democracy and government based on the consent of the governed-disseminated to the nation? That question animates this extraordinary new study by Furstenberg, an assistant professor of history at the Universit de Montreal, which shows how popular print-broadsides, newspaper columns, schoolbooks, sermons-taught citizens "liberal and republican values," and ultimately "create[d] a nation." Thus Furstenberg devotes a chapter to Mason Weems's bestselling early biography of Washington: in addition to originating the famous cheery tree story, Weems taught a generation of Americans subtle stories about nationalism, virtue and piety. Indeed, Washington-or, rather, images of Washington-became central to American political education. In reading Washington's farewell address aloud to the family when it was reprinted, year after year, in the local newspaper, or in hanging his portrait on the dining room wall, Americans were expressing their consent to be governed by the government Washington presided over. In the deluge of founding father books, Furstenberg's blend of high-brow intellectual history and popular culture studies stands out; rather than lionize Washington, it advances an important argument about his role in shaping American political identity. B&w illus. (June 26) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Furstenberg (history, Universit de Montr al) has written a scholarly work on the development of the American national spirit, detailing how print culture-almanacs, newspapers, and books-created an "American mind" in the 50 years following the end of the Revolutionary War and how the national spirit, so fostered, later responded to the problem of slavery. Furstenberg spends much time on the biographical material published by "Parson" Mason Locke Weems, the man behind the George Washington cherry tree legend, and assesses Weems's contribution to the general folklore surrounding Washington. He discusses the ambivalence of some of the Founding Fathers, particularly Washington, toward slavery. He then goes on to examine Abraham Lincoln as the person who proved most able to reshape much of the American national spirit into one positioned against slavery and assesses how the media we know today are still serving to create our own heroes. With an extensive bibliography and notes; suitable for academic and large public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/06.]-Karen Sutherland, Bartlett P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Michael Prichard...reads with an almost patrician confidence and the authority of someone who is intimately acquainted with his subject. His resonant voice leaves us wanting more." ---AudioFile

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101651049
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/24/2007
Series:
Penguin History of American Life Series
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
6 MB

What People are Saying About This

former president of the Organization of American Ira Berlin
A profoundly important book for anyone interested in the origins of the American Republic. (Ira Berlin, former president of the Organization of American Historians)
From the Publisher
"Michael Prichard...reads with an almost patrician confidence and the authority of someone who is intimately acquainted with his subject. His resonant voice leaves us wanting more." —-AudioFile

Meet the Author

François Furstenberg was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and Washington. After graduating with a BA from Columbia University, he worked for several years in Paris before pursuing his graduate studies in history at The Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 2003. He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in U.S. history at Cambridge University, England, for one year, after which he moved to Montreal, Canada, where he is an assistant professor of history at the Université de Montréal.

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