Myth, Legend, and Folktales of America: An Anthology

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In this marvelous collection, David Leeming and Jake Page have gathered together the great myths and legends of America, ranging from the creation stories of the first inhabitants, to the tall-tales of the Western frontier, to the legendary outlaws of the 1920s.
Here is a thoroughly engaging chronicle, a book unrivaled in its scope, embracing Big Foot and Windingo, Hiawatha and Uncle Sam, Paul Revere and Billy the Kid, the Iroquois Flying Head and Elvis. The editors cast their ...
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Overview


In this marvelous collection, David Leeming and Jake Page have gathered together the great myths and legends of America, ranging from the creation stories of the first inhabitants, to the tall-tales of the Western frontier, to the legendary outlaws of the 1920s.
Here is a thoroughly engaging chronicle, a book unrivaled in its scope, embracing Big Foot and Windingo, Hiawatha and Uncle Sam, Paul Revere and Billy the Kid, the Iroquois Flying Head and Elvis. The editors cast their nets widely. Under myths, for instance, Leeming and Page include "the melting pot," "manifest destiny," and Henry Adams's "dynamo." And under "Heroes and Heroines," they have assembled everyone from Honest Abe Lincoln and George Washington, to Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Martin Luther King. For each myth or hero, the editors include an excerpt--often the definitive rendering of the story in question--so that for Moby Dick, we find a passage from Melville's classic, and for Brer Rabbit, the "Tar Baby" tale by Joel Chandler Harris. And along the way, the editors reveal how waves of immigrants, encountering this strange land for the first time, adapted their religion and folklore to help make sense of a new and astounding place. Thus a central Asian god becomes the Great Spirit of Native American myth, and an Aztec goddess is transformed into Our Lady of Guadaloupe.
Ranging from the coyote trickster, to Johnny Appleseed, to John Henry and Stagolee, this wonderful collection illuminates the mythmaking process, and sheds much light on what it means to be American.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195117837
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David Leeming was formerly Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut and is the author of many books including The World of Myth, Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero, and Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, all published by OUP. Jake Page is an essayist, science writer, novelist, and co-author with his wife Susanne of both Hopi and Navajo. Leeming and Page have collaborated in the past on Goddess and God, both published by OUP. Leeming and Page live in New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

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