The Eagle and the Crown: Americans and the British Monarchy

Overview

This book tells the intriguing and paradoxical story of a nation that overthrew British rule only to become fascinated by the glamor of its royal family. Examining American attitudes toward British royalty from the Revolutionary period to the death of Princess Diana, The Eagle and the Crown penetrates the royal legacy in American politics, culture, and national self-image.

Frank Prochaska argues that the United States is not only beguiled by the British monarchy but has itself ...

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Overview

This book tells the intriguing and paradoxical story of a nation that overthrew British rule only to become fascinated by the glamor of its royal family. Examining American attitudes toward British royalty from the Revolutionary period to the death of Princess Diana, The Eagle and the Crown penetrates the royal legacy in American politics, culture, and national self-image.

Frank Prochaska argues that the United States is not only beguiled by the British monarchy but has itself considered the idea of a presidency assuming many of the characteristics of a monarchy. He shows that America’s Founding Fathers created what Teddy Roosevelt later called an “elective king” in the office of the president, conferring quasi-regal status on the occupant of the Oval Office. Prochaska also contends that members of the British royal family who visit the United States have been key players in the emergence of America’s obsession with celebrity. America’s complex relationship with the British monarchy has for more than two hundred years been part of the nation’s conversation about itself, a conversation that Prochaska explores with wit and panache.

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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal

"The Eagle and the Crown is a remarkably concise . . . probing study of the dynamic relationship between English royalty and American democracy. . . . It is clear from Mr. Prochaska''s insightful scholarship that a confluence of interests has played a major role in the comity between the two nations.—Martin Rubin, Wall Street Journal

— Martin Rubin

Lancette Arts Journal

"Engaging. . . . Very revealing."—Alidë Kohlhaas, Lancette Arts Journal

— Alid� Kohlhaas

The Historian
"A wide-ranging survey of America's fascination with the British royal family. . . . A well-written and engaging narrative."—The Historian
Wall Street Journal - Martin Rubin
"The Eagle and the Crown is a remarkably concise . . . probing study of the dynamic relationship between English royalty and American democracy. . . . It is clear from Mr. Prochaska's insightful scholarship that a confluence of interests has played a major role in the comity between the two nations.—Martin Rubin, Wall Street Journal
Lancette Arts Journal - Alid� Kohlhaas
"Engaging. . . . Very revealing."—Alidë Kohlhaas, Lancette Arts Journal
Lancette Arts Journal - Alidë Kohlhaas
"Engaging. . . . Very revealing."—Alidë Kohlhaas, Lancette Arts Journal
Library Journal

The Declaration of Independence blasts George III and kingship. So why is it that George III's great-great-great-great granddaughter Elizabeth II and her family so fascinate "the Colonies"? Yale lecturer in history Prochaska doesn't quite figure that out either, but his chronicle of the Crown as seen from this side of the pond is worth reading. While the intensity of interest has never been so strong as in recent years, Prochaska documents how the royals have long been of interest to America. Some of this fascination is owing to snobbery in a land lacking a defined aristocracy, some is a longing for something above politics, and some is respect for this country's British heritage (though the royals aren't very British themselves-the Queen Mum was the first royal consort from Britain since James II's first wife). And part of our fascination is out of sheer respect for the queen, who does her somewhat indefinable work quite well. Prochaska, who ends his study with the death of Princess Diana, considers the U.S. presidency to have shades of the British monarchy in its contours. Suitable for all libraries with deep American history collections and for public libraries with patrons interested in the royals, i.e., most of them.
—Michael Eshleman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300141955
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Prochaska is lecturer and senior research scholar in the Department of History, Yale University, and author of Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy, published by Yale University Press. He lives in New Haven, CT.

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations Ch. 1 The Founding Fathers 1 Ch. 2 Royal Reconciliation 26 Ch. 3 Victoria Fever 43 Ch. 4 The Prince in the Promised Land 62 Ch. 5 America's Queen 82 Ch. 6 Ceremony and Celebrity 109 Ch. 7 Special Relationships 136 Ch. 8 The New Victoria 159 Ch. 9 A Wedding and a Funeral 179 Ch. 10 Conclusion 198 Notes 205 Index 231
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