The tall tales that parade as historical facts.
Did you know that:
- The legend of Paul Revere's Ride was invented by a poet in 1861, eighty-six years after the fact?
- Thomas Jefferson was not seen as the architect of American equality until Abraham Lincoln assigned him that role four score and seven years later?
- Molly Pitcher, the revolutionary heroine whose picture adorns current textbooks, is a complete fabrication?
In Founding Myths
, noted author and historian Ray Raphael examines thirteen well-known tales of America's struggle for independence whose authenticity has been disproved by recent scholarship. Strangely out of sync with both the communitarian ideals of revolutionary America and the democratic values of today, these stories of America's creation reflect instead the romantic individualism of the nineteenth century, when most of them were created. Despite their narrative appeal, Raphael argues, they sell the U.S. short. Only by laying these myths bare can we understand and appreciate the popular spirit that propelled America to independence. A provocative revision of America's birth, Founding Myths
redefines the roots of U.S. patriotism. 15 black-and-white photographs.