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1 Burnside US History- Colonial America

American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America

by

American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The last two decades have witnessed an explosion of interest in the founding fathers so intense that a reader or television viewer of today might imagine that America was the creation of beings who were flawless in their wisdom and courage. As Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edmund S. Morgan shows here, Americans have long been obsessed with their heroes. But, drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, he presents a different cast of characters—among them Indians, witches, heretics, and naysayers—men and women who went against the grain, in addition to the stock figures of our national hagiography.

Morgan has mined the seventeenth century and has identified several new heroes, among them Giles Cory and Mary Easty, accused witches, who were put to death when Puritanism went wrong at Salem in 1692. Pressured to reprieve herself by admitting her guilt and naming friends and neighbors as confederates in witchcraft, Easty declared, “I dare not belie my own soul.” Her humble statement stands as the ultimate expression of the religious principles that led to the founding of New England, principles temporarily abandoned by the rulers of Massachusetts Bay who tried and sentenced her.

While American Heroes celebrates the lives and principles of ordinary Americans, the book also considers the legacy of some of our most prominent colonial and Revolutionary leaders, among them William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington. Franklin and Washington are best known for standing against the repressive and often brutal regime of Great Britain’s colonial policies, but here Morgan makes the case for their heroism in standing up to their own countrymen. When Americans were demanding precipitate action, Washington and Franklin got the nation off to a good start by knowing when to say no.

Whether presenting the scandalous story of a Puritan husband whose on-and-off marriage to a beleaguered Puritan heiress illustrates the nexus between property and sex, or assessing the power of books to subvert the standing order and alter the course of history, American Heroes rises above hagiography in challenging the reader to conceive of American individuality and idealism in new terms. Morgan, who credits his mentor Perry Miller “with the best historical mind of his generation,” has shown throughout his own career an unrivaled originality and intellectual courage. American Heroes demonstrates Morgan’s fascination with our national identity and his abiding affection for the men and women whose character, honesty, and moral courage make plain that heroism in America can be found in unexpected places.

Review:

"Despite the lowbrow title, these are intelligent, opinionated essays on America between 1600 and 1800. Morgan, a revered historian and the bestselling author of Benjamin Franklin, wrote the earliest chapter in 1937, the latest in 2005. Many describe obscure events but pack a surprising punch. In 'Dangerous Books,' the author tells the story of Yale (where he is professor emeritus), founded in 1701 as a bastion of Puritanism, but with a library of works by English Enlightenment intellectuals. In 1721 six members of the faculty, including the rector, horrified the community by publicly renouncing Calvinism. The last official American execution for witchcraft occurred in 1692, but the popular belief in witchcraft continued well into the 19th century: in a marvelously recounted vignette, Morgan describes Philadelphia in 1787, where a few miles from the halls where America's elite were debating our Constitution, a mob abused and finally killed an old woman accused of witchcraft. Three of the 17 essays are previously unpublished. Happily, all are up to the standards of this wise, venerable (now 93) and deeply thoughtful historian." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Herein a collection of 17 essays written over a span of some 70 years, three previously unpublished and 14 previously uncollected in book form, by one of the most distinguished and influential historians of Colonial America. It is the 18th book Edmund S. Morgan has published in his 93 years (he also has edited five others) and further evidence of the depth and breadth of his research, the nimbleness... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

These revelatory stories of American heroes and their undaunted courage will forever alter our understanding of American history.

Synopsis:

From the best-selling author of Benjamin Franklincomes this remarkable work that will help redefine our notion of American heroism. Americans have long been obsessed with their heroes, but the men and women dramatically portrayed here are not celebrated for the typical banal reasons contained in Founding Fathers hagiography. Effortlessly challenging those who persist in revering the American history status quo and its tropes and falsehoods, Morgan, now ninety-three, continues to believe that the past is just not the way it seems.

About the Author

Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013) was the Sterling Professor Emeritus at Yale University and the recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, and the American Academy's Gold Medal. The author of The Genuine Article; American Slavery, American Freedom; Benjamin Franklin; and American Heroes, among many others.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393070101
Subtitle:
Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America
Author:
Morgan, Edmund S
Author:
Morgan, Edmund S.
Author:
Edmund S. Morgan,
Author:
organ, Edmund S.
Author:
M
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Heroes
Subject:
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-
Subject:
United States History 1783-1815.
Subject:
United States / Colonial Period(1600-1775)
Subject:
US History-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 2009
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.7 x 1.1 in 1.29 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » US History » Colonial America
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Revolution and Constitution Era

American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America Used Hardcover
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$19.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393070101 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Despite the lowbrow title, these are intelligent, opinionated essays on America between 1600 and 1800. Morgan, a revered historian and the bestselling author of Benjamin Franklin, wrote the earliest chapter in 1937, the latest in 2005. Many describe obscure events but pack a surprising punch. In 'Dangerous Books,' the author tells the story of Yale (where he is professor emeritus), founded in 1701 as a bastion of Puritanism, but with a library of works by English Enlightenment intellectuals. In 1721 six members of the faculty, including the rector, horrified the community by publicly renouncing Calvinism. The last official American execution for witchcraft occurred in 1692, but the popular belief in witchcraft continued well into the 19th century: in a marvelously recounted vignette, Morgan describes Philadelphia in 1787, where a few miles from the halls where America's elite were debating our Constitution, a mob abused and finally killed an old woman accused of witchcraft. Three of the 17 essays are previously unpublished. Happily, all are up to the standards of this wise, venerable (now 93) and deeply thoughtful historian." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , These revelatory stories of American heroes and their undaunted courage will forever alter our understanding of American history.
"Synopsis" by , From the best-selling author of Benjamin Franklincomes this remarkable work that will help redefine our notion of American heroism. Americans have long been obsessed with their heroes, but the men and women dramatically portrayed here are not celebrated for the typical banal reasons contained in Founding Fathers hagiography. Effortlessly challenging those who persist in revering the American history status quo and its tropes and falsehoods, Morgan, now ninety-three, continues to believe that the past is just not the way it seems.
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