Synopses & Reviews
With wit and flair, Founding Myths exposes the errors and inventions in thirteen of Americas most cherished tales, from Paul Reveres famous ride to Patrick Henrys Liberty or Death” speech. Exploring the dynamic intersection between history-making and story-making, award-winning author and historian Ray Raphael shows how these fictions—conceived in the narrowly nationalistic politics of the nineteenth century—undermine our democratic ideals.
Ray Raphaels engaging and eye-opening book doesnt merely debunk historical fallacies. Using the best modern historical writing and his own research, the author also explains why and to what purpose these myths were created and then offers well-argued alternative explanations.”
Raphael relays so much forgotten or never-known history and argues so well why it, not the legends, should be remembered that virtually any Americans will profit from reading this lively, intelligent book.”
"All students of American history will find Raphael's correction of the historical record instructive and enjoyable."
Makes great strides toward challenging conventional myths and broadening our understanding of American history.”
History News Network
Raphael questions the validity of the legend of Paul Revere's ride, Thomas Jefferson's status as the architect of American equality, and the existence of Molly Pitcher.
About the Author
Ray Raphael has taught at a one-room public high school, Humboldt State University, and College of the Redwoods. His twelve books include A Peoples History of the American Revolution and The First American Revolution (both available from The New Press).