How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

 
The Fourth Star - Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army

Tác giả: David Cloud
Thể loại: Lịch Sử
Language: English
Giới thiệu

From Publishers Weekly

In 1828 Noah Webster published the groundbreaking American Dictionary of the English Language and secured his niche as an avatar of a distinct American culture. Kendall (The Man Who Made Lists) honors Webster's crucial contributions to early American nationalism, which extended far beyond his primary obsession, the written word. Kendall paints a complex portrait of Webster (1758–1843), a man he claims "housed a host of contradictory identities: revolutionary, reactionary, fighter, peacemaker, intellectual, commonsense philosopher, ladies' man, prig, slick networker and loner." In spite of his flaws, Webster, Kendall argues not wholly successfully, belongs among the ranks of America's notable founders, associating with George Washington and Ben Franklin, among others, to craft an early American identity rooted in national pride and a distinctly American lexicon. Citing frequent references to Webster's nervous afflictions, Kendall ventures the somewhat shaky diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The book includes the politics of the "forgotten" founder, for example, noting that Webster "detested Andrew Jackson as the second coming of Jefferson," and a wide range of his activities, including helping found Amherst College. Kendall provides an intriguing look at one of America's earliest men of letters that is sure to appeal to lovers of both words and history. (Apr.)
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Review

"Mr. Kendall is a careful writer, and a gifted storyteller . . . [The Forgotten Founding Father is] an engaging, almost novel-like read."
-Barton Swaim, The Wall Street Journal

"A gracefully told story that commands attention and confers on Webster deserved honor too long deferred."
-Kirkus (starred review)

"[A] poignant look into the life of a figure who played a central role in the historical development of the American language. Kendell capably delves beyond the realm of words and into Webster's social and intellectual worlds."
-Library Journal

"This is by far the best, and best written, life of Webster. Kendall makes a convincing case that Webster invented American nationalism long before the American nation came into existence."
-Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation and His Excellency: George Washington

"[The Forgotten Founding Father] paints a rich portrait of an American original, a man who was determined to shape a new American culture as an educator, political advocate, newspaper publisher, and path-breaking lexicographer. So obsessive that he counted the houses in every town he visited, Webster's difficult personality was uniquely suited to creating a seminal dictionary almost entirely by himself."
-David O. Stewart, author of Impeached and The Summer of 1787

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