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Fighting Over the Founders : How We Remember the American Revolution
by Andrew M. Schocket


Overview - Explores how politicians, screenwriters, activists, biographers, jurists, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution. The American Revolution is all around us. It is pictured as big as billboards and as small as postage stamps, evoked in political campaigns and car advertising campaigns, relived in museums and revised in computer games.  Read more...

 
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More About Fighting Over the Founders by Andrew M. Schocket
 
 
 
Overview
Explores how politicians, screenwriters, activists, biographers, jurists, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution. The American Revolution is all around us. It is pictured as big as billboards and as small as postage stamps, evoked in political campaigns and car advertising campaigns, relived in museums and revised in computer games. As the nation's founding moment, the American Revolution serves as a source of powerful founding myths, and remains the most accessible and most contested event in U.S. history: more than any other, it stands as a proxy for how Americans perceive the nation's aspirations. Americans' increased fascination with the Revolution over the past two decades represents more than interest in the past. It's also a site to work out the present, and the future. What are we using the Revolution to debate? In Fighting over the Founders, Andrew M. Schocket explores how politicians, screenwriters, activists, biographers, jurists, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution. Identifying competing "essentialist" and "organicist" interpretations of the American Revolution, Schocket shows how today's memories of the American Revolution reveal Americans' conflicted ideas about class, about race, and about gender--as well as the nature of history itself. Fighting over the Founders plumbs our views of the past and the present, and illuminates our ideas of what United States means to its citizens in the new millennium.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780814708163
  • ISBN-10: 0814708161
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - Revolutionary War
Books > History > Historiography

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-12-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Schocket, a professor of history and American culture studies at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), looks into how politicians, historians, children’s literature, movies and media, museums, and the Supreme Court make use of the legacy of America’s founders. His central argument is that conservatives view the founding fathers as paragons of virtue against whom the present is judged, while liberals view them from the perspective of the present, with very different sensibilities on gender and race, and society in general. Schocket is an opinionated and sometimes cynical writer who makes his argument—which is that institutions and politicians use the founding fathers for commercial and political purposes—with direct and provocative examples. For example, he reveals his deep concern over American difficulties with race through a critique of the way in which politicians, biographers, and others ignore the founding fathers’ views on slavery (he considers these views the “greatest collective failure” of the founding fathers’ generation). An entertaining feature of Schocket’s writing is the gusto with which he takes on those he feels have misconstrued American history for political gain or profit, all of whom he happily skewers. Schocket covers a lot of ground in an accessible and entertaining style, with many provocative opinions to engage readers. (Feb.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews