Fighting over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution
Turn the television to a news channel, go into your local bookstore, watch a movie—there’s a good chance in those places you’ll see someone mention America’s Founding Fathers. Whether it is advertising in car commercials or a politician making a campaign speech, the Founding Fathers have been used, and abused, throughout modern-day America. This book looks in-depth at how they have been used by a variety of forces and takes a wide lens to see the views, goals, and how people use history to their advantage. Each chapter looks at a different way these men of the eighteenth century have become tools for various purposes. It starts off with politicians and political speeches, focusing on presidential elections since 2000. After that the author examines books written by both historians and non-historians, then looks at historical tourist sites like Colonial Williamsburg and concludes with a discussion of movies, television, and historical reenactments.
This is an interesting book because it looks at the present day while talking about people and events over two hundred years old. The author provides a clear picture, and he makes his biases plain from the start, but that should not detract from people of varying political views reading this work and getting something from it.
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