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American Stories - Washington’s Cherry Tree, Lincoln’s Log Cabin, and Other Tales—True and Not-So-True—and How They Spread Throughout the Land

  • Pocket

  • 2022

  • Engelsk

American Stories follows the evolution of our founding stories and myths and how they spread far and wide throughout our history. The story of the cherry tree, for example, tells us nothing about George Washington’s actual childhood, but surely it tells us something about what Americans wanted in the father of their country—an incorruptible leader of the people.

Along the same lines, the story of Betsy Ross’s flag tells us nothing about how the Stars and Stripes came to be, but does tell us something about what Americans wanted in a founding mother—it is no coincidence that the Ross story, featuring a traditional woman’s role of sewing at home, was first told in 1870, one year after Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony challenged these roles by founding the National Woman Suffrage Association.

There’s another reason these stories spread, and that provides another reason to follow their evolution. From Dodge City to Deadwood, and from Bunker Hill to San Juan Hill and beyond, these stories all have one thing in common: they are all a lot of fun to read.

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