Fighting over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution

Fighting over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution

by Andrew M. Schocket

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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 US 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479884100
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Andrew M. Schocket is Director of American Culture Studies and Associate Professor of History and American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University (OH). He is the author of Founding Corporate Power in Early National Philadelphia.

Table of Contents



Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Truths That Are Not Self-Evident: The Revolution in Political Speech 17

2 We Have Not Yet Begun to Write: Historians and Founders Chic 49

3 We the Tourists: The Revolution at Museums and Historical Sites 85

4 Give Me Liberty’s Kids : How the Revolution Has Been Televised and Filmed 125

5 To Re-create a More Perfect Union: Originalism, the Tea Party, and Reenactors 165

Conclusion 201

Further Readings 213

Index 237

About the Author 253

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