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Forgotten Heroes

Inspiring American Portraits From Our Leading Hist

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The pages of the past are full of characters who remind us that history depends upon the great deeds of men and women, whether famous or humble. Where would America be without George Washington, or Daniel Boone, or Sojourner Truth, or Babe Ruth? Where would we be without so many characters who are less well remembered today?
Historians and biographers regularly come across stories of little-known or forgotten heroes, and this book provides a chance to rescue some of the best of them. In Forgotten Heroes, thirty-five of the country's leading historians recount their favorite stories of underappreciated Americans. From Stephen Jay Gould on deaf baseball player Dummy Hoy; to William Leuchtenburg on the truth behind the legendary Johnny Appleseed; to Christine Stansell on Margaret Anderson, who published James Joyce's Ulysses; these portraits can be read equally for delight, instruction, and inspiration
Taken together, however, the whole is much more than the sum of its parts. Every culture needs heroes who lead by example and uplift us all in the process. Too often lately, historians have been more intent on picking apart the reputations of previously revered Americans. At times it has seemed as if the academy were on the attack against much of its own culture, denying its past greatness while making heroes only of its dissidents and doubters. Yet as this collection vividly demonstrates, heroes come in many shapes and sizes, and we all gain when we remember and celebrate them.
Forgotten Heroes includes nearly as many women as men, and nearly as many people from before 1900 as after. It expands the traditional definition of hero to encompass not only military figures and politicians who took risks for great causes, but also educators, religious leaders, reformers, labor leaders, publishers, athletes, and even a man who started a record company. Many of them were heroes of conscience -- men and women who insisted on doing the right thing, no matter how unpopular or risky, commanding respect even from those who disagreed. Some were famous in their day and have since been forgotten, or remembered only in caricature. Others were little-known even when alive -- yet they all deserve to be remembered today, especially at the gifted hands of the authors of this book.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 31, 1998 – A solid mix of journalists, independent writers and relatively well-known academics here present people they consider to have made a mark on their times without receiving the acclaim commensurate with their accomplishments. Though perhaps not all the men and women covered can properly be called "forgotten heroes" (John Quincy Adams, for one), the subjects of these 35 lively essays all seem to have made a difference. They range from Henry Knox, who hauled a cannon through the wilderness to hold off the British during the Revolutionary War, to Lew Ayers, celebrated for his performance in the classic film All Quiet on the Western Front, who put his movie career on the line to avow his principles as a conscientious objector. The writing quality reaches a high level in former New York Times columnist Tom Wicker's story of the Knox epic or in paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould's unlikely piece about a deaf baseball player named Hoy who, Gould argues, belongs in the Hall of Fame. Ware, a professor of history at Radcliffe (Still Missing: Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism), devotes more than a third of the book to unsung women, many of them in the forefront of movements to improve the lot of their sisters in such areas as civil liberties, suffrage and working conditions. While not a volume to be read in one sitting, this book is an ideal bedside companion that offers the occasional illuminating glimpse into fascinating if little-known episodes of American history. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Forgotten Heroes
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Jul 13, 1999
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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