A Cathy Duffy Top Pick
This is America! And this is its glowing, epic story, from the days of the Viking expeditions to the birth of the Atomic age. Here are the explorers, the American Indians, the settlers and fur trappers, the soldiers, the statesmen, the men and women who have shaped our country and its destiny. It is our story of adventure, of wars, of industry and invention, of hardship and growth; it is an unparalleled tale of courage, high ideals, hard work--and a precious thing called Freedom.
Perhaps more happened, faster, in the history of this country than in any other. Earl Schenck Miers tells its story as it should be told: in terms of the great moments and events, and through the lives and experiences of individuals.
Among the fifty chapters included are: the faith and longing for freedom of worship that brought the band of Pilgrims to Plymouth's shores; James Smith's own account of his capture by the Indians in 1755; excerpts from Davy Crockett's diary, telling of the last days of the Alamo; a young Southern girl's description of the burning of Columbia, S.C., in the Civil War. Miers has recreated unforgettably, the hardships of a cattle drive, the inspiring story of how Booker T. Washington overcame great obstacles to build a school, the suspense that held America in a spell in 1927 when a young man named Lindbergh flew to Paris by himself.
This telling of the American story is dramatic, ever engrossing--and it is based on careful scholarship. The more than 200 illustrations by James Daugherty--most of them in color--are an integral part of the book. A great artist and a superb scholar-storyteller have joined forces to produce a memorable record--an instructive, immensely readable and heart-warming book about the country we love.
Earl Schenk Miers was an American historian (1910-1972), who wrote over 100 books, mostly about the Civil War. In the words of another notable historian–Paul Angle, Miers was one "who stressed the essential drama of events and brought the human beings of the past back to life." Despite struggling with cerebral palsy from birth, which made even holding a pen or pencil nearly impossible, Miers began writing as a youth, by carrying a typewriter to school each day. He attended Rutgers University where he studied journalism and founded the Rutgers University Press. Some of his more popular children's works include the We Were There series.
James Daugherty, as an illustrator and author (1889-1974), was passionate about the American story and believed it ought to be told through vigorous illustration and spirited text. He is best known for his folksy all-American retelling of the fable of Androcles, in Andy and the Lion, which earned him the Caldecott Honor Medal in 1938. In Carl Sandburg's Abe Lincoln Grows Up, a perfect marriage blended Sandburg's lyrical prose with Daugherty's tender yet powerful sketches of Abe as he grows from a boy to a young man. In The Magna Charta, Daugherty tells the often humorous, yet inspiring story of one of Western civilization's most significant milestones in the progress of civil liberty–the signing of the Magna Charta by King John at Runnymede in 1215. Of Courage Undaunted brings Daugherty's manly illustrations to full flower in the adventure of Lewis and Clark's remarkable exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Poor Richard captures the essential nature of Benjamin Franklin with energetic and dramatic three-color lithographs that reveal the witty and ever-genial printer, inventor, statesman, diplomat, and brilliant Founder.