Creating an American Culture, 1775-1800
First Edition   ©2001

Creating an American Culture, 1775-1800

A Brief History with Documents

Eve Kornfeld (San Diego State University)

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-19062-X; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-19062-0; Format: Paper Text

Amid the battle for American independence and the struggle to invent a federal government, American Revolutionary leaders and intellectuals sought also to create an American culture that would unify a territory of immense regional, ethnic, and religious diversity. In a sophisticated, yet accessible, interpretive narrative, Eve Kornfeld examines the efforts of Noah Webster, Benjamin Rush, George Washington, Judith Sargent Murray, David Ramsay, Mercy Otis Warren, and others to invent a national literature, narrate a story of nationhood, and educate a diverse people for virtuous republican citizenship. Among the 31 documents following the narrative are early attempts at American epic poetry, excerpts from the first narrative histories of the United States, and commentaries on the place of women and Indians in national life. Headnotes to the documents, reproductions of early paintings and portraits, a chronology, questions for consideration, a bibliography, and an index are also included.
"This is an absolutely terrific book — both in its polished, trenchant, discursive chapters and in the selection of readings."
Joyce Appleby, University of California, Los Angeles