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The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture

The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an A

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By Joshua Kendall.  ISBN 978-0-399-15699-1.  Copyright 2010.  Hardcover with 355 pages including 21 black and white illustrations, notes and index. 

 Noah Webster’s name is now synonymous with the dictionary he created, but although there is much more to his story than that singular achievement, his rightful place in American history has been forgotten over time.  Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, among others.  He started New York City’s first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton’s “New York Post”.  His ‘blue-backed speller’ for schoolchildren, his first literary effort, sold millions of copies and influenced early copyright law.  He helped found Amherst College and served as a state representative for both Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

Webster was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.

 

Item # 18746
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