American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early by Edmund S. Morgan

By Edmund S. Morgan

“A clever, humane and wonderfully written book.”―Bret Stephens, Wall highway Journal

From the best-selling writer of Benjamin Franklin comes this striking paintings that might aid redefine our suggestion of yankee heroism. americans have lengthy been passionate about their heroes, however the women and men dramatically portrayed listed here are no longer celebrated for the common banal purposes contained in Founding Fathers hagiography. without problems demanding those that persist in revering the yankee historical past establishment and its tropes and falsehoods, Morgan, now ninety-three, keeps to think that the previous seriously isn't how it turns out.

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W. , 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Morgan, Edmund S. (Edmund Sears), 1916– American heroes: profiles of men and women who shaped early America / Edmund S. Morgan. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN: 978-0-393-07426-0 1. United States—History—Colonial period, ca. 1600–1775—Biography. 2. United States—History—Revolution, 1775–1783—Biography. 3. United States—History—1783–1815—Biography. 4. Heroes—United States—Biography. I. Title.

Rather, the Old World for several centuries determined what men saw in the New and what they did with it. What America became after 1492 depended both on what men found there and on what they expected to find, both on what America actually was and on what old writers and old experience led men to think it was or ought to be or could be made to be. I cannot attempt here to give an account of what America became or was made to become by the men who invaded the continent after 1492, but I hope to tell a small early part of the story, a first chapter that may stand as an emblem or symbol of the whole.

The Greeks and Romans had constructed philosophies and the Christians a religion around it. The man who would imitate Christ had to deny himself, give his all to the poor, love his neighbor as himself, curb his natural appetites, and set his heart on God alone. The monastic life was an organized effort to live this way. The Indians, and especially the Arawaks, gave no sign of thinking much about God, but otherwise they seemed to have attained the monastic virtues. They had also attained an impressive freedom.

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