This marvelous collection brings together the great myths and legends of the United Statesfrom the creation stories of the first inhabitants, to the tall tales of the Western frontier, to the legendary outlaws of the 1920s, and beyond. This thoroughly engaging anthology is sweeping in its scope, embracing Big Foot and Windigo, Hiawatha and Uncle Sam, Paul Revere and Billy the Kid, and even the Iroquois Flying Head and Elvis. In the book's section on dogmas and icons, for instance, Leeming and Page discuss the American melting pot, the notion of manifest destiny, and the imposing historical and literary figure of Henry Adams. And under Heroes and Heroines, they have assembled everyone from "Honest Abe" Lincoln and George "I Cannot Tell a Lie" Washington to Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Martin Luther King, Jr. For every myth or hero rendered here, the editors include an informative yet readable excerpt, often the definitive account of the story in question. Taken as a whole, Myths, Legends, and Folktales of America reveals how waves of immigrants, encountering this strange land for the first time, adapted their religions, beliefs, and folklore to help make sense of a new and astounding place. Covering Johnny Appleseed and Stagolee as well as Paul Bunyan and Moby Dick, this wonderful anthology illuminates our nation's myth-making, enriching our idea of what it means to be American.
About the Author
David Leeming is a former Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut and also the author of many books, including The World of Myth, Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero, and Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney. Jake Page is an essayist, science writer, novelist, and co-author with his wife Susanne of the books Hopi and Navajo. Leeming and Page have collaborated in the past on Goddess and God, both published by Oxford.