The Story of America is selected in Publishers Weekly list of ‘Best New Books for the week’

Jill Lepore’s The Story of America has caught the attention of Publishers Weekly’s Gabe Habash in his article (posted in the PW Tip Sheet):

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/54241-pw-picks-the-best-new-books-for-the-week-of-october-8-2012.html

“The Story of America: Essays on Origins by Jill Lepore (Princeton University Press) – “I wanted to try to explain how history works, and how it’s different from politics,” states Harvard history professor Lepore (The Mansion of Happiness), introducing her collection of essays, almost all previously published in the New Yorker. History involves making an argument by telling a story “accountable to evidence,” which she marshals ably in discussing personalities real and fictional, from Benjamin Franklin to Charlie Chan. Her argument that Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” was an abolitionist “call to arms,” subsequently “juvenilized” for schoolrooms, is as pointed as a legal brief. Varying her tone—brisk when detailing changes in how Americans cast their votes, poignant when recounting Edgar Allan Poe’s career—Lepore also provides drollery. Nixon’s attempt to give a concise and, he hoped, memorable inaugural address “led him to say things briefly but didn’t save him from saying them badly.” Even the footnotes contain buried treasures; history buffs and general readers alike will savor this collection.

 

Lepore has also received high praises elsewhere for her American History novel:

“Jill Lepore is one of America’s most interesting scholars–a distinguished historian and a brilliant essayist. This prolific collection of articles and essays is a remarkable body of work that moves from early America to our present, contentious age.”–Alan Brinkley, author of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century

“Jill Lepore is one of our finest historians of the battle over the story called ‘America,’ which, as she says, is constantly being fought over and over. In this stunning collection of essays, Lepore makes the case that the rise of democracy is bound up with the history of its reading and writing. That history is conflicted, ragged, and contradictory but, in Lepore’s capable hands, as gripping and compelling as a novel.”–Cathy N. Davidson, Duke University

“Tackling a wide variety of subjects–e.g., the Founding Fathers, Charles Dickens, Clarence Darrow, Charlie Chan, voting regulations, the decline of inaugural speeches–the author proves to be a funny, slightly punky literary critic, reading between the lines of American history. . . . As smart, lively, and assured as modern debunker gets.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 

Read more about Lepore’s book at the Princeton University Press website:

The Story of America:
Essays on Origins
Jill Lepore