Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot

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September 1998



He might appropriately be called the "founding father" whom American history forgot. Renowned during his lifetime as a principal architect of cultural and political life in the fledgling United States, Noah Webster has since disappeared into the pages of his own dictionary — ironically eclipsed by his own colossal creation. Until now. This groundbreaking biography brilliantly restores Webster's monumental legacy as a teacher, legislator, philosopher, lawyer, crusading editor, and one of history's most profoundly influential lexicographers. In the first major biography of Noah Webster in over sixty years, author Harlow Unger creates an intriguing portrait of the United States as an energetic and confident young nation, even when independence was fragile and the future unclear. A descendant of one of New England's first families, Noah Webster was born in 1758 into a Connecticut landscape on the brink of revolution and strife. A serious-minded boy with bright red hair, he inherited from his father a deep-seated pride of family and love of country. When the Boston Massacre of 1770 roused the soldiers of the Hartford commonweal to arms, Webster was twelve years old and already carrying a musket and marching in the local militia. As a young man, his burgeoning patriotism was further fueled by the writings of John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Thomas Paine. These philosophers heavily influenced the first portion of Webster's career as a powerfully vocal warrior against political and social disunion and the forces of anarchy. As a schoolteacher and tireless lecturer, he sought to eradicate illiteracy in lower social classes and endorsed unprecedented programs to provide equalopportunities for women. Webster, in short, became America's first social reformer. He was not yet forty. Webster is known chiefly for his equally remarkable second career as the original standard-bearer of American English, however. His speller sold countless copies over the


Patriot. Schoolmaster. Author. Yankee Peddler. Essayist. Public Servant. Editor. Philosopher. Lexicographer. Elder Statesman. Epilogue. Notes. Selected Bibliography of Principal Sources. Index.


HARLOW GILES UNGER was a foreign news editor at the New York Herald Tribune and a correspondent for the Times in London. A former professor of English and journalism, he is the author of books on education. Mr. Unger lives in New York City and Paris, France.
EAN: 9780471184553
ISBN: 0471184551
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 1998
Seitenanzahl: 400 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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