Tall Tale America: A Legendary History of our Humorous Heroes

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9780226055961: Tall Tale America: A Legendary History of our Humorous Heroes

"Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan and John Henry have all become heroes of American folklore. Some of them, like Crokett, were real, but all have become the subject of tall tales. This is a folksy history of the United States, told as if the characters were all real. This panoramic (if completely untrue) history begins with Columbus. . . . En route to its end in the 1940s (where traditional American heroes are enlisted to fight in World War II), it covers the great and small events of our national history, including the overlooked, but important ones, such as the invention of the prairie dog."—Washington Post Book World

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A classic of humor and folklore, Tall Tale America is a vernacular history of America which has as its chief figures not presidents, military leaders, and tycoons, but folk heroes and popular characters such as Davy Crockett, Old Stormalong, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry. Blair recounts such momentous events as the temporary misplacement of America and the unfreezing of the earth, and such frequently overlooked incidents as the invention of the prairie dog and Windwagon Smith's upsetting arrival in Westport, Missouri.

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