The Pledge of Allegiance: The Story Behind Our Patriotic Promise (America in Words and Song)

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9780791073360: The Pledge of Allegiance: The Story Behind Our Patriotic Promise (America in Words and Song)
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Describes how and why Francis Bellamy came to write the Pledge of Allegiance, explaining the meaning of the pledge and the controversies surrounding it.

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Reviewed with Liz Sonneborn's The Star-Spangled Banner.

Gr. 3-5. From the America in Words and Song series, these slender books offer informative, balanced discussions. The history of the pledge is complex. Written by Francis Bellamy in 1892, it was accompanied by a straight-armed salute until World War II, when the similarity to the Nazi salute prompted a change. Sonneborn discusses the wording phrase by phrase and places it within its historical context (indivisible refers to the Civil War). In 1954, the words "under God" were inserted. Star-Spangled Banner details the story behind the song and discusses the words' meaning. Congress first debated whether to make this song the national anthem in 1912 (people objected that it was too hard to sing). One of the best qualities of the series is Sonneborn's evenhanded approach, making clear that both the anthem and the pledge have an ongoing history of controversy as well as wide acceptance. With an abundance of color illustrations, including reproductions of photos, prints, and paintings from many eras, the books have an accessible, attractive look. Each ends with a well-designed time line, a glossary, and lists of recommended books and Internet sites. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Sonneborn, Liz
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