• The Forgotten Founding Father

  • Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture
  • By: Joshua Kendall
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 04-14-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (23 ratings)

Regular price: $31.50

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Publisher's Summary

American's own The Professor and the Madman: a story of Noah Webster, author of American English.
Noah Webster's name is now synonymous with the dictionary he created, but his story is not nearly so ubiquitous. Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Ben Franklin. He started America's first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton's New York Post. His "blue-backed speller" for schoolchildren sold millions of copies and influenced early copyright law. But perhaps most important, Webster was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture, distinct from the British, at a time when the United States of America were anything but unified - and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.
©2010 Joshua Kendall (P)2011 Penguin
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Jane Austen on 05-09-17


The book does quite a bit of editorializing without providing more than a line to substantiate its claims.
As a person who references the 1828 daily, its my opinion that while Kendall obviously admires Webster, he has little idea of the value of what Webster produced.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Jason Comely on 06-23-14

A bit of a slog

While this particular rendition of Webster's life seemed well researched, it wasn't fun - at all. It was dry and too hung up on minutia that didn't drive the narrative. I listened to the first 5 chapters then skipped to the last one for some closure.

If you are a diehard historian and are keen to learn more on the early days of America, you'll probably love this book though.

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