The United States is a nation that touts its diversity, but there is one tradition that all Americans love to share. Every year on the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate the founding of the nation. Independence Day is the greatest of national traditions, but much of the inherited lore that surrounds the Fourth is myth and legend, not history. Even the fact that the holiday is celebrated on the fourth is misleading, as the Declaration of Independence was in fact penned on July 2nd, 1776. Jefferson did not write it himself, nor was it intended to mark the birth of a new nation.
In this remarkable and wonderful work of research and narrative, Peter de Bolla teases out the true story of the Fourth of July. De Bolla traces the holiday's history from 1776 through the Civil War, the Cold War, and the present. This enlightening exploration of the ritual celebration and mythology of America's birthday offers a fascinating window into the history of our nation and our people.
"Americans, unlike poets, are made, not born. Peter de Bolla, in his witty monograph on that most patriotic of days, July 4, dismantles the making machinery....[An] elegant, ironic, brief but deeply researched meditation on what makes America America." (The Financial Times)
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