Americanon: An Unexpected U.S. History in Thirteen Bestselling Books

Americanon: An Unexpected U.S. History in Thirteen Bestselling Books

Authors: McHugh, Jess

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

ISBN: 9781524746650

Classification: Fiction

Synopsis: What does it take to be a good American? And who gets to decide? Journalist Jess McHugh examines thirteen seemingly innocuous, mega-bestselling reference books, guidebooks, and self-help books that have become blueprints for core American values and shaped our national story.
 
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, The Old Farmer's Almanac, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book: these are a few examples of American "bibles." They are reference books for daily life that ostensibly taught readers one subject, all while instructing them about their role in society and their responsibilities to family and to country. These are dictionaries, school primers, cookbooks, and how-to guides (spanning the full range of our 245-year history), which sold tens of millions of copies and set out specific archetypes for the ideal American, from the self-made entrepreneur to the devoted homemaker to the humble farmer.
 
Taken together, these books help us understand how a powerful minority successfully constructed meaning for the majority in times of change or upheaval. Americanon looks at how these ubiquitous texts have molded common language, culture, and customs—attempting to impose a single definition of American on a diverse nation.
 
Deeply researched and gorgeously told, Americanon is a brilliant and curious history of American myth-making. Jess McHugh brings alive a cast of core American figures—Benjamin Franklin, Dale Carnegie, Emily Post, and more—to demystify the origins of the great American fable.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action

×

SUPPORT GROWING READERS

Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

LightSail Blog
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Believe it or not, test prep season is upon us. With just a few adjustments to your normal LightSail reading block, you can use our platform to help students prepare… Read more
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
November was Native American Heritage Month. Did you know that more than five million people of Native American decent currently live in the United States? The U.S. is home to… Read more
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
At Rosen-LightSail, we are committed to celebrating diversity everyday. From September 15th – October 15th, we specifically celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx… Read more

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.