Shakespeare and the Making of America (Hardcover)

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This book traces the history of reading Shakespeare in British North America during the 18th century, a story that goes from Drury Lane Theatre in London to the backwoods of South Carolina to the back alleys of Boston to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Hayes looks at how the Founding Fathers read, understood, and applied the words of Shakespeare to suit a new nation. Shakespeare’s plays were not just read for entertainment; they were also appreciated for their insights into the human condition.. American writers quoted Shakespeare to justify their actions during the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act crisis, and the Revolutionary War. Echoes of Shakespeare can be heard in some of the most fundamental documents in American history: the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

About the Author

Kevin J. Hayes, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, now lives and writes in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of George Washington: A Life in Books, which has won the 2018 George Washington Book Prize; The Mind of a Patriot: Patrick Henry and the World of Ideas; and The Road to Monticello: Thomas Jefferson and the Life of the Mind.

Praise For…

Praise for The Road to Monticello:

"The world's leading expert on the book culture of early America, Kevin J. Hayes brings an unsurpassed knowledge and sensitivity to the story of Thomas Jefferson's life of the mind. Incorporating much exciting new information, Hayes's biography makes a major contribution to scholarship, but it also appeals to general readers. The Road to Monticello is intellectual biography in the grand manner."--Leo Lemay, Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Professor, University of Delaware

"The book's freshness and immediacy lie in the author's emphasis on the libraries Jefferson accumulated and the marginal notes he left in the books he read. Hayes takes us through Jefferson's hugely wide and eclectic reading with an ease and lightness often missing.... The Road to Monticello will enlighten and delight all those drawn to Jefferson and the early years of so many classic American ideas."--Publishers Weekly

"In what will surely be the definitive work on the subject, Hayes presents a scrupulously researched examination of the reading habits and thinking of our third President, effectively a biography of Thomas Jefferson's intellect over the course of his life. Although Jefferson's public career has always been granted close examination, Hayes demonstrates that Jefferson's life of the mind also merits the close study provided here."--Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781445688060
ISBN-10: 1445688069
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication Date: November 15th, 2020
Pages: 288
Language: English