I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not
At long last in paperback, Richard Shenkman's bestselling sequel to Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History. Provocative and amusingly heretical, "I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not" (a quote attributed to Warren Harding) offers eye-opening revelations debunking long-held American legends.
future of Christianity did not hang on the infallibility of the Scriptures.” Indeed, not until the Fundamentalists came along did American theologians believe the findings of science could undermine biblical authority. Consider the Puritans, who are vulgarly regarded as Fundamentalists. According to Perry Miller, the single greatest authority on American religion, the Puritans never “dreamed that the truth of scripture was to be maintained in spite of or against the evidences of reason, science,
the house, once painted a bright color, is “gray as everything else”; Aunt Em is “gray”; Uncle Henry is “gray.” Here, if ever there was one, is the portrait of a farm family down on its luck. Consider the two evil witches. It’s no accident one is from the East; the Populists felt tormented by the bankers back East. Nor is it an accident the other is from the West; drought conditions in the West were helping drive the Populists to bankruptcy. Dorothy and her gang, interestingly, are saved when
survive. It was on this principle that he based his plan to require the federal government to assume the war debts of the individual states. If Hamilton had primarily been interested in balancing budgets, he never would have proposed a program anticipated to result in a dramatic increase in the government’s debt load.* That congressmen have a “sacred duty” to stay closely in touch with the people may be true, but the founders didn’t think so. If anything, the founders believed legislators on the
It is the enactment of Prohibition that befuddles. To think that Americans once thought they could legislate drinking out of existence. How ridiculous! Yet how ridiculous was it? Unknown to the cavalier cynics who mock the effort is the confounding fact that to a great extent it succeeded. For drinking did dramatically decline during Prohibition. Its success is statistically demonstrable. In 1910, before the enactment of state and national prohibition laws, Americans consumed 2.60 gallons of
local laborer moved west and made it. It was one Michael Welch, “who had been the treasurer of one of Newburyport’s volunteer fire companies; when he left for the frontier he took the treasury with him!” Welch wrote home to his parents that he was doing so well he would soon be able to repay the money he’d stolen. (Thernstrom, “The Dimensions of Occupational Mobility,” in An Interdisciplinary Approach to American History, eds. Ari Hoogenboom and Olive Hoogenboom , p. 69.) * When did the