Cover image for America the beautiful : the stirring true story behind our nations's favorite song
Title:
America the beautiful : the stirring true story behind our nations's favorite song
Author:
Sherr, Lynn.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Public Affairs, 2001.
Physical Description:
125 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1210 Lexile.
ISBN:
9781586480851
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library PS1077.B4 A837 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Concord Library PS1077.B4 A837 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Eden Library PS1077.B4 A837 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Kenmore Library PS1077.B4 A837 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Anna M. Reinstein Library PS1077.B4 A837 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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City of Tonawanda Library PS1077.B4 A837 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

We've all sung it a thousand times, and most of us know at least the first verse by heart. "America the Beautiful" has been called a hymn, a prayer, even the "national heartbeat set to music." Numerous proposals and half a dozen bills in Congress have tried to replace our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," with this more lyrical, less militaristic song. But who knows the story behind the song? In America the Beautiful, Lynn Sherr tells the story of Katharine Lee Bates, a poet and pioneering young English professor at the newly established Wellesley College, who penned "America the Beautiful" at age 33, as she gazed over the glorious panorama from the top of Pike's Peak, Colorado. The poem, published two years later on July 4, 1895, struck a chord. Americans embraced it and immediately set it to music, trying out at least 74 different melodies. There were even Mexican, Canadian, and Australian versions. Analyzing the lyrics of "America the Beautiful" and the story of Katharine Lee Bates's unusual life, Lynn Sherr opens a window onto the shifting world of late 19th century America. She explores the lingering impact of the Civil War and the dramatic developments in commerce and technology, which shaped the American Century and the popularity of one brilliant, stirring song.


Author Notes

Lynn Sherr , correspondent for ABC News 20/20 , has written books on several subjects about which she is passionate, including Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes and Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in her Own Words . She lives in New York City.


Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-This attractive book tells of Katherine Lee Bates's journeys preceding and following the writing of "America the Beautiful." Scherr brings a visual as well as literary focus to the story of this song, which has evolved into an unofficial national anthem, especially since the tragic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Bates was an English professor at Wellesley College and a prolific poet and scholar, but she will always be remembered for contributing much to the patriotic feelings of both her times and ours. In understated prose and evocative illustrations, the author transports readers back to the not-so-halcyon days at the turn of the last century and the not always graceful coming-of-age of the United States. The history of the anthem from poem to icon is clearly traced while the times are brought to life in plentiful period illustrations and photographs, both in color and black and white; posters; song sheets; facsimiles; and maps. This book might be useful for history, music, literature, or sociology assignments, but it is also a joy to look through and to read for pure interest.-Susan H. Woodcock, Chantilly Regional Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
The Poemp. 13
The Musicp. 39
The Songp. 55
The Meaningp. 71
The Anthemp. 81
The Legacyp. 95
Acknowledgmentsp. 115
Photo Creditsp. 117
Selected Bibliographyp. 119
Indexp. 121
A Note about the Authorp. 125

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