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A is for American


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About the Author

Jill Lepore is an associate professor of history at Boston University. She is the author of The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity, which won the Bancroft Prize, Phi Beta Kappa's Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians' Book Prize, and the New England Historical Association's Book Award. She is cofounder and coeditor of the Web magazine Common-place (, and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


"Engaging. . . . Deftly evokes a rich and colorful tradition, the American as inventor, unifier, optimist and idealist." -Newsday

"Remarkable. . . . I read it at one sitting, mesmerized by the scholarship, the erudition and the elegant simplicity of this story of seven consummately noble American lives, each one of them, as Jill Lepore reveals, a pilgrimage in the grand search for a nation-creating linguistic ideal." -Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman "Wonderfully engrossing." -Boston Globe

"Lepore is a terrific storyteller, alert to trenchant details but also able to convey the connections between events, the sweep of an epoch." -The New York Times Book Review "This is a book to ponder and re-leaf and return to." -Times Literary Supplement "A great read." -Chicago Tribune "Eloquent. . . Smart and suggestive. . . Readers will enjoy an intriguing journey filled with many small gems of understanding." -The New Republic

"Insightful and engaging. . . . Lepore's handling of [these men's] distinctive careers gives them the place they deserve in the national consciousness."-St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Lepore's fresh work is suggestive of new ways of imagining what unites and divides us, what binds us to this earth."-Raleigh News & Observer "Entertaining. . . a charming book about the quirky origins of some influential early American inventions."-The Washington Times

"Lepore has . . . produced a work of cultural history that is both diverting and informative." -Book

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