The Forgotten Founding Father by Joshua Kendall
Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture

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Mr. Kendall is a careful writer, and a gifted storyteller, with a talent for turning what could easily have been a plodding biography into an engaging, almost novel-like read. I
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Synopsis

Noah Webster's name is now synonymous with the dictionary he created, but his story is not nearly so ubiquitous. Now acclaimed author of The Man Who Made Lists, Joshua Kendall sheds new light on Webster's life, and his far-reaching influence in establishing the American nation.

Webster hobnobbed with various Founding Fathers and was a young confidant of George Washington and Ben Franklin. He started New York's first daily newspaper, predating Alexander Hamilton's New York Post. His "blue-backed speller" for schoolchildren sold millions of copies and influenced early copyright law. But perhaps most important, Webster was an ardent supporter of a unified, definitively American culture, distinct from the British, at a time when the United States of America were anything but unified-and his dictionary of American English is a testament to that.

 

About Joshua Kendall

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Joshua C. Kendall is the author of The Man Who Made Lists (Putnam, 2008), about the creation of Roget's Thesaurus, and The Forgotten Founding Father (Putnam, 2011), a biography of Noah Webster, the lexicographer responsible for Webster's Dictionary. He is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times,Financial Times, Psychology Today and BusinessWeek, among others publications. He is an Associate Fellow of Yale's Trumbull College.
 
Published April 14, 2011 by Berkley. 372 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Above average
Reviewed by Barton Swaim on Apr 14 2011

Mr. Kendall is a careful writer, and a gifted storyteller, with a talent for turning what could easily have been a plodding biography into an engaging, almost novel-like read. I

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