The Fourth of July : And the Founding of America
Every year on 4 July, Americans celebrate the founding of their country. But why has the fourth been so punctual a moment in the nation's calendar when the Declaration of Independence was actually made on 2 July?On the fourth, the Second Continental Congress completed its discussion of the document Thomas Jefferson had presented. The final text was not solely his, however, and the fifty-six signatures at the bottom of the document were not signed that day. It was an ordinary Thursday in July. But after fifty years the day had begun to assume totemic significance. And from then on the story of the developing ritual celebration offers a fascinating window into the history of the nation.In this original book Peter de Bolla teases out the true history of the day from 1776 through the Civil War, the Cold War and into our own time.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 130 x 194mm
- 26 Jun 2008
- Profile Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
"'[a] most witty monograph on that most patriotic of days... America does unperplexed patriotism better than any imperial power since Rome. So what if it's no more genuine than the Wizard of Oz's wizardry. It works. That is all history cares about. And that is the conclusion which de Bolla reaches in his elegant, ironic, brief but deeply researched meditation on what makes America America.' Financial Times"
About Peter De Bolla
Peter de Bolla is a Fellow of King's, Cambridge, and a Reader in Cultural History. Apart from his academic publications, he was a founder Editor of Granta and writes about wine.