Invisible Giants

Invisible Giants : Fifty Americans Who Shaped the Nation but Missed the History Books

3.08 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Because history is as fallible as the people who record it, many of the figures who have shaped our country have receded from public memory. In order to celebrate and call attention to these lives, Oxford University Press asked fifty accomplished personalities from a diverse range of interests to each select a person from the 24-volume American National Biography that they felt deserved more attention. In Invisible Giants, the biographies of these forgotten figures appear alongside the often-personal comments of their selectors. We discover the man who inspired Sherwin Nuland to become a doctor, the writer Jacques Barzun considers America's first cultural critic, and the woman who taught Tina Brown to bare her teeth. We learn of the poetry recited to Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as a boy, the magazine Helen Gurley Brown required every one of her editors to subscribe to, and the book Andy Rooney deems "better than the Bible and easier to understand." Edited by Mark C. Carnes and published with the American Council of Learned Societies, Invisible Giants presents the architects of our country's past through the eyes of the architects of its more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 200 x 24mm | 358.34g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0195168836
  • 9780195168839

Review quote

"Fascinating reading.... Profile[s] the likes of blues singer Blind Lemon Jefferson; James Agee, author of A Death in the Family and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; Leon Czolgosz, who assassinated President William McKinley; Emma Goldman, anarchist and feminine activist; one-time heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano; and Frank Winfield Woolworth, founder of the five-and-dime empire."-The Dallas Morning News "A fascinating volume whose principal virtue is respect for significant lives that have been lost and now found."-USA Today "A volume designed for enlightening browsing."-Publishers Weekly "Interestingly inquisitive...with surprises for even the most widely read."-Booklist "An intriguing and highly readable view on lesser-known figures from U.S. history."-Library Journal "Even history buffs will find a few surprises in this collection of essays about influential figures who haven't snagged many headlines. Fifty thoughtful Americans write about figures who might deserve more recognition for their accomplishments. With this volume, the contributions of figures from Roger Nash Baldwin and Arthur Goldberg to Dawn Powell and DeWitt Wallace will no longer go unnoticed."-Chicago Tribune "An amazingly diverse gallery of important yet underappreciated Americans."-National Reviewshow more

About Mark C. Carnes

Mark C. Carnes is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of History at Barnard College. In addition to his scholarly works and serving as General Editor of the American National Biography, he is the editor of numerous innovative books bringing together diverse groups of people to discuss history, including Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies and Novel History: Historians and Novelists Confront America's Past. He lives in the Hudson Valley, New more

Rating details

12 ratings
3.08 out of 5 stars
5 8% (1)
4 17% (2)
3 50% (6)
2 25% (3)
1 0% (0)
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