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Shakespeare and the Making of America

Kevin J. Hayes



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Amberley Publishing
15 August 2020
In Shakespeare and the Making of America, Kevin J. Hayes tells a story that has never been told before. He traces the history of reading Shakespeare in British North America during the eighteenth century, a story that goes from Drury Lane Theatre in London to the backwoods of South Carolina to the back alleys of Boston to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The most prominent figures in the story are the Founding Fathers of the United States of America: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington. Hayes looks at how these men read, understood and applied the words of Shakespeare to suit a new nation. Shakespeare's plays were not just read for entertainment value; they were also appreciated for their insights into the human condition. When it came time to assert American rights to liberty and freedom in the face of British tyranny, the words of Shakespeare were always handy to make a point or seal an argument. American writers quoted Shakespeare to justify their actions during the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act crisis and the Revolutionary War. Echoes of Shakespeare can be heard in some of the most fundamental documents in American history: the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
By:   Kevin J. Hayes
Imprint:   Amberley Publishing
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   533g
ISBN:   9781445688060
ISBN 10:   1445688069
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   15 August 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Kevin J. Hayes, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma, now lives and writes in Toledo, Ohio. He has written several books concerning early American intellectual history, including George Washington, A Life in Books, which has won the 2018 George Washington Book Prize; The Mind of a Patriot: Patrick Henry and the World of Ideas; and The Road to Monticello: Thomas Jefferson and the Life of the Mind.

Reviews for Shakespeare and the Making of America

Praise for The Road to Monticello: The world's leading expert on the book culture of early America, Kevin J. Hayes brings an unsurpassed knowledge and sensitivity to the story of Thomas Jefferson's life of the mind. Incorporating much exciting new information, Hayes's biography makes a major contribution to scholarship, but it also appeals to general readers. The Road to Monticello is intellectual biography in the grand manner. --Leo Lemay, Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Professor, University of Delaware The book's freshness and immediacy lie in the author's emphasis on the libraries Jefferson accumulated and the marginal notes he left in the books he read. Hayes takes us through Jefferson's hugely wide and eclectic reading with an ease and lightness often missing.... The Road to Monticello will enlighten and delight all those drawn to Jefferson and the early years of so many classic American ideas. --Publishers Weekly In what will surely be the definitive work on the subject, Hayes presents a scrupulously researched examination of the reading habits and thinking of our third President, effectively a biography of Thomas Jefferson's intellect over the course of his life. Although Jefferson's public career has always been granted close examination, Hayes demonstrates that Jefferson's life of the mind also merits the close study provided here. --Library Journal

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