From Choice Magazine, June 2007 THE AMERICAN REVELATION (St. Martins Press, paperback)
Here's an ideal summer read for Fourth of July.
Neil Baldwin's latest installment in his overall project of a "cumulative biography of America" takes him to the lives of ten significant (but, for the most part, nonobvious) individuals, ranging from John Winthrop to George Marshall, who have expressed fundamental US ideals. This is sophisticated patriotic history. Baldwin casts a wide net and produces some outstanding gems of miniature biographies, especially in his compelling chapter on Carter Woodson, founder of modern professional African American history. Scholars will find this work useful for lecture nuggets, and general readers should appreciate it as a soothing work of reasoned but uplifting discourse to shame the irritating partisan hacks who dominate public discourse on what "America" is supposed to represent. Summing Up: Highly recommended.