THE HERO IN AMERICA by Dixon Wecter
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THE HERO IN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here is the American prototype of Carlyle's Heroes and Here Worship. The author of Saga of American Society resurveys the American scene, and analyzes a few of the great ones who helped create and mold those symbols which are our basis for hero worship. This is not an attempt to define the role of the hero, but rather to attempt to get the elements that are important to the American public, the factors that make one man a hero, down the years, and another man whose contribution was as great, fall to qualify. ""The hero as leader is he who can hitch the great bandwagon to the star of American idealism."" This is his summation. In handling each of the figures he has chosen, he supplies something of biography, of characterization, of contribution. Then he shows how various commentators and circumstances have made or marred the image. Included in his subjects are not only much obvious candidates as Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Jackson, Lee, Lincoln, but others who represent groups such as the Founding Fathers, the Frontiersmen, the Dine Novel characters, the legendary heroes, and so on. Most interesting, perhaps, are his discussions of the people who failed to qualify, -- Wilson, Hamilton, Lindbergh (a fading image), the Gods of the Machine. He ends with a very objective portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose place in the picture is still in the making. I found it fascinating reading, a fresh approach to the American scene. Draw to attention of those who like Adams and Bower.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1941
Publisher: Scribner