The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture
Noah Webster's name is now synonymous with the dictionary he created, but although there is much more to his story than that singular achievement, his rightful place in American hi...more
I don’t like Noah Webster. He’s arrogant and antisocial. He’s obsessive-compulsive and anal-retentive. He’s a shameless self-promoter, a notorious griper and, later in life, a pious blowhard. And as Joshua Kendall shows us in his fine biography Forgotten Founding Father, those were exactly the kinds of traits that made Noah Webster so good at what he did. Indeed, as a compulsive compiler and hunter and gatherer of information, We...more
What keeps me from giving this book 5 stars is that Kendall did not support th...more
Secondly, this book was about as interesting as choosing between bisque and eggshell paint. While there were moments that piqued interest they couldn't be maintained.
Anyway, I hope my next non-fiction selection is better tha...more
Since I have so many ancestors who lived in New England at teh same time, I did fin...more
I take some exception to the title of the book as somewhat misleading bu...more
Mr. Webster had the good fortune of being able to direct his worst personal qualities and neurosis into productive activity. Words were like a balm to his nervous disposition – when he felt anxious he would fill a tub full of adjectives, take a long soak and towel off with a spelling b...more
Noah Webster: commonly thought of as the author of Webster's Dictionary was more than your typical colonist. Joshua Kendall's drawn out Biography into the life of Noah Webster not only provides an imperviously detailed exposition into the life of the lexicographer but it also accomplishes it's goal described in the title by portraying him as a man who was "obsessed with the creation of an American culture."
Aside from the Dictionary, Kendall makes effort to show Webster's other contributions to s...more
This is a full biography of Webster, not just an examination of his most famous work, and in fact it's not until about two-thirds of the way through the book that we see his dictionary begin to take shape. Logophiles may skim through the earlier stages of Webster's life to get to the good stuff, but they will miss out on the foundation of Kendall's compelling argument; namely that his masterpiece would never have been completed if it weren...more
Kendall presents an extensive portrait of the life and influence of Noah Webster. The man was a bit of a control freak (I guess you’d have to be to single-handedly create the American dictionary), but also an amazing self-promoter. Webster was friend to Washington, consulted by many of the Founders, and really helped defined what it meant t...more
overall, it was okay.
I loved the book, but bore with the narration.
He wasn't really a stellar success story during his life but he managed well enough. NW added much to the dictionary other than definitions.