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America The Beautiful The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation's Favorite Song (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. Oktober 2001


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Synopsis

In this beautiful, patriotic gift book, colorfuly illustrated throughout, ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr explores the fascinating history of our unofficial national anthem. We've all sung it a thousand times, and most of us know at least the first verse by heart. "America the Beautiful" has been called a hymn, a prayer, even the "national heartbeat set to music. " Numerous proposals and half a dozen bills in Congress have tried to replace our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," with this more lyrical, less militaristic song. But who knows the story behind the song? In America the Beautiful, Lynn Sherr tells the story of Katharine Lee Bates, a poet and pioneering young English professor at the newly established Wellesley College, who penned "America the Beautiful" at age 33, as she gazed over the glorious panorama from the top of Pike's Peak, Colorado. The poem, published two years later on July 4, 1895, struck a chord. Americans embraced it and immediately set it to music, trying out at least 74 different melodies. There were even Mexican, Canadian, and Australian versions.

Analyzing the lyrics of "America the Beautiful" and the story of Katharine Lee Bates's unusual life, Lynn Sherr opens a window onto the shifting world of late 19th century America. She explores the lingering impact of the Civil War and the dramatic developments in commerce and technology, which shaped the American Century and the popularity of one brilliant, stirring song.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Lynn Sherr, correspondent for ABC News 20/20 , has written books on several subjects about which she is passionate, including Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes and Failure is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in her Own Words . She lives in New York City.

In diesem Buch

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Einleitungssatz
At 3 p.m. on a sunny afternoon in June 1893, Katharine Lee Bates boarded a train in Boston to embark on a remarkable journey. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Amazon.com: 8 Rezensionen
19 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A book as beautiful as the poet, composer and country 12. November 2001
Von Jon Hunt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The story behind "America the Beautiful" is as emotionally moving as the song it produced and Lynn Sherr has captured all of this in her timely new book. I read it this evening and found myself on more than one occasion needing to go to my piano and play and sing through this wonderful national song.
Many facts leap out at the reader...the poet and author of "America the Beautiful", Katharine Lee Bates, never met the composer, Samuel A. Ward, and except for one $5 fee, neither received any money for it...Mr. Ward died before the tune and text ever appeared together in print...and that dozens of other tunes were proposed to be wedded to Miss Bates's poem yet it wasn't until shortly before her death in 1929 that tune and text became the accepted national version that we sing today.
There are many more rich details to this story and Ms. Sherr has put them forward with colorful prints throughout the book, many of them reminders of the times in which these two gifted people lived. Fate certainly played several pivotal parts. The biggest was Miss Bates's trip west in the summer of 1893 where she was inspired in at least three places to pen lines that exist in the song today... "alabaster cities" (from seeing the "White City" of the Chicago World's Fair), "amber waves of grain" (while passing through Kansas on a train) and "spacious skies", "purple mountain majesties" and "above the fruited plain" from her view atop Pikes' Peak. But we also learn that it is quite plausible that Samuel Ward wrote the tune on a friend's linen cuff as he left Coney Island one day aboard a boat. And if it hadn't been for a conscientious clergyman from Rochester New York, the words and music might never have been paired. I'm glad that a few other musical attempts that tried to be tied with the poem are printed in this book...play through them and you'll see why Mr. Ward's music is clearly superior.
After the story itself is finished, Ms. Sherr goes on to give her thoughts on the meaning of the song and the fight to get it established as our National Anthem to replace the "Star-Spangled Banner". This point has been fought over for a long time and will continue to be. For those of us who much prefer "America the Beautiful" it is reassuring to know that in almost every gathering I have attended since September 11 where music has been sung, "America the Beautiful" is one people request. It's no wonder. This great song reflects on the America in which we live, hope and dream. Lynn Sherr has done a magnificent job.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"It is not food for the soul, but wine" 18. Januar 2004
Von mwreview - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Lynn Sherr describes the poem, music, meaning, history, and legacy of the song "America the Beautiful" in this unique book. In many ways this book is a glimpse at the Progressive era in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Katharine Lee Bates, author of the poem, was a progressive intellectual who supported many views which were considered radical in her time (i.e. women's rights, pacifism, social service, etc.). Sherr follows Bates on her travels to a teacher's sojourn in Colorado, where Bates received inspiration for her poem. On her way, Bates visited the 1893 Columbia Exposition in Chicago where she was awed by the "White City" (not so much a racist classification-at least not as Bates regarded it-but an interpretation of the ideal urban civilization). This experience found its way in the fourth stanza of Bates' poem as "alabaster cities." Bates also visited Jane Addams' Hull House on this trip. Samuel Ward, of which little is known, is also discussed briefly. Ward wrote the music that would later be used for "America the Beautiful" in the form of a hymn entitled "Materna" (with the lyrics for "Oh Mother, Dear Jerusalem.") His inspiration came during a visit to Coney Island.
What I found to be fascinating is how Bates' poem captured the hearts of so many people even before it was set to music that many wished was our national anthem. Bates received hundreds of letters praising her poem from all age groups. I cannot imagine any poem moving the people of the nation today except, perhaps, if it were in the form of a rap. I found the explanation on how Bates' poem and Ward's music were united to be very interesting. Sherr also includes the original version of the poem and the different changes Bates incorporated. Sherr put a lot of care into this book, including many photos, postcards, sheet music, and other paraphernalia related to the story. She also interviewed people like the composer of "A Chorus Line" about the song: "it's very relaxed at ["the fruited plain"] point, and then it just bursts forward" (pg. 56). Music expert Marvin Hamlisch gives his opinion on other musical renditions of the poem (pg. 62). Sherr does not hide her political leanings in this book (she mentions that Al Gore used a line from the song as part of his concession speech, which she must have deemed a highlight in the song's legacy). Sherr is also blatantly sycophantic when describing the life of Bates, but this book is still a very interesting, well-written, and beautifully constructed tribute to one of our most famous patriotic songs. It has 113 pages of text and is well illustrated. I recommend shopping around for the best deal.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An amazing, exciting and intriguing history of the song 11. April 2002
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
America The Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation's Favorite Song by journalist and author Lynn Sherr, is an historical account of a patriotic American classic and recommended for both school and community library American history collections. Individual chapters delve into the history of the original poem, the music that made the song, the meaning of the anthem and the legacy of this patriotic work. Filled with color photographs, reproductions of primary sources and a fascinating wealth of lore, America The Beautiful is an amazing, exciting and intriguing history of the song that defines the United States.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The author speaks! 22. Juni 2014
Von LBS - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
thanks to all for the wonderful reviews -- and just a note about one poster who commented on some errors. First, "Firchburg" on p. 13 of the Kindle edition, is a typo; it's "Fitchburg," and is accurate in the original print edition. I never was given the Kindle edition to proof. Second, Troy Female Seminar (now Emma Willard School), p. 14, was/is a college-prep level school for women; Mt. Holyoke was the first for women at college/university level. Facts are accurate! Thanks again.
Lynn Sherr
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
beware there are glaring errors 21. Januar 2014
Von dqh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read just three pages of the text and found two glaring
errors. Thus, I shall not be using anything in the book for
the research I am doing. Glaring is the word as she writes:
"Katharine Lee Bates boarded a train in Boston..." "She
barely made it to the Firchburg Railroad Station..." Hey
Fitchburg is NOT in Boston. (p. 13)
Even more glaring (p. 16) she states that Mount Holyoke
Female Seminary is ..."the first institution of higher education
for women only." It was founded in 1837. The Troy (NY) Female
Seminary was founded in 1821 for the exact same purpose.
So, Mount Holyoke FS was NOT the first.
I shall not be reading any more of this worthless piece.
I worry that some will believe what she has written. So sad.
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