“[Mayo] leads his audience with ease and grace through some basic historical questions to present a capsule evaluation, divorced as far as modern scholarship has succeeded, from myth and legend.”
—Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
In the role of “historian-detective” Bernard Mayo presents in lecture form three case histories in hero-worship. These abundantly illustrate the uses and abuses of history, revealing how the flesh-and-blood men, humanly fallible yet with the inspiring qualities of greatness, have been distorted and obscured by conflicting interpretations and by myths that defame and myths that glorify. The bright and dark images of three early American patriots are noted. The men themselves are evaluated as shapers of American tradition: Patrick Henry, the Trumpet of the Revolution; George Washington, the Sword; Thomas Jefferson, the Pen. Attention is given also to the makers of the myths, both idolaters and iconoclasts, and to the history of their myth-making. These lectures, delivered at Mercer University, were the second series of the annual Eugenia Dorothy Blount Lamar Memorial Lectures.
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