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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian Hardcover - $2 (near Toftrees in State College)

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Standing Stone Ln near Fox Hill Rd

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size / dimensions: 9.3 x 1.09 x 12.3 inches

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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian

by Steven Lubar (Author), Kathleen M. Kendrick (Author)

5 star rating on Amazon

Hardcover in Fantastic Condition!

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press; First Edition (September 17, 2001)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 156098886X
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 3.89 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.3 x 1.09 x 12.3 inches

Amazon.com Review
The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History houses some 3.2 million artifacts. Some, such as the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the first chunk of gold found at Sutter's Mill, are of indisputable importance; others, such as a sleeveless denim jacket worn by a late member of a motorcycle gang, may seem less significant to the casual observer.
But, write museum curators Steven Lubar and Kathleen Kendrick, every artifact in the museum's holdings is important in its own way. In this highly selective tour of the museum's inventory, they point out curiosities and treasures alike, all of them providing clues about the American past: a clamshell used in the Depression as currency, accepted as an object of value by the denizens of a California beach town; a fragment of a Confederate flag torn from its post by an angry Union sympathizer the day after Virginia voted for secession; the overstuffed chair from which actor Carroll O'Connor delivered Archie Bunker's diatribes on the sitcom All in the Family; a 1903 Teddy bear, made after then-president Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while out hunting; Tom Thumb's hat, Prince's guitar, Cesar Chavez's windbreaker, and dozens of other items that chronicle the ever-changing culture.

Accompanied by 260 photographs, the book makes for a delightful and informative survey not only of the Smithsonian's extensive holdings, but also of the nation's past. History buffs and collectors will revel in it. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly
This is a beautifully illustrated guide to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Through the stories behind more than 200 representative objects many not photographed previously for publication Lubar and Kendrick, both affiliated with the Smithsonian, propose to answer the question, "What do [the museum's] vast collections tell Americans about themselves?" Although popularly dubbed "the nation's attic," the museum houses items carefully selected by curators to reveal our national identity. Until recently, that history was told from the dominant perspective of white, mostly male Americans. However, say the authors, "objects collected to tell one story can tell another indeed, many others." Thus, by examining the kinds of artifacts collected, as well as debates over what is accessed, this volume illuminates historical attitudes about entitlement among the privileged, and about the ensuing struggles for power and recognition by the excluded. The eclectic collage of artifacts ranges from the curious (an 1860s phrenology model used to decipher personality and behavior) to the provocative (the uniform of a WWI woman contract-surgeon). Elegant acquisitions, such as first ladies' inaugural gowns, are preserved along with the mundane (the Veg-O-Matic) and popular culture (Archie and Edith Bunkers' chairs), as well as scientific and technological advances. In every case, stories are the key elements that transform each specimen into a legacy worth preserving. Moreover, the layers and complexities of underlying stories allow new levels of meaning to emerge, as views of history change. The book explores much about how we see ourselves, and how we, at this point in time, fit into the continuum of history. 240 color and 20 b&w photographs

post id: 7748538881

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