Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas

By Doss, Erika | The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, April 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas


Doss, Erika, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas * David Hackett Fischer * New York: Oxford University Press, 2005 * x, 851 pp. * $50.00

David Hackett Fischer's Liberty and Freedom is a sweeping, massive volume (851 pages, 118 chapters, more than 400 illustrations) focused on what the author views as two fundamentally American principles, or principles fundamental to the American national narrative. Treating liberty and freedom as folkways, as American values grounded in "a set of customs, traditions, and folk beliefs" (p. 716), Fischer delves into the ways in which these folkways were invented and then repeatedly reshaped and revitalized throughout the course of American history. Presenting in large part a synthetic overview of the nation's history from the pre-colonial period to post-9/11, Fischer especially focuses on how the principles of liberty and freedom have been envisioned by Americans, or, quite literally, symbolically represented in any number of visual and material culture realms: from the liberty trees, liberty poles, liberty bowls, and liberty bells that flourished during the American Revolution to the iconic Four Freedoms (freedom of speech, freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of worship) illustrated by Norman Rockwell for the Saturday Evening Post during World War II.

In many ways, this project is long overdue. In recent decades, historians have increasingly recognized the crucial roles played by visual and material cultures in the evolution of American national identity, in the formation of national attitudes and the dissemination of national assumptions; indeed, some estimate that we receive some three-fourths of our knowledge today from visual sources. An encyclopedic book of this sort, which illustrates and analyzes the varieties of visual sources that have shaped and directed the American national imaginary, is a valuable contribution to American cultural studies. Liberty and Freedom is also a catalog, written to accompany the exhibition American Visions of Liberty & Freedom, which was organized by the Virginia Historical Society and will travel during 2005-2007 to history museums in Richmond; Pittsburgh; Atlanta; Lexington, Mass.; and St. Louis.

Building on his acclaimed study, Albion's seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989), Fischer sees Liberty and Freedom as the third volume in his ambitious cultural history of the United States (the second volume, American Plantations, is still in progress, as is a fourth and final volume titled Deep Change). This most recently published volume expands on the diverse British and Irish folk-cultures introduced in Albion's seed and considers how concepts of liberty and freedom "flowered in the Revolution, expanded in the early republic, and multiplied" into the twenty-first century (p.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.