An elegantly designed, beautifully composed volume of personal letters from famous American men and women that celebrates the American Experience and illuminates the rich history of some of America’s most storied families.
Posterity is at once an epistolary chronicle of America and a fascinating glimpse into the hearts and minds of some of history’s most admired figures. Spanning more than three centuries, these letters contain enduring lessons in life and love, character and compassion that will surprise and enlighten.
Included here are letters from Thomas Jefferson to his daughter, warning her of the evils of debt; General Patton on D-Day to his son, a cadet at West Point, about what it means to be a good soldier; W.E.B. DuBois to his daughter about character beneath the color of skin; Oscar Hammerstein about why, after all his success, he doesn’t stop working; Woody Guthrie from a New Jersey asylum to nine-year-old Arlo about universal human frailty; sixty-five-year-old Laura Ingalls Wilder’s train of thought about her pioneer childhood; Eleanor Roosevelt chastising her grown son for his Christmas plans; and Groucho Marx as a dog to his twenty-five-year-old son.
With letters that span more than three centuries of American history, Posterity is a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, wisdom, and family lives of those whose public accomplishments have touched us all. Here are renowned Americans in their own words and in their own times, seen as they were seen by their children. Here are our great Americans as mothers and fathers.
About the Author
Dorie McCullough Lawson is the author of Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children. The daughter of renowned historian David McCullough, she lives in Rockport, Maine, with her husband, the artist T. Allen Lawson, and their four children. This is her first novel.
“Each letter has a distinct tone, from congratulatory to scolding, which shines a light on one facet of each great American’s personality. A one-of-a-kind collection.” —Library Journal
“Years ago, parents wrote to their children letters of instruction about duty, industry, propriety—a ritual that has largely disappeared from American life, and this book reminds us of why we should be sorry about it.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette