The Pledge: A History of the Pledge of Allegiance

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Macmillan, Oct 12, 2010 - History - 224 pages
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For more than a century, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance has been a central part of the American Experience. And perhaps because of its ubiquity, this simple flag salute has served not only as a unifying ritual but also as a lightning rod for bitter controversy.

Congress's 1954 decision to add "under God" to the Pledge has made it the focus of three U.S. Supreme Court cases and at least one other landmark appellate decision. The debate continues today, but along with it exists a widely held admiration and support for this simple affirmation of our shared patriotism.

As Jeffrey Owen Jones and Peter Meyer show in their illuminating history, this brief salute to the flag has had an almost magical power to galvanize people's deepest feelings and beliefs about who we are and ought to be as a nation. In that sense, the story of the Pledge of Allegiance is the story of America and the American people.

 

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User Review  - Carlie - LibraryThing

The Pledge of Allegiance has been a hallmark for over 100 years. It was written by Francis Bellamy in 1842 when he worked for Youth’s Companion, a well-known magazine at the time. It was written as ... Read full review

Contents

1 AN AMERICAN RITUAL
1
2 THE ERA OF THE PLEDGE
17
3 HOW IT HAPPENED
35
4 THE REVEREND FRANCIS BELLAMY
45
5 A NATIONAL CELEBRATION
55
THE FABRIC OF LIFE
75
7 WHO WROTE IT?
98
8 THE COURTS AND THE CONSTITUTION
108
9 A VICTORY FOR JEHOVAH
125
10 POLITICAL BATTLES
140
11 UNDER GOD
160
12 THE ROLE OF THE PLEDGE TODAY
170
BIBLIOGRAPHY
189
INDEX
203
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

JEFFREY OWEN JONES worked as an editor, television and film producer, journalist, and teacher. A graduate of Williams College and Middlebury College, he received an Emmy Award for his work in New York local public television and had been published in Smithsonian magazine. He died in 2007.

PETER MEYER is a former news editor of Life magazine and the author of numerous nonfiction books, including the critically acclaimed The Yale Murder, Death of Innocence, and Dark Obsession. Meyer has also won journalism awards from the University of Missouri and the Robert Kennedy Foundation for his reporting and writing for such national publications as Harper's Magazine, Vanity Fair, New York, Life, Time, and People. He is currently Contributing Editor at Education Next magazine and the Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

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