Made in America

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Harper Collins, Mar 1, 1996 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 432 pages
3 Reviews
Bill Bryson, who gave glorious voice to The Mother Tongue, now celebrates her magnificent offspring in the book that reveals once and for all how a dusty western hamlet with neither woods nor holly came to be known as Hollywood...and exactly why Mr. Yankee Doodle call his befeathered cap "Macaroni."
 

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Made in America: an informal history of the English language in the United States

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Journalist Bryson (Mother Tongue, Morrow, 1990) presents an engagingly written chronological history of the United States, focusing on popular culture and language. Along the way, he attempts to ... Read full review

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I found this a bit too dense with facts to be a leisurely read. There were a lot of interesting things through the whole book but I don't think it had quite enough anecdotal content, which is what tends to make his other books easier and more enjoyable to read. This is much more like an intellectual text about the evolution of the American language while some of his other books are more like recreational books with an educational slant. Not that this is a bad thing it just wasn't quite what I expected. I haven't checked the dates of publication but I would guess this might be an early book written before he'd found the writing style that he's become known for. I think I should stress that I still got a lot from the book and it was very interesting. 

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Contents

The Mayflower and Before
1
Becoming Americans
13
America in the
30
Making a Nation
48
Forging a National
64
The Age of Invention
82
Names
100
Manifest Destiny Taming the West
119
13 Manners and Other Matters
219
Advertising in America
235
The Movies
248
Sport and Play
263
Politics and War
287
Sex and Other Distractions
304
From Kitty Hawk to the Jumbo Jet
324
The 1950s
334

Immigration in America
134
Travel in America
156
Eating in America
180
Shopping in America
206
American English Today
352
Select Bibliography
385
Index
395
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Bill Bryson is the bestselling author of At Home, A Walk in the Woods, The Lost Continent, Made in America, The Mother Tongue, and A Short History of Nearly Everything, winner of the Aventis Prize. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Bryson lives in England with his wife and children.

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