Here, grounded firmly in American history, is a skilled folklorist's survey of the entire field of America's folklore—from colonization to mass culture.
Tracing the forms and content of American folklore, Mr. Dorson reveals the richness, pathos, and humor of genuine folklore, which he distinguishes from the "fakelore" of popularizers and chauvinists. At the same time, however, he shows what the creation of spurious folklore (the Paul Bunyan legends, for instance) discloses about our national character. Based upon authentic field collections and research, the examples cited include folkways, jests, boasts, tall tales, ballads, folk and legendary heroes.
"His volume enlarges our understanding of the American past and present through an empirical survey of the extant folk traditions and it also provides us with the means for appreciating what is valuable in these folk traditions."—Virginia Quarterly Review
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The Rise of Native Folk Humor
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A Gallery of Folk Heroes
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almanac American Folklore anecdotes appeared backwoods ballads Bambakou Barney beliefs blue called Carolina century church collection colonial colored comic Corombos corrido Cotton Mather culture dance Davy Crockett death Devil dialect Dorson England English European farmer father Folklore Quarterly folklorist folksongs folktale frontier giant Greek heard hero horse humor immigrant Increase Mather Indian James Jesse Jesse James John Johnny Johnny Appleseed Jonesport killed land Lead Belly legend living lore lumberjacks Mexican Mexico Michigan Mississippi Missouri Mormon Mountain narrative native Negro folklore Nephites newspaper night North Old Marster oral tradition Ozark Paul Bunyan Pennsylvania Dutch Pennsylvania Germans popular printed River saints Sam Patch says slave snake songs southern Spirit stories storyteller tale tall tall tales tell texts Three Nephites told town traveler tree turn Uncle Uncle Remus western wife witches woods World Yankee yarns York
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