Notable | America the beautiful
On Independence Day, these books remind us that it wasn't just the famous Founding Fathers who shaped our nation.
Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 (Simon & Schuster Paperbacks) by Pauline Maier is a lively and eye-opening account of how popular debates influenced our democracy's essential document.
Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation (Knopf), edited by Alfred F. Young, Gary B. Nash and Ray Raphael, collects original essays by 22 notable historians about the many voices — farmers, artisans, women, Indians, blacks — who made social equality and popular democracy a part of the revolution's ideals.
We Are America: A Tribute From the Heart (HarperCollins Children) by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers is a lovely picture book by the award-winning father-and-son team about the diversity that makes the nation great.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor