American Folklore

Richard M. Dorson

American Folklore
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Richard M. Dorson

324 pages | 5-1/2 x 8 | © 1959
Paper $32.50 ISBN: 9780226158594 Published January 1961
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
Contents
Preface
A. Foreword on Folklore
I. Colonial Folklore
II. The Rise of Native Folk Humor
III. Regional Folk Cultures
IV. Immigrant Folklore
V. The Negro
VI. A Gallery of Folk Heroes
VII. Modern Folklore
Important Dates
Bibliographical Notes
Table of Motifs and Tale Types
Acknowledgments
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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