Those of you with a few more years under your belts may remember a series we did during the 60s and 70s called the John Harvard Library. Sadly it's sort of petered out, but in its heyday we used it to collect important documents in American history as well as the writings of significant figures from said history and place them under one rubric -- a sort of "library of America" that presaged the emergence of the excellent collections by that name that began to show up in the 80s. At the time, colonial stuff tended to make up the backbone of our series, with an old-but-still-worth-reading biography of George Washington, the collected writings of Anne Bradstreet, and Bernard Bailyn's collection of pamphlets from the American Revolution proving among the most popular entries.
But wait ... now, Lazarus-like, the John Harvard Library arises once more, in newly-commissioned and designed editions that provide to you, friend, the writings that have shaped our consciousness as a nation, complete with explanation and context from some of our smartest scholars, for a really cheap price. Such a move now seems rather in keeping with both the newfound reverence for American ideals and the grim, sober determination that characterized the new president's inaugural speech. So maybe this is our contribution to a new zeitgeist, or something.
Unlike previous incarnations, the new editions in the JHL will have a uniform look, with cover illustrations courtesy of artist Robert Carter. Below is an example; the rest follow after the break.
Introduction by Robert B. Stepto