@ the corner of Curiosity and History

With  Keith Beutler

116 Putative Locks of George Washington's Hair in 10 Seconds!

Keith Beutler, George Washington's Hair: How Early Americans Remembered the Founders (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021)


"How do you cherish the memory of your dead father? Keith Beutler’s fascinating book suggests this is more complicated than we might expect. In investigating this unexplored aspect of the founding, Beutler reveals there is more here than meets the eye."

--Robert G. Parkinson, Binghamton University · The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution

"Riffing on George Washington’s hair, Beutler follows nineteenth century antiquarians, free Blacks, educators, and evangelicals as they tried to hold on to the founding era while making sense of their own. This lively book wears its erudition lightly."

--Catherine E. Kelly, William and Mary · Republic of Taste: Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America

"Keith Beutler teases new meaning from venerable historical relics, clipped and collected since the winter at Valley Forge. George Washington’s hair emerges as a pocket-sized counterpart to Mount Vernon or the Washington Monument, all memory-objects that richly illuminate the story of American national identity."

--Susan P. Schoelwer, George Washington's Mount Vernon 

"...A fascinating, witty history of the bodily basis for memory and commemoration in the Early Republic."

--Conevery Bolton Valenčius, Boston College · The Health Of The Country How American Settlers Understood Themselves And Their Land 

"Beutler convincingly argues that an array of scientific, philosophical, and religious ideas about the very nature of memory shaped how Americans used physical objects to open up possibilities for more 'democratic' participation in the Revolutionary commemorations that were so important to national political and cultural life."

--The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press

“Though historians have explored how democracy transformed American life and by extension patriotic memory, Beutler contends the opposite, arguing that the 'popular redefinition of the faculty of memory itself causally contributed to the young nation’s democratization.'…A significant contribution to the historiography.”

--The William and Mary Quarterly, Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Beutler's research and descriptive skills are formidable....George Washington's Hair is a meaningful advancement in the study of objects as fulsome historical documents in their own right."

--Journal of American History, Oxford University Press


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