What one reviewer at amazon said about Hero Tales from American History:
Some quotations from Adam Starchild's wonderful afterword to this book are appropriate:
"Children today are starved for the image of real heroes. Celebrities are not the same thing as heroes. Heroes existed way before celebrities ever did, even though celebrities now outshine heroes in children's consciousness."
"Worshiping celebrities leaves children with a distinctly empty feeling -- it doesn't teach that they'll have to make sacrifices if they want to achieve anything worthwhile. No- talents become celebrities all the time. The result is that people don't seem to care about achievement or talent -- fame is the only objective."
"... Despite immense differences in cultures, heroes around the world generally share a number of traits that instruct and inspire people. A hero does something worth talking about, but a hero goes beyond mere fame or celebrity. The hero lives a life worthy of imitation. If they serve only their own fame, they may be celebrities but not heroes. Heroes are catalysts for change. They create new possibilities. They have a vision, and the skill and charm to implement their vision."
"Heroes may also be fictional. Children may identify with a character because of the values projected. People tend to grow to be like the people that they admire, but if a child never has any heroes what images will he copy? Adults need heroes too, but the need is even more urgent for children because they don't know how to think abstractly. But they can imagine what their hero would do in the circumstances, and it gives them a useful reference point to build abstract thinking skills."
Download Hero Tales From American History from Project Gutenberg
or find a paper copy
Other books by Henry Cabot: