Jess McHugh- Americanon
Play • 10 min

Jess McHugh explores the true history of thirteen of America’s most popular books, chronologically tracing their origins and influence as no one has before, in her engrossing debut book AMERICANON: An Unexpected U.S. History in Thirteen Bestselling Books (Dutton). These didactic texts—our simple dictionaries, spellers, almanacs, and how-to manuals—are unexamined touchstones for American cultures and customs that have established archetypes for the ideal American, from the self-made entrepreneur to the humble farmer.

About the Author: Jess McHugh is a writer and researcher whose work has appeared across a variety of national and international publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Nation, TIME, The Paris Review, The Guardian, The New Republic, New York Magazine's The Cut, Fortune, Village Voice, The Believer, and Lapham's Quarterly, among others. She has reported stories from four continents on a range of cultural and historical topics, from present-day Liverpool punks to the history of 1960s activists in Greenwich Village.

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