Heroes in American Folklore

Heroes in American Folklore

by Irwin Shapiro, James Daugherty (Illustrator), Donald A. McKay (Illustrator)
Publisher: Julian Messner
©1962, Item: 88006
Hardcover, 256 pages
Not in stock

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Here are five heroes whose tall tales have long been favorites. Written in rollicking prose that almost sings, with the true American flavor of exaggeration and humor, they have become classics in the field of folklore. Casey Jones, Joe Magarac, John Henry, Steamboat Bill, Old Stormalong—they are all here in one volume that deservedly perpetuates the glory of these star-spangled heroes.

Casey Jones was the brave engineer who next to railroading liked baseball best. If he'd give up baseball, Superintendent Brown said, he could take Locomotive No. 638 on her first run. Casey agreed, only if his Tigers would lose to the South Side Wildcats. How he was tricked into losing, and how Casey's record run led to the greatest tie-up in the history of railroads is a hilarious yarn.

Joe Magarac was a real steel man who could make rails faster and better than anyone else. He could squeeze steel through his hands and make eight rails at a time. But when he got mad, like the time a congressman told him to go back where he came from, he ripped up rails and tore down buildings and nobody could stop him. How he finally got his U.S.A. citizen papers is an explosively funny tale.

John Henry was a natural man and the greatest steel driver that ever was. When he brought his hammer down, folks three hundred miles away heard an awful rumbling sound. How John Henry conquered the steam drill and completed the Big Bend Tunnel is a story filled with the bustle of big men doing big jobs to the rhythm of work chants, spirituals and blues.

Steamboat Bill, the greatest river man of them all, set out in his Whippoorwill to beat the Robert E. Lee. He matched his wits with Captain Carter and almost burned up the Mississippi in one of the funniest and most thrilling races ever run.

Stormalong Alfred Bulltop, who stood four fathoms tall in his stocking feet, left the good ship Dolphin because he couldn't capture Mocha Dick. So he wasn't a whaler and he wasn't a sailor and his place was on the land. In the woods his deeds rivaled Paul Bunyan's, and in the west those of Pecos Bill. Then he returned to sea and took up his feud with the great white whale—and the rest of the tale makes a stirring, salty climax.

Illustrated by two artists who have captured the vigor and spirit of these rollicking legends.

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