Great White Fathers
The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore
By (author) John Taliaferro
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Great White Fathers by John Taliaferro
Book DescriptionGutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, hoped that ten thousand years from now, when archaeologists came upon the four sixty-foot presidential heads carved in the Black Hills of South Dakota, they would have a clear and graphic understanding of American civilization. Borglum, the child of Mormon polygamists, had an almost Ahab-like obsession with Colossalism--a scale that matched his ego and the era. He learned how to be a celebrity from Auguste Rodin; how to be a political bully from Teddy Roosevelt. He ran with the Ku Klux Klan and mingled with the rich and famous from Wall Street to Washington. Mount Rushmore was to be his crowning achievement, the newest wonder of the world, the greatest piece of public art since Phidias carved the Parthenon. But like so many episodes in the saga of the American West, what began as a personal dream had to be bailed out by the federal government, a compromise that nearly drove Borglum mad. Nor in the end could he control how his masterpiece would be received. Nor its devastating impact on the Lakota Sioux and the remote Black Hills of South Dakota. Great White Fathers is at once the biography of a man and the biography of a place, told through travelogue, interviews, and investigation of the unusual records that one odd American visionary left behind. It proves that the best American stories are not simple; they are complex and contradictory, at times humorous, at other times tragic.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781586482053
(210mm x 140mm x 29mm)
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 18-Dec-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John Taliaferro
In a Far Country, Paperback (January 2008)
The awesome, untold adventure of one couple's harrowing, heroic effort to save several hundred ice-bound whalers-- and the future of the Eskimo people
Charles M. Russell, Paperback» View all books by John Taliaferro
This first comprehensive biography of Charles M. Russell examines the colorful life and times of Montana s famed Cowboy Artist. Born to an affluent St. Louis family in 1864, young Russell read thrilling tales of the West and filled sketchbooks with imagined frontier scenes."
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Author Biography - John Taliaferro
John Taliaferro is a former senior editor at Newsweek and the author of two acclaimed biographies, Charles M. Russell: The Life and Legend of America's Cowboy Artists and Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He lives in Austin, Texas and Pray, Montana.
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