Johnny Appleseed

The Man, the Myth, the American Story

By Howard Means
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781439178263, 336pp.)

Publication Date: April 17, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

This portrait of Johnny Appleseed restores the flesh-and-blood man beneath the many myths. It captures the boldness of an iconic American and the sadness of his last years, as the frontier marched past him, ever westward. And it shows how death liberated the legend and made of Johnny a barometer of the nation’s feelings about its own heroic past and the supposed Eden it once had been. Howard Means does for America’s inner frontier what Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage did for its western one.




About the Author

Howard Means is a former senior editor and senior writer at Washingtonian Magazine. He is the author of many books, including The Avenger Takes His Place: Andrew Johnson and the 45 Days That Changed the Nation; Colin Powell: A Biography; and The Banana Sculptor, the Purple Lady, and the All-Night Swimmer, coauthored with Susan Sheehan. He lives in Virginia.




Praise For Johnny Appleseed

“Engaging . . . Means scrubs away nearly two centuries of rumor and myth to uncover the truth about 19th-century pioneer nurseryman John Chapman. . . . Mean’s meticulous research reveals Chapman as an ascetic, conservationist and pacifist well-suited to serve as patron saint of today’s faith-based ‘creation care’ movement.”

--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“We all know the caricature, but few of us know the man. Howard Means produces a feast of a story that strips away the myths of this folk-tale hero and gives us the real John Chapman and the rough-and-tumble world he lived in. This is a thoroughly fascinating and fun book.”

--Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval

“Johnny Appleseed is one of the great myths of our childhood. With insight and a lively touch, Howard Means tells us the story of the real Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman, a mystic and visionary who turns out to be a most memorable American character.”

--Evan Thomas, author of The War Lovers

“Means supports the legend with hard-earned fact in his portrait of Chapman as a ‘nurseryman; religious zealot; real-estate dabbler’ and even altruistic capitalist.”

--The Wall Street Journal

“Delightfully wry and perceptive . . . a captivating achievement in Americana.”

--Booklist (Starred Review)

“Delightfully wry and perceptive . . . a captivating achievement in Americana.”

--Booklist (Starred Review)

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