Defining Noah Webster

A Spiritual Biography

by K. Alan Snyder

Foreword by Michael P. Farris, J.D., Chancellor, Patrick Henry College

Defining Noah Webster

From the back cover:

In this masterful biography, professor and political historian K. Alan Snyder unfolds the life, times, and political thought of Noah Webster, America’s premier post-revolutionary educator. Snyder recounts how Webster rose from obscurity to become the father of early American education, and how his dramatic conversion to Christianity influenced the nation from colonial times to today.

The son of a penniless farmer, and descendant of Pilgrim William Bradford, Webster achieved astounding success in influencing early-American intellectual and moral thought. But much about Noah Webster’s life will come as a surprise to readers. As an entrepreneurial schoolmaster, Webster not only compiled and edited the nation’s first textbooks and dictionaries, but he also championed the use of the Bible in schools. After his conversion, he abandoned the rational philosophies of the Enlightenment and evangelized his conviction that biblical truth ought to be the bedrock for all civil government and education.

Snyder’s impeccable research, including material from Webster’s own personal papers, gives a rare glimpse into the life of an early American who believed the country would not last long if it ignored Christian principles.

Chapter Titles

    1. Roots: Spiritual Foundations
    2. The Schoolmaster as Author: To Instruct a Nation
    3. The Author as a Public Man: To Mold a Nation
    4. Common Sense Philosopher
    5. Defender of the Federal Republic
    6. Transition
    7. Conversion
    8. Christian Foundations: Morality and Government
    9. Christian Foundations: Education Revisited
    10. Christian Foundations: Language and the Dictionary

Conclusion: Noah Webster Defined

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ISBN 1-591600-55-3
Copyright © 2002 by K. Alan Snyder

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