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The Roundtable

Jess McHugh's Unexpected U.S. History In Thirteen Bestselling Books

Book cover for "Americanon" by Jess McHugh

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.

In her new book, "Americanon: An Unexpected U.S. History In Thirteen Bestselling Books," she explores the true history of thirteen of the nation’s most popular books: simple dictionaries, spellers, almanacs, and how-to manuals. These overlooked standbys are the unexamined touchstones for American cultures and customs.

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