Nancy Price Graff, ed., Celebrating Vermont: Myths and Realities
"I read only those essays and catalog items that related to this time period. This is definitely a book that I will read in its entirety when the opportunity presents itself.
This book could be used in a high school history class. I think that middle school children would have a tough time reading this on their own but it is filled with a wealth of information about the history of Vermont. Perhaps you could have students brainstorm all they know about Vermont history. Then you could present questions that align with the myths to see what the perspective is that children hold. Then on the topics that are covered in the article, you could provide students with the information that is presented there. I think that middle school students would like to start from a “myth” and go from there. It could be used as an investigation. Students may be able to look at just one section of the article to answer the questions. This would be more manageable than the entire article."
"The essays in this catalog could be useful for teachers and for high school students. Some parts of the essays could be useful for middle school students. The bibliography and the catalog could be useful for research projects.
The exploration of the myth of an idyllic and romantic Vermont is fascinating. Details of myths deliberately created to lure first settlers, then tourists to Vermont is an interesting point to contemplate (and continues to be true today). Also of particular interest was the use of the song Moonlight in Vermont, the film Holiday Inn and Norman Rockwell’s art to create a "memory of a past worth fighting for" during World War II.
I would have through Dorothy Canfield Fisher would have been a more important figure in creating the Vermont myth, though she is quoted. There is very little work by women in the catalog or discussed in the essays, though two of the essays are co-authored by women.
The myth of the romantic farmer and farm life is very much debunked. Farming is a hard and unforgiving life. Many quit and left. Hill farms were always a problem, always a hard life. All of which makes this book a fascinating examination of where the romantic myths came from and why they persist."