What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life

What So Proudly We Hailed Francis Scott Key A Life What So Proudly We Hailed is the first full length biography of Francis Scott Key in than years In this fascinating look at early America historian Marc Leepson explores the life and legacy of Fra

  • Title: What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life
  • Author: Marc Leepson
  • ISBN: 9781137278289
  • Page: 366
  • Format: Hardcover
  • What So Proudly We Hailed is the first full length biography of Francis Scott Key in than 75 years In this fascinating look at early America, historian Marc Leepson explores the life and legacy of Francis Scott Key Standing alongside Betsy Ross, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Hancock in history, Key made his mark as an American icon by one singleWhat So Proudly We Hailed is the first full length biography of Francis Scott Key in than 75 years In this fascinating look at early America, historian Marc Leepson explores the life and legacy of Francis Scott Key Standing alongside Betsy Ross, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Hancock in history, Key made his mark as an American icon by one single and unforgettable act, writing The Star Spangled Banner Among other things, Leepson reveals How the young Washington lawyer found himself in Balti Harbor on the night of September 13 14, 2014 The mysterious circumstances surrounding how the poem he wrote, first titled The Defense of Ft M Henry, morphed into the National Anthem Key s role in forming the American Colonization Society, and his decades long fervent support for that controversial endeavor that sent free blacks to Africa His adamant opposition to slave trafficking and his willingness to represent slaves and freed men and women for free in Washington s courts Key s role as a confidant of President Andrew Jackson and his work in Jackson s kitchen cabinet Key s controversial actions as U.S Attorney during the first race riot in Washington, D.C in 1835.Publishing to coincide with the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner in 2014, What So Proudly We Hailed reveals unexplored details of the life of an American patriot whose legacy has been largely unknown until now.

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    About “Marc Leepson

    • Marc Leepson

      Historian and journalist Marc Leepson is the author of nine books, including Ballad of the Green Beret The Life and Wars of Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler Stackpole, 2017 What So Proudly We Hailed Francis Scott Key, A Life Palgrave, 2014 Lafayette Lessons in Leadership from the Idealist General, a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette Palgrave, 2011 Desperate Engagement, the story of the Civil War Battle of Monocacy Thomas Dunne Books, 2007 Flag An American Biography, a history of the American flag from the beginnings to today Thomas Dunne, 2005 and Saving Monticello, the first complete history of Thomas Jefferson s House Free Press, 2001, University of Virginia Press, 2003, paperback A former staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, Marc Leepson is the arts editor, senior writer, and columnist for The VVA Veteran, the magazine published by Vietnam Veterans of America.He has written about the Vietnam War and Vietnam veterans and other topics for many other newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Post, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Balti Sun, Newsday, the Arizona Republic, Smithsonian, World War II, Vietnam, Military History and Preservation Magazines, Civil War Times, the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encyclopedia Americana, and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography.He has been a guest on many television and radio news programs, including All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, On the Media, CBS This Morning Saturday, History Detectives, The Diane Rehm Show,Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CBC Canada , the BBC News Hour, and Irish Radio And he has given talks at many colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Miami, Appalachian State University, the College of Southern Maryland and Georgetown University.He tought U.S history at Lord Fairfax Community College in Warrenton, Virginia from 2008 2015 He graduated from George Washington University in 1967 He was then drafted into the U.S Army and served for two years, including a year in the Vietnam War After his military service, he earned an MA in history from GWU in 1971 He lives in Middleburg, Virginia, with his wife They have two adult children.

    737 thoughts on “What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life

    • I finally finished! It's not the book's fault; I just haven't had time to read much lately.I really did like this book, except for a couple of minor issues It was the first biography I'd ever read on Francis Scott Key's life, and from what I understand by reading other reviews, one of the most comprehensive in decades. Most people know him simply as "that guy who wrote the Star Spangled Banner," but he had a very accomplished life, apart from the events of the battle of Baltimore. Key was in all [...]


    • *****This is A First Reads, Thank You *****A well researched biography of Francis Scott Key. The author touches on Key's life and accomplishments. Key's life was complicated in some ways, and yet can be summed up as religious, patriotic, and conservative. One of the first lawyers to provide free legal services to to enslaved and belonged to American Colonization Society, he also owned slaves. He belonged to the American Bible Society, helped begin the Lancaster Society for the Christian system o [...]


    • Wow!! What a good book. The author actually spends very little of the book discussing the Star Bangld Banner. He went out to a British ship under a flag of truce in Baltimore Harbor to negotiate the release of a prisoner. The British commander said he would release the prisoner after the battle of Baltimore harbor and he then advised Key and his two colleagues that they were not free to leave because he was afraid they would give information to the American so he detained them until the battle w [...]


    • A well-thought-out biography of a little understood icon of American history. This book sheds an unflinching light on the conflict and complexities of life in a young nation, slowly coming to grips with its greatest sin: slavery. Francis Scott Key was an attorney, negotiator, social climber, thinker, patriot, poet and family man who somehow was able to reconcile his opposition to slavery and tyranny with the fact that he owned slaves, himself. The many facets of his character serve to make him m [...]


    • I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through . This has not influenced my review.I was quite excited to receive a copy of "What So Proudly We Hailed". This is a book that was a long-time coming and needed to be written. Most of us 'history buffs' only know Francis Scott Key as the writer of our national anthem. The author, Marc Leepson, has given us insight into Key's life as a slave owner, yet an opposer of slave trafficking. Key was also a confident of President Andrew Jackson, an [...]


    • I thought I knew a bit about Francis Scott Key, but Marc Leepson's book showed me how little I really knew about this man. Sure, he wrote the words to "The Star Spangled Banner" but Leepson explores so much more about the man and his life. Key was a bit of a man of mystery and Leepson says he never talked much about the song and writing it, but Leepson does bring other aspects of his life to light. Key led a fascinating life both before and after the events in Baltimore in 1814. The book is full [...]


    • The book covers the story of Francis Scott Key's life. The events surrounding the Battle of Baltimore that lead him to write the Star Spangled Banner are just a small portion of the book. The main focus is on his role in the American Colonization Society and his work as an advisor to President Andrew Jackson. It also focuses on his career as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, primarily during the Jackson Administration. I would have liked for the book to go into more detail [...]


    • I received this book as part of the First Reads program and was eager to learn more about the life of the author of the Star-Spangled Banner. Since F.S. Key's family and professional life is not as well known as his contemporaries', I was very surprised to learn how involved he was with the national legal and political scene of our young country. Key's story is a great way to "live" the issues of this important time.


    • Well-thought out and thorough biography. What I knew of Francis Scott Key before reading this book was something vague about him being stuck on a ship and penning the Star Spangled Banner. After this book, I know so much more about his life and story, as well as that of our country. Definitely a good read for history buffs--I recommended to the history teachers in my family! Thanks to Giveaways for the opportunity to read this one--the book itself is beautiful, like the cover!


    • Those familiar and pleased with Marc Leepson's easy to read yet informative style apparent in his earlier books on Lafayette, Monticello, the Battle of Monocacy, and dearest to my heart, the American Flag, will recognize it in this biography here again. For my fuller book review see the NAVA News newsletter.


    • A fabulous and very informative biography of the often conflicting choices that made up the life of Francis Scott Key and that of a nation coming into its own. Great in-depth research and writing which made this bio a pleasure to read. I learned much about the man and his times.* I received this book through the Giveaway program*


    • Interesting person and times, but mostly I found Key's dual set of principles towards African Americans puzzling. He defended some African Americans and some slave-holders. I don't think he was unique in this contradiction.


    • Great book and a great time to read it! A story and a man we don't hear much about anymore, but should! Well written, very informative and kept my attention throughout, which most biographies fail to do. I received a free copy of this book via First Reads.


    • Fascinating. Interesting. Learned so much. Could relate to a lot in the book with living in Baltimore. Though, a little bit too many details for me.


    • This was an interesting read and there is way more to Francis Scott Key than The US National Anthem. For starters he was some what of a contradiction. (view spoiler)[ Like many people of the time he saw Blacks as mentally inferior. As a Lawyer he represented both Blacks and Whites. He usually represented the Blacks at no charge but he didn't always work to gain their freedom or get them out of something thy were accused of. In addition he was a part of a group that worked to send Freed Blacks ba [...]


    • Enjoyed reading this biography of a well known name, but someone we rarely here about. Key was not only a patriot, but a contradiction of terms; if you read this you'll understand what I mean. Highly recommend it.


    • The author has a bit of a tendency to wander. I really, really hate to say so, but this book is boring. It is an interesting subject, but it comes off as extremely dry.OK, I hate to say it. I could not finish. I was so bored I stopped about 20% in. I was disappointed because FSK is a historical figure I have always been interested in.


    • Overall, a decent biography, some of the writing contradicted itself and wish it would have spent more time around the central, most important aspect of Key's life, the writing of the poem that led to the United States' National Anthem. Definitely worth a read as it does really show the character and man behind the poem.




    • I really enjoyed reading this book. The story of how the 'Star Spangled Banner' came to be was intriguing to me and now I know the history of it.




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