The idea for Myth America grew out of our won teaching experiences. In continuously dealing with students who for the most part were beginning their collegiate study of American history, we found that a thematic approach to the nation's past was stimulating. The theme of myth as threads within the diverse tapestry of cultural experience proved to be especially engaging. The selected historical myths discussed and analyzed in Myth America can best be understood as a series of false beliefs about America's past. They are false beliefs, however, that have been accepted as true and acted upon as real, and in that acting they have acquired truth. Therefore, myths remain both true and false simultaneously. In fact, the making of myths is a process by which a culture structures its world and perpetuates its grandest dreams. While offering a strong foundation of classic historical writing and interpretation, Myth America includes numerous fresh selections on womens' history, southerners and American regionalism, popular culture, African American stereotyping, urban America, controversial leaders such as Booker T. Washington, progressivism in relation to both conservation and ethnicity, the nature and legacy of the Great War, World War II, and Vietnam, President Kennedy and Reagan, mythic dynamics of the Cold War, Asian-Americans, and multiculturalism. We have been guided in our final selections by a desire to offer articles that voice our mythic theme in a scholarly and provocative way: articles that offer students readability and current interest without sacrificing the demands of thorough historical scholarship. We occasionally refer to historiography, for historians function as the culture's preeminent storytellers and so maintain their seemingly contradictory roles of mythmakers and myth-debunkers.