Submitted by: Preston Cook

Category: Books

A bold expression of a fledgling republic’s aspirations and bravado, the American bald eagle has been designed, drawn, illustrated, stamped, engraved, painted, sculpted, carved, photographed, and etched by thousands of artists and artisans since 1782, when it first appeared as the central figure on the Great Seal of the United States.

As America’s most versatile emblem, the eagle emanates confidence during peace and prosperity, and strength during crisis and war; as a North American native species it exemplifies nature’s grandeur and the advance of conservation. In all, the bald eagle is a stirring national symbol made all the more vibrant by its indisputable dominion in the sky.

American Eagle: A Visual History of Our National Emblem explores the eagle in American life through an array of objects in virtually every imaginable shape, size, and medium. Among them are a brass button from one of George Washington’s presidential inaugurations, original prints by John James Audubon and Andy Warhol, a Civil War Bowie knife, and a rare children’s bank from 1910.

Gathered here for the first time, these objects chart the bald eagle’s appearance in government, the military, politics, commerce, travel, art and culture, and nature. Descriptive captions provide physical details and contextual information, and an annotated chronology supplies a comprehensive, illustrated timeline of the bald eagle as an American icon.

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About the author:

For fifty years, Preston Cook has devoted his time to all things American eagle. He has amassed and meticulously organized a collection of more than twenty-five thousand eagle objects – from kitsch to fine art, from the everyday to the rare – that reflect American life from the American Revolution to the present. Cook has served on several government commissions and some twenty boards of directors, including for the American Bald Eagle Foundation, the Oceanic Society, and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He is a member of the Audubon Society, the National Eagle Center, and the Sons of the American Revolution, and is a life member of the American Bald Eagle Foundation, the American Legion, the International Federation of Fly Fishers, and Trout Unlimited. A retired real estate investor, Cook lives with his wife in Wabasha, Minnesota, on the banks of the Mississippi River, a major flyway for the bald eagle. Cook’s collection will be donated to the nonprofit National Eagle Center and its museum, currently under development, that will house the collection. For more information, please visit