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50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S.

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A one-of-a-kind guide to fifty of the most important cultural and historic sites in the United States guaranteed to fascinate, educate, and entertain—selected and described by the former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. From Massachusetts to Florida to Washington to California, 50 Great American Places takes you on a journey through our nat A one-of-a-kind guide to fifty of the most important cultural and historic sites in the United States guaranteed to fascinate, educate, and entertain—selected and described by the former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. From Massachusetts to Florida to Washington to California, 50 Great American Places takes you on a journey through our nation’s history. Sharing the inside stories of sites as old as Mesa Verde (Colorado) and Cahokia (Illinois) and as recent as Silicon Valley (California) and the Mall of America (Minnesota), each essay provides the historical context for places that represent fundamental American themes: the compelling story of democracy and self-government; the dramatic impact of military conflict; the powerful role of innovation and enterprise; the inspiring achievements of diverse cultural traditions; and the defining influence of the land and its resources. Expert historian Brent D. Glass explores these themes by connecting places, people, and events and reveals a national narrative that is often surprising, sometimes tragic, and always engaging—complete with photographs, websites for more information, and suggestions for other places nearby worth visiting. Sites you would expect to read about—in Boston, New York, and Washington, DC—are here, as well as plenty of surprises, such as the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, or Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, or the Village Green in Hudson, Ohio; less obvious places that, together with the more well-known destinations, collectively tell the story of America. For families who want to take a trip that is both educational and entertaining, for history enthusiasts, or anyone curious about our country’s greatest places, this book is the perfect guide.


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A one-of-a-kind guide to fifty of the most important cultural and historic sites in the United States guaranteed to fascinate, educate, and entertain—selected and described by the former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. From Massachusetts to Florida to Washington to California, 50 Great American Places takes you on a journey through our nat A one-of-a-kind guide to fifty of the most important cultural and historic sites in the United States guaranteed to fascinate, educate, and entertain—selected and described by the former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. From Massachusetts to Florida to Washington to California, 50 Great American Places takes you on a journey through our nation’s history. Sharing the inside stories of sites as old as Mesa Verde (Colorado) and Cahokia (Illinois) and as recent as Silicon Valley (California) and the Mall of America (Minnesota), each essay provides the historical context for places that represent fundamental American themes: the compelling story of democracy and self-government; the dramatic impact of military conflict; the powerful role of innovation and enterprise; the inspiring achievements of diverse cultural traditions; and the defining influence of the land and its resources. Expert historian Brent D. Glass explores these themes by connecting places, people, and events and reveals a national narrative that is often surprising, sometimes tragic, and always engaging—complete with photographs, websites for more information, and suggestions for other places nearby worth visiting. Sites you would expect to read about—in Boston, New York, and Washington, DC—are here, as well as plenty of surprises, such as the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, or Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, or the Village Green in Hudson, Ohio; less obvious places that, together with the more well-known destinations, collectively tell the story of America. For families who want to take a trip that is both educational and entertaining, for history enthusiasts, or anyone curious about our country’s greatest places, this book is the perfect guide.

30 review for 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S.

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    An interesting book only because when we travel we stop and see anything historical, museums and historical markers along the road. We have been to several of these places in the midwest to western parts of the US.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    They Got the "One-of-a-Kind" Part Right This is a wildly idiosyncratic and essentially random collection of some well known and some fairly obscure historic sites. We get Yellowstone National Park, but then we get the Cahokia Mounds and James Naismith's tenure as the only losing basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Each site gets two or three pages and a few small stock photos. The site information essays are just as random, so Gettysburg as the retirement location for Dwight and Mamie E They Got the "One-of-a-Kind" Part Right This is a wildly idiosyncratic and essentially random collection of some well known and some fairly obscure historic sites. We get Yellowstone National Park, but then we get the Cahokia Mounds and James Naismith's tenure as the only losing basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Each site gets two or three pages and a few small stock photos. The site information essays are just as random, so Gettysburg as the retirement location for Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower gets more ink than the Gettysburg Address. There was no overarching theme, (geographical or historical or cultural), that I could see in the book's organization. The book is not without its charms and some of the factoids are of passing interest, but overall I didn't quite see the point. The references at the end of each essay to neighboring points of interest and further sources of information might be of interest, but weren't anything special. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abigail Ford

    I enjoyed this read. It was fun to learn about all the different sites across the U.S. and their history. Hearing the background about so many different destinations was really great. I learned a lot. I also enjoyed how each one wasn't super long; each one was a great length. Enough detail but not droning on and on. I recommend if you are thinking of taking a trip based on history, or if you just want to learn more American history overall. You don't necessarily have to commit to visiting to enj I enjoyed this read. It was fun to learn about all the different sites across the U.S. and their history. Hearing the background about so many different destinations was really great. I learned a lot. I also enjoyed how each one wasn't super long; each one was a great length. Enough detail but not droning on and on. I recommend if you are thinking of taking a trip based on history, or if you just want to learn more American history overall. You don't necessarily have to commit to visiting to enjoy this book. Very interesting indeed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Me

    Interesting selections of places - just about everyone will learn something from this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    50 Great American Places by Brent D. Glass is a very highly recommended guide to 50 places that have cultural and historical significance in the USA. Brent Glass is the director emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, so this is an expert guiding you to the sites included. He writes "I envision 50 Great American Places as a contribution to historical literacy. Historical literacy is more than simply knowing the names of leaders or when famous battles were fought. It invo 50 Great American Places by Brent D. Glass is a very highly recommended guide to 50 places that have cultural and historical significance in the USA. Brent Glass is the director emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, so this is an expert guiding you to the sites included. He writes "I envision 50 Great American Places as a contribution to historical literacy. Historical literacy is more than simply knowing the names of leaders or when famous battles were fought. It involves understanding the context of historical events and how events are connected. Above all, history is a resource for understanding our own lives and times. Sustaining a democratic society in America is not possible without citizens who know and love its history. We cannot participate fully in democracy without historical knowledge." This is a great guide and would be a perfect addition for any excursion planned across the USA. The essays for the 50 places are organized chronologically. All of them are a few pages long but full of pertinent information about and the historical or cultural significance of each place and, sometimes nearby places. Included at the end of the information are websites listed for each site and nearby places of interest. Glass also points out that "The National Park Service (NPS) websites are uniformly reliable and good resources for information about national parks, battlefields, historic sites, memorials, and monuments. The NPS sites also include good maps and updated information about programs and events. Websites generally provide current information about hours of operations, fees, and construction that might limit access to certain sites or collections." The list of places by state includes the town or city in which the site is located or, in some cases, the nearest town to that site. The site mentioned on this list is the major subject of each essay. ALABAMA Huntsville/Saturn V Rocket ARIZONA Tucson/Mission San Xavier del Bac ARKANSAS Little Rock/Little Rock Central High School CALIFORNIA Burbank/Warner Bros. Studio La Jolla/Salk Institute Palo Alto/Silicon Valley San Francisco/El Presidio at the Golden Gate COLORADO Cortez/Mesa Verde CONNECTICUT Hartford/Nook Farm DELAWARE New Castle/New Castle Court House Museum FLORIDA Orlando/EPCOT Celebration Maitland/Research Studio GEORGIA Atlanta/Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site HAWAII Honolulu/Pearl Harbor IDAHO Jerome/Minidoka ILLINOIS Collinsville/Cahokia Mounds Chicago/World’s Columbian Exposition INDIANA New Harmony KANSAS Lawrence/Allen Field House Manhattan/Kansas State University LOUISIANA New Orleans/Jazz National Historical Park MARYLAND Baltimore/B&O Railroad Museum MASSACHUSETTS Boston/Freedom Trail Salem/Witch Trials Memorial MICHIGAN Dearborn/Ford River Rouge Complex MINNESOTA Edina/Southdale Center Bloomington/Mall of America MISSOURI St. Louis/Gateway Arch MONTANA Crow Agency/Little Bighorn Battlefield NEBRASKA Red Cloud/Willa Cather Foundation NEVADA Boulder City/Hoover Dam NEW JERSEY West Orange/Edison’s Laboratory NEW MEXICO Santa Fe/Palace of the Governors NEW YORK New York/Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty New York/Grand Central Terminal Seneca Falls/Women’s Rights National Historical Park NORTH CAROLINA Asheville/Biltmore House Kill Devil Hills/Wright Brothers National Memorial OHIO Hudson/Village Green OKLAHOMA Claremore/Will Rogers Highway PENNSYLVANIA Gettysburg/Gettysburg National Military Park Philadelphia/Liberty Bell Pittsburgh/Forks of the Ohio RHODE ISLAND Pawtucket/Slater Mill SOUTH CAROLINA Charleston/Fort Sumter National Monument SOUTH DAKOTA Pine Ridge/Wounded Knee Memorial TENNESSEE Nashville/Ryman Auditorium TEXAS San Antonio/The Alamo UTAH Salt Lake City/Temple Square VIRGINIA Charlottesville/Monticello Yorktown/Virginia Peninsula WASHINGTON Richland/Hanford B Reactor WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Mall WISCONSIN Spring Green/Taliesin WYOMING Yellowstone National Park Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Simon & Schuster for review purposes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn

    I received this book free through Goodreads in exchange for a review. 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S. is a quick interesting read about places of importance in the United States. There are 50 chapters in the book, all very short, one on each of the places. The places in this book range from the well-known to the lesser known. There is something of interest for pretty much anyone: early-American history, western American history, industrial and/or technological hi I received this book free through Goodreads in exchange for a review. 50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S. is a quick interesting read about places of importance in the United States. There are 50 chapters in the book, all very short, one on each of the places. The places in this book range from the well-known to the lesser known. There is something of interest for pretty much anyone: early-American history, western American history, industrial and/or technological history, etc. Overall I really enjoyed this book. It's just the kind of thing I like: snippets about a number of different places; giving just enough information to keep you interested, but if you're not it's done pretty quick. I liked learning about different places I was not aware of at all or places where I only knew a little about. There were a few places in the book that I knew quite a bit about, but that was very welcome too. I did have a few issues with this book. Firstly, while this is titled "50 Great American Places" I felt that some of the choices have been done to death over the years. As much as I love Monticello or Salem, these are things that are touched on in every book and it seems that other choices may have worked better here. Secondly, I had an issue with a word choice of Glass's that popped up a few times. In the chapters about Edison (NJ) and Ford Rouge (MI), Glass states that Henry Ford recreated Edison's Menlo Park lab in Greenfield Village. While I can see this word being appropriate, I feel it gives the wrong impression of what Ford did. As someone who worked at Greenfield Village for two years and lived in the area nearly my entire life, I would characterize what Ford did differently than "recreate". Ford moved entire buildings to Greenfield Village, marking the boards so they were put back together in the exact same position. With Menlo Park (the building mentioned in the book a few times), Henry Ford even brought in boxcar loads of New Jersey soil to put the building on because Edison said Menlo Park would never leave New Jersey soil. So while recreate may be a decent choice of word, I feel like there are better words Glass could have used. Because of this, it does make me wonder what other things in the book could be misunderstood because of iffy word choices. Despite those two issues, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it for anyone looking for a book of places in the U.S. to visit as long as they don't have other guide books. I think it would be a good first book, but with so much overlap, if you have other similar books or know a lot about American history, this book may not be for you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Apparently in Minnesota, which is home to - the location of the headwaters of the Mississippi River, - Minnehaha Falls which are the subject of Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha", - St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture and a landmark on the National Register of Historic Buildings, - the Stone Arch Bridge which is recognized as a National Civil Engineering Landmark - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness which has a dozen hiking trails and more than 2,000 desig Apparently in Minnesota, which is home to - the location of the headwaters of the Mississippi River, - Minnehaha Falls which are the subject of Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha", - St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture and a landmark on the National Register of Historic Buildings, - the Stone Arch Bridge which is recognized as a National Civil Engineering Landmark - Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness which has a dozen hiking trails and more than 2,000 designated campsites. Black bears, bobcats, deer, wolves and Canada lynx all live in the park, which is over a million acres in size. - the Minnesota State Fair, the largest state fair in the United States by average daily attendance (with carved butter busts) - Itasca State Park with a 2,000-acre Wilderness Sanctuary, which is one of Minnesota’s SEVEN National Natural Landmarks, to name a few sites, the two "essential historic sites" the authors came up with are both shopping malls: Southdale Center in Edina, and the Mall of America. In Maryland, home to - the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum, - Fort McHenry, a National Historic Shrine, which battle-flag inspired Francis Scott Key to pen The Star-Spangled Banner, - the home of Frederick Douglass, - Pimlico, site of Preakness Stakes, second jewel of horse racing’s famed Triple Crown the authors came up with B&O Railroad Museum (that choice meets my approval) and "Baltimore". Nothing specific. Apparently people needing a guidebook to tell them where to go don't need more details than the name of a city.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I would recommend this book to visitors to the US or Americans who are planning a trip to an unfamiliar region. Otherwise, the book didn't seem very cohesive and I struggled to pick out any themes from Glass' histories about each place -- I understand that he is a public historian and probably more comfortable with place and present than narrative and past, but it read a bit like a list of interesting historic places; again, this is probably enough for the less-informed or less-traveled reader, I would recommend this book to visitors to the US or Americans who are planning a trip to an unfamiliar region. Otherwise, the book didn't seem very cohesive and I struggled to pick out any themes from Glass' histories about each place -- I understand that he is a public historian and probably more comfortable with place and present than narrative and past, but it read a bit like a list of interesting historic places; again, this is probably enough for the less-informed or less-traveled reader, but I kept thinking, "Yes, and...?" Several selections I would consider well-known, but there were also good picks of off-the-beaten-path sites (Willa Cather's NE and the Minidoka internment camp in ID were inspired choices). I liked Glass' inclusion of "nearby places" at the end of each section to encourage further research/trip planning.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Disappointing for me because I expected beautiful pictures to accompany the well written factual descriptions. Literally one, sometime two, small pictures on the "cover" page for each of the 50. Disappointing for me because I expected beautiful pictures to accompany the well written factual descriptions. Literally one, sometime two, small pictures on the "cover" page for each of the 50.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    A historical travel guide of 50 places in the USA. The author provides a historical background on each site followed by a modern viewpoint. Each chapter focuses on a single location and they fly by quickly. The author provides references at the end of each chapter for further research into the historic site. The sites are not connected by any particular theme and the chapters vary in quality. This book is better for skimming instead of a straight through read. Overall, this is a decent travel bo A historical travel guide of 50 places in the USA. The author provides a historical background on each site followed by a modern viewpoint. Each chapter focuses on a single location and they fly by quickly. The author provides references at the end of each chapter for further research into the historic site. The sites are not connected by any particular theme and the chapters vary in quality. This book is better for skimming instead of a straight through read. Overall, this is a decent travel book to seek out the more obscure historical sites in American History. The spoiler has a list of the different places (view spoiler)[ ARIZONA Tucson/Mission San Xavier del Bac ARKANSAS Little Rock/Little Rock Central High School CALIFORNIA Burbank/Warner Bros. Studio La Jolla/Salk Institute Palo Alto/Silicon Valley San Francisco/El Presidio at the Golden Gate COLORADO Cortez/Mesa Verde CONNECTICUT Hartford/Nook Farm DELAWARE New Castle/New Castle Court House Museum FLORIDA Orlando/EPCOT Celebration Maitland/Research Studio GEORGIA Atlanta/Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site HAWAII Honolulu/Pearl Harbor IDAHO Jerome/Minidoka ILLINOIS Collinsville/Cahokia Mounds Chicago/World’s Columbian Exposition INDIANA New Harmony KANSAS Lawrence/Allen Field House Manhattan/Kansas State University LOUISIANA New Orleans/Jazz National Historical Park MARYLAND Baltimore/B&O Railroad Museum MASSACHUSETTS Boston/Freedom Trail Salem/Witch Trials Memorial MICHIGAN Dearborn/Ford River Rouge Complex MINNESOTA Edina/Southdale Center Bloomington/Mall of America MISSOURI St. Louis/Gateway Arch MONTANA Crow Agency/Little Bighorn Battlefield NEBRASKA Red Cloud/Willa Cather Foundation NEVADA Boulder City/Hoover Dam NEW JERSEY West Orange/Edison’s Laboratory NEW MEXICO Santa Fe/Palace of the Governors NEW YORK New York/Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty New York/Grand Central Terminal Seneca Falls/Women’s Rights National Historical Park NORTH CAROLINA Asheville/Biltmore House Kill Devil Hills/Wright Brothers National Memorial OHIO Hudson/Village Green OKLAHOMA Claremore/Will Rogers Highway PENNSYLVANIA Gettysburg/Gettysburg National Military Park Philadelphia/Liberty Bell Pittsburgh/Forks of the Ohio RHODE ISLAND Pawtucket/Slater Mill SOUTH CAROLINA Charleston/Fort Sumter National Monument SOUTH DAKOTA Pine Ridge/Wounded Knee Memorial TENNESSEE Nashville/Ryman Auditorium TEXAS San Antonio/The Alamo UTAH Salt Lake City/Temple Square VIRGINIA Charlottesville/Monticello Yorktown/Virginia Peninsula WASHINGTON Richland/Hanford B Reactor WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Mall WISCONSIN Spring Green/Taliesin WYOMING Yellowstone National Park (hide spoiler)]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vic

    This is the kind of book you skim, reading bits and pieces here and there, and barely glancing at the rest. It's not that the writing is terrible; it's just a little boring. Some of these "great American places" I'd never heard of, and I'm glad I got to read a little essay about rather than waste the time on anything more. Some I'd never heard of, and for good reason. My interests are varied but do not include communal living in Indiana. Nor do I intend to visit the forks of the Ohio River. You This is the kind of book you skim, reading bits and pieces here and there, and barely glancing at the rest. It's not that the writing is terrible; it's just a little boring. Some of these "great American places" I'd never heard of, and I'm glad I got to read a little essay about rather than waste the time on anything more. Some I'd never heard of, and for good reason. My interests are varied but do not include communal living in Indiana. Nor do I intend to visit the forks of the Ohio River. You have to treat this one as you would a "Top 1000 Books to Read Before you Die:" you aren't actually going to read all those books, and you won't want to read ABOUT all of them either. Unless you want to bank the knowledge for trivia night, quite a few locations aren't really that interesting to read about. The Hudson village green among them.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cammie

    Yep, this is one of *those* nonfiction books that you feared growing up that just spouts facts at you without successfully integrating them into some kind of actually engaging narrative. Sure, it's very informative and made me add some spots to my "road trip" Pinterest board, and there are some facts Glass pulls out that made me stop and think, but much of the time this book wasn't very engaging and let's be real-- it suited my purposes b/c I needed a book that was available and that I could dro Yep, this is one of *those* nonfiction books that you feared growing up that just spouts facts at you without successfully integrating them into some kind of actually engaging narrative. Sure, it's very informative and made me add some spots to my "road trip" Pinterest board, and there are some facts Glass pulls out that made me stop and think, but much of the time this book wasn't very engaging and let's be real-- it suited my purposes b/c I needed a book that was available and that I could drop in a hot second when one of the other books I had on hold became available.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bob Deangelo

    I really enjoyed this book, and if you have an interest in history, and/or in the historical sites in the United States, you will too. The book highlights 50 historical sites in the US, briefly (3-5 pages) telling the story behind each of them. Some of them are well known (such as the National Mall or the Brooklyn Bridge), and some were unfamiliar to me. The book is almost the story of the United States, as told through these historic sites. I enjoyed reading and learning about the various sites I really enjoyed this book, and if you have an interest in history, and/or in the historical sites in the United States, you will too. The book highlights 50 historical sites in the US, briefly (3-5 pages) telling the story behind each of them. Some of them are well known (such as the National Mall or the Brooklyn Bridge), and some were unfamiliar to me. The book is almost the story of the United States, as told through these historic sites. I enjoyed reading and learning about the various sites, and the book whet my appetite to go and visit more of these sites!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is an interesting little book. Glass lists 50 Essential Historic Sites to visit. Some I have heard of, some not. I read through the book, but realistically this book would be better served as a reference book to consult if you are going to be near one of these places. Seeking them out to visit is more my style, but there is not a discernible organization to the book. Although, just now I am wondering if it is chronological? Which also doesn’t really help me. Regardless, I love seeking out hi This is an interesting little book. Glass lists 50 Essential Historic Sites to visit. Some I have heard of, some not. I read through the book, but realistically this book would be better served as a reference book to consult if you are going to be near one of these places. Seeking them out to visit is more my style, but there is not a discernible organization to the book. Although, just now I am wondering if it is chronological? Which also doesn’t really help me. Regardless, I love seeking out historical sites to visit, and this is a book that encourages that so I enjoyed reading it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    P

    An interesting view of American History--through the lens of "Great" (not necessarily most historic) places. If you're the kind of road tripper who likes to stop at historical markers and take a slight detour to see area museums, then you will enjoy this. I was disappointed by the lack of photos and maps. After each essay, I actually went to Google Maps to see these places in their geographic area--plus Google will give you full color photos. Don't count on it as a travel guide--more like a plac An interesting view of American History--through the lens of "Great" (not necessarily most historic) places. If you're the kind of road tripper who likes to stop at historical markers and take a slight detour to see area museums, then you will enjoy this. I was disappointed by the lack of photos and maps. After each essay, I actually went to Google Maps to see these places in their geographic area--plus Google will give you full color photos. Don't count on it as a travel guide--more like a place to get ideas for the next family "U.S. History" road trip.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kiera Beddes

    A fascinating inside look at 50 different historical places within the US. I appreciated the author's variety of people and places and his in-depth discussions on why he felt each place deserved recognition. Some places I recognized or had been to myself, which was always fun, like Temple Square, the National Mall, the World's Colombian Exposition of 1892 (holla at DEVIL AND THE WHITE CITY), Monticello, Jamestown, Colonial Willamsburg, and the Hoover Dam. Others I had never heard of, which was e A fascinating inside look at 50 different historical places within the US. I appreciated the author's variety of people and places and his in-depth discussions on why he felt each place deserved recognition. Some places I recognized or had been to myself, which was always fun, like Temple Square, the National Mall, the World's Colombian Exposition of 1892 (holla at DEVIL AND THE WHITE CITY), Monticello, Jamestown, Colonial Willamsburg, and the Hoover Dam. Others I had never heard of, which was even more exciting because I have a whole bunch of new places to add to my to-visit list like the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, or the Biltmore House in North Carolina, or the Presido at the Golden Gate, or the White Dove of the Desert Cathedral in Arizona. SO MANY COOL PLACES. And really, it's not just places, but people too and events. Let me know if you want to go on an extended roadtrip so we can see some of these places. I promise, I'm very fun to travel with.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    A fantastic book! I love how he lays it out (once the pattern emerges) and how he discusses so many aspects of history - social, economic, migratory - even though he starts with a place each time. Its fantastoc and I learned a lot. Much of what I learned was a seed from which I want to go discover more. A great read

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rosa Elena Burgos

    If you love to travel and have not seen most of the U.S. yet, this book is for you. The author provides historical information on various places to visit. He also recommends attractions nearby the destinations he talks about. I learned a lot about our history from this book and am motivated to see the sights the author talks about.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Had Some pretty interesting facts about various places. Definitely didn't have a storytelling approach tbh. It was more of the traditional, date/name/place type of history telling. Would still recommend for history travelers. Had Some pretty interesting facts about various places. Definitely didn't have a storytelling approach tbh. It was more of the traditional, date/name/place type of history telling. Would still recommend for history travelers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fleury

    An fascinating intellectual history of our country! I read this book while I was on a cross-country plane ride. Chronologically organized, this curated and engaging selection of historical sites will inform your visits and inspire you to plan many more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Most of the 50 are pretty well known to people with an interest in history. A few little snippets of history here and there to make them interesting but nor much I didn't already know about. This would be a good companion for some road trippers from other countries perhaps Most of the 50 are pretty well known to people with an interest in history. A few little snippets of history here and there to make them interesting but nor much I didn't already know about. This would be a good companion for some road trippers from other countries perhaps

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justlesa Hall

    Some interesting facts. Sometimes I was just really bored.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Surprised by some choices, but interesting. Each chapter is short, but not a fast read. Kept thinking I would skim some, but then the info would grab me and I'd keep reading. Learned a lot. Surprised by some choices, but interesting. Each chapter is short, but not a fast read. Kept thinking I would skim some, but then the info would grab me and I'd keep reading. Learned a lot.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Connie B

    Nice that my (?) relative John Burton is listed in the review/description of the Presidio in California.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Du

    Solid read and review of various points of interest in the US. I like that not every state for a site to visit. It feels more authentic in its overview this way.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily Perrin

    Enjoyed this and learned a lot of new facts. Definitely added some sites to my travel list and am looking for books on these particular topics that piqued my interest.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Are

    Interesting read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This book gives a brief history of 50 great places to visit for historical value and I have been to 27 of the 50. I need to get on the move to visit all 50! Interesting to read and dream up new places to travel to and look forward to seeing. New Mexico's Palace of the Governor is included in this list as well as Mesa Verde and The Alamo. This book gives a brief history of 50 great places to visit for historical value and I have been to 27 of the 50. I need to get on the move to visit all 50! Interesting to read and dream up new places to travel to and look forward to seeing. New Mexico's Palace of the Governor is included in this list as well as Mesa Verde and The Alamo.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Interesting book that's a neat history and travel resource. He covers historical places throughout the country and tells the stories behind the places he's recommending for visitation. He also offers website information at the end of each chapter. What I really like about this book is that he picks subjects of history, not just of famous American inventors or of famous structures, but also many stories about groups of people who have been disenfranchised or struggled against adversity, such as Interesting book that's a neat history and travel resource. He covers historical places throughout the country and tells the stories behind the places he's recommending for visitation. He also offers website information at the end of each chapter. What I really like about this book is that he picks subjects of history, not just of famous American inventors or of famous structures, but also many stories about groups of people who have been disenfranchised or struggled against adversity, such as Japanese-Americans interred into concentration camps during World War II, women seeking the right to vote, Native Americans who were massacred by the United States army, African-Americans who sought a right to equal education or escaping on the Underground Railroad. The one thing I would do to improve it would be to add not just the website information, but also at least the city address information of where the additional recommended sites are located. All he says is "nearby sites", but many of these "nearby" sites are many miles away. For instance, I was interested in finding out where the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House was located after he wrote about the Women's Rights Historical Park in Seneca Falls. He didn't write the location to the Susan B. Anthony Museum, which happens to be Rochester, NY. Now, all distances are "relative", but I don't consider 54 miles that separates the two cities exactly "nearby" unless you've traveled hundreds of miles to get there. I, personally, would consider a 10-minute drive "nearby", but not an hour drive. But he probably considers some sites "nearby" if they're in the same state together.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kend

    As far as collections of places go, this falls into the "potentially useful but not imaginatively inspired" category. I have the feeling, no matter which state you happen to select, its residents will feel much as I did when I saw Arkansas' entry: "Really? This is what you think is most historically vital about my area?" I've lived in Texas, California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, and abroad--and I have to say, Arizona got the best listing (in my opinion). And while not every state has As far as collections of places go, this falls into the "potentially useful but not imaginatively inspired" category. I have the feeling, no matter which state you happen to select, its residents will feel much as I did when I saw Arkansas' entry: "Really? This is what you think is most historically vital about my area?" I've lived in Texas, California, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, and abroad--and I have to say, Arizona got the best listing (in my opinion). And while not every state has a Mission San Xavier del Bac, many states could have been better represented. I suppose Glass set himself a tall order, combining together as he did so many divergent kinds of histories before choosing his sites of interest. Geologic, social, political, architectural--and his own attention to detail varies depending on which site he examines, no doubt as a result of his own passion for certain places and his familiarity with others. As an end result, not all of the fifty sites he lists are made of equal interest or accessibility to the reader. It just feels ... uneven. I will say, however, that each site is followed by some parenthetical material listing other nearby sites of interest as well as where to find further information. That's useful. If you're looking for creative nonfiction, Glass's book will not satisfy. His entries are not essays. They are not narrative, and they're not even particularly interesting. The mind behind them, and the choices he makes, are. I would prefer to read a book by Glass about just one of these locations, as I have the feeling this is not his best showing.

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