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Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about 50 Great American Places , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about 50 Great American Places. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Aug 25, Julie rated it liked it. 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. Feb 14, Pop Bop rated it it was ok Shelves: reviewed.

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. 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.

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. View 1 comment. Aug 16, Me rated it really liked it.

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

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

We cannot participate fully in democracy without historical knowledge. 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 site mentioned on this list is the major subject of each essay.


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Mar 18, Bronwyn rated it really liked it Shelves: american , by-men , non-fiction , title-s-z-and-number , arc , history , essays , reads , author-a-i , first-reads. I received this book free through Goodreads in exchange for a review. 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. 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.

50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S. | Daedalus Books | D

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.


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  6. Secondly, I had an issue with a word choice of Glass's that popped up a few times. 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. 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. View all 3 comments. Jul 21, Rachel rated it did not like it.

    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. Black bears, bobcats, deer, wolves and Canada lynx all live in the park, which is over a million acres in size. Nothing specific. Apparently people needing a guidebook to tell them where to go don't need more details than the name of a city.

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    Feb 11, Brooke rated it liked it Shelves: american , non-fiction , netgalley , history , travel. 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?