Saturday, March 12, 2016

50 Great American Places

50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S. by Brent D. Glass
Simon & Schuster: 3/15/16
eBook review copy; 320 pages
paperback ISBN-13: 9781451682038

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.

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