By William E. Leuchtenburg
For someone drawn to background, the actual strains of the previous, specifically historic locations, carry a different fascination. if it is a battlefield or the house of a outstanding American, there's no query that we comprehend the earlier in a distinct and extra speedy manner after we come upon it "on the ground."
In American Places, greater than dozen of America's so much talented historians write approximately their very own encounters with historical locations, bringing a private perspective to endure on a large choice of web sites, starting from Monticello to Fenway Park. right here James M. McPherson writes in regards to the battlefield of Gettysburg, and the way jogging the floor of Pickett's cost encouraged one among his books. Kevin Starr visits the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood and reveals some of the flavors of California heritage there. Joel Williamson takes a bemused journey of Elvis Presley's Graceland, and David Kennedy tells the tale of the "Pig conflict" of San Juan Island, the place a spat among Britain and the US over a speck of land within the Pacific helped be sure the form of the U.S. and Canada. William Freehling compares areas, Charleston's Battery and New Orleans' Jackson sq., displaying how each one finds the various spirit of the society that created it. And Edward Ayers talks approximately spending time in our on-line world, usa, a digital position that has a lot in universal with the the USA visited by way of Alexis de Tocqueville a century and a part in the past. different items contain Robert Dallek at the FDR Memorial, David Hackett Fischer at the Boston universal, and William Leuchtenburg on his local borough of Queens.
American Places celebrates the occupation of Sheldon Meyer, who over his years at Oxford college Press has released a few of our so much unique historians, together with many Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize winners, nearly all of whom have contributed to this quantity.
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Extra info for American Places: Encounters with History
With the nation on the brink of civil war on March 4, the inaugural planners realized that the safety of Lincoln and the security of Washington itself were their most urgent tasks. To meet the crisis, General Winfield Scott, the army's general in chief, moved several hundred regular troops into the city and arranged for the presidential carriage to move along Pennsylvania Avenue on inauguration morning between double files of District cavalry, with a company of sappers and miners marching in front of the carriage and the infantry and riflemen of the District following 17 AMERICAN PLACES behind.
We drive a half mile up the road to a deserted place surrounded by deep woods. Clark stops the car. He assures me that we can find the Caldwell monument; it is only a few hundred yards away. It is tick time. There is no discussion about the advisability of crashing through the trees. We attack the forest. I follow 38 A M O N U M E N T FOR BARRE the indefatigable Clark, convinced that I am a condemned man, wondering if I will one day rate a historic marker. The promised path is not a path at all.
I have not had this problem on Virginia tobacco plantations or on the old levees of Tidewater Carolina where huge gangs of slaves once produced rice. In those places the Africans made a permanent mark on the landscape. One encounters slave quarters and special rooms in the great mansions reserved for the black men and women who served the masters as house slaves. But here, on a dirt road in Barre, time has effectively erased a slave past, and New Englanders, I suspect, have come to think of their own history as one of sturdy yeoman farmers, independent, somewhat truculent, white Christians who constructed the stone walls celebrated later by the likes of Robert Frost.