> Bless Their Hearts Mom: History Corner / Book Review: 50 Great American Places by Brent D. Glass and David McCullough
Thursday, March 10, 2016

History Corner / Book Review: 50 Great American Places by Brent D. Glass and David McCullough

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge,from Simon and Schuster, via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for a perfect book to share before Spring Vacation!

50 great american places cover


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.


I was a little surprised and some of the locations included in the book, and other that weren't. BUT the list is pretty impressive and when you look at it from the author's perspective of places that truly make up Americana's foundation and history, then it is a great list! I was happy to see New Orleans in the list As you can see, each place has its own section and it starts off with a picture.

Then the author explains why the location is so important and how it affected American history, and why you should visit. That is then followed up by websites that have relevant information  for locations discussed in the chapter. That is also followed up by nearby places, that also have historical merit, and are excellent to visit.As you can see from the list for New Orleans, these are all pretty good links.

This is an excellent book to help get you started if you want to plan an educational road trip, or if like us, you'll be visiting different cities during the year, and want to see  great places to check out while there. I highly recommend it as both a parental and teaching resource!

About the Authors:

Brent D. Glass is Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. A national leader in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of history, Glass is a public historian who pioneered influential oral history and material culture studies, an author, television presence, and international speaker on public memory and museum management. He lives in Washington, DC.

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman  and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback>. His other acclaimed books include 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.

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