American Places: Encounters with History by William E. Leuchtenburg

By William E. Leuchtenburg

For somebody attracted to heritage, the actual strains of the previous, specially old locations, carry a unique fascination. if it is a battlefield or the house of a amazing American, there's no query that we comprehend the prior in a distinct and extra rapid manner after we come upon it "on the ground."
In American Places, greater than dozen of America's so much proficient historians write approximately their very own encounters with historical areas, bringing a private perspective to undergo on a large choice of web sites, starting from Monticello to Fenway Park. the following James M. McPherson writes concerning the battlefield of Gettysburg, and the way strolling the floor of Pickett's cost encouraged one in all his books. Kevin Starr visits the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood and unearths the various flavors of California heritage there. Joel Williamson takes a bemused travel of Elvis Presley's Graceland, and David Kennedy tells the tale of the "Pig warfare" 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 locations, Charleston's Battery and New Orleans' Jackson sq., displaying how every one unearths 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 via 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 exotic historians, together with many Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize winners, nearly all of whom have contributed to this quantity.

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Unlike classic New England towns that have preserved an eighteenth-century world, this community presents a jumble of different and conflicting pasts, a record of episodes rather than process, so that during my initial walk the buildings circling the Common seem like outcroppings of rock in which each stratum reveals a completely separate moment in a long and complex history. It is clear, however, that the fastidious force of gentrification is nowhere to be seen. From a nineteenth-century bandstand where townspeople once gathered on summer evenings, I survey a cluster of modest stores, a garage, a library, the offices of "Worcester County's Oldest Newspaper," several churches, a modern bank, and the Barre post office.

It is here—on the very ground upon which they are standing—that a black man made history. It is their history. Insomuch as Quork has been incorporated into the shared memory of this town, it has happened here. In fact, his "walk" has become a sort of modern pilgrimage. Clark assures me that the number of men and women who follow him all the way to the Caldwell farm—the original barn has not survived—is not small. One Massachusetts judge, a person apparently made of sterner stuff than I, insisted on taking the Quork Walk even though he was dressed in an expensive suit.

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. He also stationed soldiers on streets paralleling the parade route and cavalrymen on the side streets crossing Pennsylvania Avenue, and put riflemen on the roofs and at the windows of buildings along the parade route as well.

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