By William E. Leuchtenburg
For an individual attracted to historical past, the actual lines of the prior, in particular ancient locations, carry a distinct fascination. if it is a battlefield or the house of a awesome American, there's no query that we comprehend the previous in a distinct and extra quick means once we come upon it "on the ground."
In American Places, greater than dozen of America's such a lot talented historians write approximately their very own encounters with old locations, bringing a private point of view to endure on a wide selection 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 in every of his books. Kevin Starr visits the Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood and reveals the various flavors of California background 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., exhibiting how every one finds the various spirit of the society that created it. And Edward Ayers talks approximately spending time in our on-line world, america, a digital position that has a lot in universal with the the United States visited by means of Alexis de Tocqueville a century and a part in the past. different items comprise 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 such a lot distinctive historians, together with many Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize winners, almost all of whom have contributed to this quantity.
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Extra info for American Places: Encounters with History, a Celebration of Sheldon Meyer
He asked an army general sitting near him in the reviewing stand. " Deaver reassured him. "Mr. " George Bush followed Reagan's practice, and the two of them exchanged spirited salutes as they parted after Bush's oath-taking in 1989, even though Reagan was no longer commander in chief. What about the twentieth century's last president? In 1993, Bill Clinton omitted the military gesture when the troops marched by on the afternoon of his first inauguration. " In fact, I learned, after a little research, that there is no such requirement.
As in Tocqueville's America, the government in cyberspace is decentralized, distrusted, and weak, afraid to interfere. As in Tocqueville's America, the denizens of cyberspace are fascinated by any machinery faster and shinier than yesterday's machinery. People flock together to discuss UFOs, politics, or stocks online, just as they flocked to the lodges, reform organizations, and religions they invented on the spot in the America of Andrew Jackson. The impulse is constant; only the medium has changed.
Tocqueville still speaks to us because he refused to speak in mere disdain. No one today reads the European observers who visited only to sneer, and no one takes seriously those who only doled out praise. " Tocqueville ascribed this perpetual longing to the impossibility of ever acquiring true equality; each man thought every other man was getting ahead, leaving him behind with no one else to blame. Americans felt alone, adrift, without a place and without community. Presented with a clean sheet on which to draw our deepest desires and our best plans, Americans seem to be re-creating much of what Tocqueville saw.