Here Is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
Andrew Carroll’s chronicling of his search for, and travels to, little known locations of historical importance that have been forgotten or ignored was an intriguing concept upon seeing the cover for Here is Where. Upon finishing the book, I can say that Carroll turned said concept into wonderful book that was a combination of investigative history and travel log that was hard to put down at the end of my lunch hour and work breaks.
Carroll’s begins the book by giving the reasons he decided to go cross country, numerous times it turned out, and write about places and individuals forgotten by popular history. As Carroll learns on his travels, that just like that particular point in his life, it’s the circumstances surrounding the events in question that determined if they were remembered or not. And without rehashing the entire book, Carroll is able to find interesting links between these forgotten facets of history that connect them to one another and even his own life and family.
Carroll is careful to write about the individuals and organizations that helped him to find the exact locations he was looking throughout his travels not only in the acknowledgements at the end of the book, but in the text itself. Carroll highlights the local historical society volunteers or local history hobbyists that are sometimes the only individuals in a town that know the interesting facts of where they live. And on rare occasions, Carroll is able to surprise even these individuals with what he’s discovered.
Although even this paperback edition have mistakes that weren’t corrected from the hardcover print namely some incorrect dates, spelling, and grammar; they are forgive able because their very few and far between which made them noticeable. The biggest let down was the Carroll wrote about taken numerous photographs of the locations he visited, but none where in the book! Even though Carroll did write very good descriptions, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Here is Where, is a wonderful read for anyone interested in history and takes out the big themes that academic historians seem to want to force fit things into. Andrew Carroll reveals that important historical moments are not always remembered, but are nonetheless still relevant in the 21st Century by giving better perspective on events that are well remembered. I can’t stress enough how much I recommend this book.