In this Book

A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History
summary

For more than twenty years, Tim Grove has worked at the most popular history museums in the United States, helping millions of people get acquainted with the past. This book translates that experience into an insider’s tour of some of the most interesting moments in American history. Grove’s stories are populated with well-known historical figures such as John Brown, Charles Lindbergh, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea—as well as the not-so-famous. Have you heard of Mary Pickersgill, seamstress of the Star-Spangled Banner flag? Grove also has something to say about a few of our cherished myths, for instance, the lore surrounding Betsy Ross and Eli Whitney.

Grove takes readers to historic sites such as Harpers Ferry, Fort McHenry, the Ulm Pishkun buffalo jump, and the Lemhi Pass on the Lewis and Clark Trail and traverses time and space from eighteenth-century Williamsburg to the twenty-first-century Kennedy Space Center. En route from Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic to Cape Disappointment on the Pacific, we learn about planting a cotton patch on the National Mall, riding a high wheel bicycle, flying the transcontinental airmail route, and harnessing a mule. Is history relevant? This book answers with a resounding yes and, in the most entertaining fashion, shows us why.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Content
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. 1. Why History?
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. 2. Stepping Back in Time, Almost
  2. pp. 11-22
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  1. 3. Challenging History
  2. pp. 23-38
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  1. 4. The Everest of Museums
  2. pp. 39-48
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  1. 5. Conquering the High Wheeler
  2. pp. 49-60
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  1. 6. Does This Make Cotton or Gin?
  2. pp. 61-72
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  1. 7. Mary, Not Betsy
  2. pp. 73-88
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  1. 8. That Strange Creature the Mule
  2. pp. 89-102
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  1. 9. When Houses Talk
  2. pp. 103-116
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  1. 10. Water Battle on the Missouri
  2. pp. 117-128
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  1. 11. You Can’t Write My History
  2. pp. 129-142
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  1. 12. A Grizzly in the Mail
  2. pp. 143-158
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  1. 13. Tracking the Buff alo
  2. pp. 159-172
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  1. 14. The Cathedral and the Cemetery
  2. pp. 173-184
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  1. 15. We’re Flying over Hell Stretch?
  2. pp. 185-198
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  1. 16. How Lucky Was Lindy?
  2. pp. 199-212
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  1. 17. Passionate Pretenders
  2. pp. 213-226
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 227-230
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 231-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-242
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