RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

America's Living History - The Early Years, by Suzanne & Craig Sheumaker

America's Living History
At first glance, this beautiful book looks like it belongs on a coffee table. In fact, it would make a great addition to any stack of large-sized page-turner picture books, because the first thing that jumps out when you look inside is the wealth of outstanding photographs. Color images grace nearly every page, and all of them entice the reader to delve into the prose that accompanies them.

Although America's Living History is great for enjoying with your feet up on a footstool, the book offers far more than armchair enjoyment. Excellent maps and detailed information about historic sites and how to visit them make this a valuable guidebook for discovering about 300 destinations across the continent. From historic homes in New Hampshire to petroglyphs in Hawaii, the destinations reflect all the forces and peoples that shaped the evolution of the United States.

The first chapter of the book identifies all the sites and pinpoints them on both a map of the United States and more detailed maps of the various regions. Since the focus is pre-history to the early 1840s, many of the destinations are in the east, but all areas are represented. The rest of the book is organized by subject into the following chapters:

  • America's Native Peoples
  • European Colonization
  • Religious & Secular Groups
  • Road to Independence
  • Our New Nation
  • Opening the West

The photographs may be the incentive to open this book, but the text is every bit as engaging. Presented in a fashion that both children and adults can appreciate and enjoy, the historical background and descriptions of the sites are both inspiring and practical. America's Living History is a wonderful resource for planning a road trip into the past, and it's a great virtual journey in its own right.

Megan Edwards

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