Here Is Where chronicles Andrew Carroll’s eye-opening – and at times hilarious -- journey across America to find and explore unmarked historic sites where extraordinary moments occurred and remarkable individuals once lived. Sparking the idea for this book was Carroll’s visit to the spot where Abraham Lincoln’s son was saved by the brother of Lincoln’s assassin. Carroll wondered, How many other unmarked places are there where intriguing events have unfolded and that we walk past every day, not realizing their significance? To answer that question, Carroll ultimately trekked to every region of the country -- by car, train, plane, helicopter, bus, bike, and kayak and on foot. Among the things he learned:
*Where in North America the oldest sample of human DNA was discovered
* Where America’s deadliest maritime disaster took place, a calamity worse than the fate of the Titanic
*Which virtually unknown American scientist saved hundreds of millions of lives
*Which famous Prohibition agent was the brother of a notorious gangster
*How a 14-year-old farm boy’s brainstorm led to the creation of television
Featured prominently in Here Is Where are an abundance of firsts (from the first use of modern anesthesia to the first cremation to the first murder conviction based on forensic evidence); outrages (from riots to massacres to forced sterilizations); and breakthroughs (from the invention, inside a prison, of a revolutionary weapon; to the recovery, deep in the Alaskan tundra, of a super-virus; to the building of the rocket that made possible space travel). Here Is Where is thoroughly entertaining, but it’s also a profound reminder that the places we pass by often harbor amazing secrets and that there are countless other astonishing stories still out there, waiting to be found.
Look for Andrew's new book, My Fellow Soldiers.
Carroll (War Letters) takes readers on an eye-opening and entertaining grand tour of America in this lively exploration of lesser-known or overlooked historical sites. From birthplaces to gravesites and high points to low, from those that inspired inventions to those that sparked change, he leaves no stone unturned or landmark unvisited. Bite-sized chapters focusing on a specific destination as well as Carroll's own personal journey make this an addictive experience each entry sheds a little more light on the people and locations we've forgotten. The reasons for such obscurity vary, but common threads emerge: these places "evoke shame, they're inaccessible, the original structure is gone, there's no funding to mark them, they've been overshadowed by other events...." Carroll's task, "to tackle the larger question of what makes them worth remembering at all," is thus admirable and illuminating. His accessible and informative style invites readers to join him on his quixotic quest to visit everywhere from Niihau, Hawaii (where an incident sparked the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII), to Hart Island (New York City's infamous potter's field) and so much more. Part travelogue, part history, this book should be required reading for anyone interested in America's past.