Friday, July 17, 2015

A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History by Tim Grove

A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History
by Tim Grove
2014
*
1 star - just not the book I was expecting
ALR Blue


If you are looking for a book about how to make history relevant to the average person (with some historical vignettes thrown in), then this is the book for you. If, like me, you are keen to read anecdotes of life as a historian, then, no.

Mr. Grove is passionate about history education. He provides chapters about different ways institutions strive to make history interesting for people who might otherwise think it's not important. That's all good. Just not what I was looking for.

His opening chapters discuss Colonial Williamsburg. It's one of the largest and oldest historical recreation communities in the country. So, first off, that kind of exhibit doesn't work for me. I just can't get past the whole actors part. No worries there. He's got some pretty interesting discussions about how Williamsburg has dealt with the issue of slavery over the years and encouraging reports of people starting to ask questions after participating in various Williamsburg activities. All good stuff. 

Unfortunately, I was hoping for more personal information about Mr. Grove and behind the scenes tales of what it's like to work in Williamsburg. You know, interviews with the actors, discussions of what it feels like to wear the costumes, that sort of thing. So, no, didn't finish the book because I was looking for a different kind of memoir. 

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