A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History


A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History

Tim Grove

256 pages
17 illustrations


May 2014


$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2014


$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

May 2014


$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.

Author Bio

Tim Grove is chief of museum learning at the National Air and Space Museum. He is the coauthor of The Museum Educator's Manual and received the 2008 Smithsonian Individual Achievement in Education Award.


"Grove's book is both an inspiration and a template for those who want to kick history out of the attic and put it back where it belongs: in the national living room, slightly to the left of the television."—James Norton, Washington Post

"Though he's not fond of battlefield re-enactments, Grove thoroughly enjoys re-creating the past with appropriate objects. Essentially about the author's career in educating with artifacts, his account makes snippets of American history accessible to casual readers, who may learn of the utility of mules, the history of airmail and such miscellanea."—Kirkus

"This semiautobiographical journey of a versatile, peregrinating public historian is instructive and inspirational for museum docents; informative for history buffs, especially those interested in the background of educational institutions outside the academy; and helpful for administrators of public programs. All readers will appreciate the author's learning techniques for eliciting questions, sparking the imagination, and promoting transcultural understanding, as well as his acknowledgement of cultural sensitivity, multiple perspectives, and changing interpretations."—Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Library Journal

"An engaging, entertaining and educational read."—Bill Schwab, eMissourian

"An enjoyable read."—Bill Markley, Roundup Magazine

"[A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History] is an invitation for further exploration a guidebook that suggests not just possible sites to visit and explore, but ways in which to think about what's presented."—Karen Carcia, Wapsipinicon Almanac

Table of Contents

1. Why History?
2. Stepping Back in Time, Almost
3. Challenging History
4. The Everest of Museums
5. Conquering the High Wheeler
6. Does This Make Cotton or Gin?
7. Mary, Not Betsy
8. That Strange Creature the Mule
9. When Houses Talk
10. Water Battle on the Missouri
11. You Can’t Write My History
12. A Grizzly in the Mail
13. Tracking the Buffalo
14. The Cathedral and the Cemetery
15. We’re Flying over Hell Stretch?
16. How Lucky Was Lindy?
17. Passionate Pretenders