“Tim Grove has combined a thought-provoking and entertaining memoir with an insider’s guide to behind-the-scenes history.”
—Libby H. O’Connell, chief historian, History Channel
“History is fun, and when it’s told by someone who has lived history through a number of amazing adventures, and someone who can recount those adventures in a fascinating and often hilarious way, I can’t imagine anyone who will not become an instant history enthusiast once they have read Tim’s book. I guarantee that whether you are a history buff, a history scholar, or an ‘I hate history’ Scrooge, you will love this book.”
—Robert K. Sutton, chief historian, National Park Service
“Hands-on learning is what history museums do best. Tim’s adventures of providing fun educational experiences are engaging and inspirational.”
—Cathy Gorn, executive director, National History Day
“Loved this book. Tim is a great storyteller. It brought back lots of memories. I think it should be a ‘must read’ for all emerging museum professionals.”
—Pam Pettengell, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, VA
“If you’re at all curious to get a fun and light look at some of the behind-the-scenes workings of a museum, check out [this book]. In a series of short, readable chapters Grove tells story and story—some humorous, some thought-provoking, all fascinating—about the efforts and trials of historians working to bring the past alive for the public.”
Summer reading recommendations, staff of the Berkshire Museum, MA
“The title is a good shorthand for Tim Grove’s argument that quirky, accessible, emotionally evocative historical artifacts can fire the imagination and kindle the flames of knowledge in a way that books, however lively, often fail to…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.” Read the full review.
“Touches of American history, up close and personal, from an educator’s scrapbook…A practitioner of ‘living history’ recounts, among odd bits of America’s past, some of his life story so far.”
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“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., Lib. of Congress, Washington, DC
“Tim Grove is clearly an innovative educator. His compilations of American history stories carry readers back to earlier times to not only take a look at the facts, but also to feel some of the emotions of the moment. The book is suitable for all ages and is especially appropriate as a model for amateur historians in historical societies who want to tell local stories in stimulating and challenging ways. Grove urges scholarship over gossip, hands-on experiences over static displays and surprise revelations over the expected. As exemplified in this volume, his approach makes for an engaging, entertaining and educational read.”
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WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS
“One of Grove’s strengths is that he writes from a quite varied experience. Besides the historical events already mentioned, Grove writes about the beginnings of airmail, the Star-Spangled Banner, buffalo hunting, the space shuttle, and more, tying all those aspects of history into his own experiences with exhibits or museum programs relating to the topic in question.”
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“…It was a lot of fun to read. The style is engaging and light, but still informative. [Grove] talks about bicycles, cotton gins, interpreting Lewis & Clark inclusively, and more. I’m not even interested in American history, but Grove knows what stuff to talk about to make it interesting. He has a really good grasp of what the average American knows about U.S. history, and he’s able to make that knowledge seem new and relevant..”
Things Matter: History, pop culture, and a sci-fi novel [blog]—12/11/14
WESTERN WRITERS OF AMERICA ROUNDUP MAGAZINE
“One third of the book takes place in the West or refers to the West…it is an enjoyable read if you like museums and the efforts taking place to preserve and present artifacts of our nation’s history.”
ILLINOIS HERITAGE ASSOCIATION
“They [the stories Grove tells] all helped shape an impressive museum professional, one with formal training, keen powers of observation, a spirit of inquiry, a joyful enthusiasm for history, a willingness to critically assess the historical record, and the ability to work collaboratively. The fact that he [Grove] can tell us about history and himself with gentle wit doesn’t hurt, either.
Many people will enjoy this book: anyone with a love of history, but also students currently wondering whether to go into a history-related profession; mid-career staffers who sometimes might question their own decision to do so; and long-established seniors who can look back at their own careers with a sense of recognition––and satisfaction––as they read about Grove’s.”
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