Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘david mccullough’

The Pioneers

Author David McCullough hails from my hometown of Pittsburgh so I feel a connection to him.  Okay, not really, but I’ve enjoyed many of his books.  If you love historic settings and details, you have to have read some of his books.  The Pioneers is subtitled “The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West.”  In this case “West” is Ohio.  The book heralds the settlement of communities in and around what is now Marietta, Ohio. Being from Pittsburgh, I truly enjoyed the references to the Ohio River and Pittsburgh itself.

The Path Between The Seas

image“Yet they [the locks] were something much more than monumental; they did not, like a bridge or a cathedral, simply stand there; they worked.  They were made of concrete and they were made of literally thousands of moving parts.  Large essential elements were not built, but were manufactured, made in Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Schenectady, and other cities.  In a very real sense they were colossal machines, the largest yet conceived, and in their final, finished form they would function quite as smoothly as a Swiss watch.”

The Johnstown Flood

It should be rather embarrassing that I live around an hour from Johnstown and knew very little about the great flood.  In The Johnstown Flood author David McCullough pieces together a riveting story using local reports and quotes from the period.  Most of us have heard of the tragedy; some may even know that 2,209 people lost their lives (McCullough reprinted the names of those lost), but you probably don’t know their stories.  I had no idea what an international story it was and how long it stayed in the headlines.

1776

It’s not hard to guess what David McCullough’s book 1776  might be about. Besides the title, the cover painting featuring General George Washington kind of gave it away also. David McCullough provides a detailed portrait of the fledgling United States as they faced off against the formidable armies and navies of world leader Great Britain. Having grown up in a era when American history was taught in grade school I knew of some of the battles and troubles facing Washington. I even knew that his brilliant career got off to a rather rocky start, but the devil is in the details and McCullough provides many details in a very readable way.