Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World
By Paul Martin
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780062096043, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 2012
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Not all American heroes appear in the standard history texts. Their achievements aren't celebrated like the monumental exploits of presidents, generals, and founding fathers. But for as long as this great nation has existed, ordinary citizens have done extraordinary things. In Secret Heroes, author Paul Martin spotlights thirty overlooked Americans, all of whom had an impact on their world and ours, including:
Hercules Mulligan, the New York tailor and spy who saved George Washington's life . . . twice!
Jimmie Angel, the gold-seeking bush pilot who, in 1933, discovered the world's highest waterfall in Venezuela.
Carl Akeley, a pioneering taxidermist who killed a leopard with his bare hands and inspired Africa's first national park.
Eliza Scidmore, who convinced the government to plant cherry trees in Washington, D.C. . . . after twenty-four years of lobbying!
A book and magazine editor with the National Geographic Society for three decades, Paul Martin spent the last ten years as executive editor of National Geographic Traveler. Earlier in his career, he served as a military journalist in Vietnam and was assistant editor of Outdoors magazine and managing editor of Continuing Education for the Family Physician. Martin lives near Washington, D.C. When not writing, he builds acoustic guitars. Readers can meet all thirty of the characters in Secret Heroes at http://www.paulmartinbooks.com.
“Martin’s life-and-work portraits, with their subjects’ pluck and pioneering spirit, will surprise and, perhaps, inspire readers.”
“Self-sacrifice and determination abound in the tales....Meticulously researched, Martin holds his subjects in deserved high-esteem.”
“Reverent character sketches of some unusually self-reliant Americans....Inspirational yarns of exceptional folks who made a difference...surprisingly entertaining.”
“Paul Martin creates a fascinating sub-text to American history: the literally un-sung hero who through imagination, daring, perseverance, and occasional great risk affects the shaping of democracy. This enthralling, episodic ramble’s perfect for anyone interested in how America managed to get from there to here.”
-James Conaway, author of Napa: The Story of an American Eden
“Look who Paul Martin found hiding in the cracks and crevices of American history--a colorful cast of forgotten characters definitely worth getting to know!...From the grocery store to the battlefield, forgotten heroes who left an indelible mark on American history. An enjoyable and eye-opening read.”
-Rick Beyer, author of The Greatest Stories Never Told
“Endlessly entertaining…Martin introduces us to a colorful cast of saints, visionaries and occasional rogues, and he does so with style and zest. Heroes, yes, but secret no more, these are (extra)ordinary men and women well worth our attention, in a book that makes history joyous.”
-Thomas C. Foster, author of How to Read Literature Like a Professor