I Wish I'd Been There

Twenty Historians Bring to Life Dramatic Events That Changed America

By Byron Hollinshead
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385516198, 352pp.)

Publication Date: October 3, 2006

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



Twenty distinguished American historians vividly reimagine twenty events of great drama and significance in our country’s past.

“What is the scene or incident in American history that you would like to have witnessed—and why?” This is the thought-provoking question that editor Byron Hollinshead posed to twenty of our finest interpreters of American history with the invitation to write a personal essay answering it. The result is I Wish I’d Been There, a book that trains a lens on crucial moments of our past and brings them to vivid life. With these peerless scholars as their guides, readers will be transported to the Salem witch trials, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the raid on Harpers Ferry, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Scopes “monkey trial,” the beginnings of the Vietnam War, the voting rights march to Selma, and other turning points of our national drama. Contributors include Mary Beth Norton, Joseph Ellis, Jay Winik, Carol Berkin, Kevin Baker, Robert Cowley, Carolyn Gilman, Geoffrey Ward, Robert Dallek, and William Leuchtenburg, among other luminaries of the historical profession.
I Wish I’d Been There is a marvelous concept, wonderfully and imaginatively executed. The result is an American pageant of character and event that will attract and delight readers of history.

About the Author

is president of American Historical Publications, a producer of books in history for adults and for children. Previously, he was president of American Heritage Publishing Company and Oxford University Press, Inc., and was publisher of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. Hollinshead has been a consultant to several PBS documentaries in history, including, most recently, Freedom: A History of US, a sixteen part series from Kunhardt Productions.

Praise For I Wish I'd Been There

“Such vivid detail it’s as if they were present.”
New York Daily News

“Fun. . . . Poses new and intriguing questions. . . . The essays are crammed with knowledge and are as thought-provoking as they are entertaining.”
Buffalo News

“Provocative essays that both scholars and history buffs can enjoy.”
Deseret Morning News

Indie Bookstore Finder

Update Profile