About the Book

American Places

American Places

A Writer’s Pilgrimage to 16 of This Country’s Most Visited and Cherished Sites
April 2007
Trade Paperback · 196 Pages
$16.95 U.S. · $18.50 CAN
ISBN 9781589880344
Paul Dry Books


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“This inspiring guide includes places everyone means to go to some day, all described with the usual clarity of the author of On Writing Well.”—The New York Times

“A fascinating take on ‘the search for memory’ and how certain places have come to symbolize deep American principles.”—Kirkus Reviews

Setting out in the spring of 1990 “to look for America,” when patriotic travel was suddenly back in fashion, William Zinsser made first-time pilgrimages to some of our nation’s most cherished and visited historic sites: Mount Rushmore, Rockefeller Center, Yellowstone National Park, Pearl Harbor, even the “corny and obvious” Niagara Falls. At these and his other iconic destinations, Zinsser unlearned clichéd assumptions and rediscovered fundamental truths about America. Originally published in 1992, American Places and the ideals that Zinsser discovers these places represent will never go out of fashion.

I like the idea of pilgrimages, and when I thought about those pilgrims I realized that I had a deprived childhood. My sisters and I were never hauled around America and shown the great monuments and parks that were our heritage… . Nor did I attend schools that organized class trips to historic sites … I went through life history-illiterate, loving my country in principle but wanting to be spared the boring details.

William Zinsser is a writer, editor, and teacher. His seventeen books include the best-selling classic On Writing Well. He now teaches at The New School in New York, his hometown, and at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

About the Author

William Zinsser is a writer, editor and teacher. His 17 books include the bestselling On Writing Well; Writing to Learn; Mitchell & Ruff; Easy to Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs; and Writing About Your Life. He now teaches at the New School, in New York, his hometown, and at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.