This is not your father's history book -- strange things happen when a stand-up comic also has a PhD in history!  I've written a humorous yet factual account of America's saga from prehistoric times through the Civil War. Ideal for young people who want to learn and older folks who like to remember, this book offers the perfect blend of information and humor -- proving that history can be both interesting and fun!

One afternoon I was strolling with a gaggle of friendly strangers up Little Round Top hill, listening to a venerable tour guide pontificate on the Battle of Gettysburg.  When he paused and asked if anyone had questions, one earnest young woman raised her hand and queried, “How come they always had the battles in national parks?”  I covered my laugh with a cough when I realized she was serious and that the group was waiting for an answer.  Our tour guide stared wide-eyed and opened his mouth, but the only sound that escaped was a low moan.  He bent over and appeared to be suffering some gastric distress, to which I thought he was quite entitled.  I stepped forward to defuse the awkward moment.  “It was an incredible coincidence,” I announced,  “... all those battles in national parks were just a coincidence and very convenient.”  Everyone nodded and seemed satisfied.  I turned, placed my arm around our guide and nudged him forward. In a few seconds all was back to normal.

We must ask ourselves, how can so many Americans be so confused about History?  Why is it so difficult for so many of us to distinguish between George Washington the president and George Washington the bridge?  Why is the name Britney Spears more readily recognized than the name Franklin Roosevelt?  Where did we go wrong?

When it came to the study of History we took ourselves too darn seriously, that’s what happened.  Too many of our grade school teachers made us memorize state capitals and the dates of wars and turned us all off.  In truth, History is about people, about how they used to live and why we live the way we do today.  And because people are always both good and bad, sensible and silly, so is History.

There have been lots of laughs in History.  Sometimes we have to laugh because -- to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln -- it hurts too much to cry.  This book is a tongue-in-cheek (but true) survey of historical events that begins to raise the boring black veil off our American heritage.  As we navigate the new millennium it is more important than ever to understand where the heck we come from.  Why not have a good time doing it?  The following pages will not explain in detail the intricate ebb and flow of our nation’s past.  But they will make you smile and say, “hmmm.”  And reading this may even make you curious enough to delve deeper into all those battles that took place in national parks.”

Selected excerpts from "How Come They Always
 Had The Battles In National Parks?"


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How Come They Always Had
The Battles In National Parks?
by Peter Bales, Ph.D
$14.95 + S/H
ISBN 0-930545-23-0


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Maple Hill Press
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