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A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History
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A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
For more than twenty years, Tim Grove has worked at the most popular history museums in the United States, helping millions of people get acquainted with the past. This book translates that experience into an insider’s tour of some of the most interesting moments in American history. Grove’s stories are populated with well-known historical figures such as John Brown, ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by University of Nebraska Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Jul 17, 2014 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all I'm not, definitely not, a history geek! History was my worst subject in school by far. I've never been to Williamsburg, Jamestown or even the Renaissance Festival and don't intend to go. Dressing up and reenacting seem silly and not a little scary (like clowns) to me. So the fact that Tim Grove was able to convey his enthusium for history to me is pretty amazing. This guy looovvveeesss history! I'm much more a natural history geek which is how he trapped me into reading his ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Karri rated it it was ok
This book was less a collection of anecdotes on American history than it was a series of ideas, opinions, and exploration on teaching history in today's museums. If it weren't for a couple of chapters on Lewis and Clark, I would have only given it one star. It was just not what I expected and was a little too ego-centric for me. For instance, the story that the title is based on is not a little-known tale about well-known faces or events in history but it is literally a reference to a time the ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Nancy rated it did not like it
If you are looking for a book about how to make history relevant to the average person (with some historical vignettes thrown in), then this is the book for you. If, like me, you are keen to read anecdotes of life as a historian, then, no.

Mr. Grove is passionate about history education. He provides chapters about different ways institutions strive to make history interesting for people who might otherwise think it's not important. That's all good. Just not what I was looking for.

His opening chap
Hannah Givens
I love workplace memoirs. I feel like this was more "memoir" than "workplace" -- more about Grove's interesting experiences and fun facts about American history than the day-to-day of museum work. However, once I embraced it for what it was, it was a lot of fun to read. The style is engaging and light, but still informative. He talks about bicycles, cotton gins, interpreting Lewis & Clark inclusively, and more. I’m not even interested in American history, but Grove knows what stuff to talk ...more
Shannon Marriott
May 05, 2014 Shannon Marriott rated it really liked it
A museum educator and former history teacher myself, I was prepared to love this book, and did. A bit slow at some points, the book always manages to keep you interested with a new story to enrich the chapter. I am privileged to work with Tim Grove, and can hear his voice on every page. His commitment to history and museum education is apparent in he fact that he never passes up an opportunity to dive more deeply into content. This book is engaging and interesting, shining a light on a corner in ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
As a history buff and museum fan, this book seemed like a perfect fit to me. And I was right! Tim Grove brings to life his experiences studying American history and bringing it to life in various museums with a light, conversational style and a mix of humor and reflection. He ponders what history means and how to engage people in it, and how his background and the experiences he's had help him accomplish that. If you enjoy American history, you'll want to read this book.
Aug 07, 2014 Jenn rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one. If more non-fiction books were written like the author was telling a story and not simply a dry recitation of facts, I would read more of it (if I liked the subject matter as well). Tim Grove did an excellent job in sharing his passion for history and giving insight into what it's like working in some of the top museums in the nation. Lovely book.
Angelica Dimeo
Aug 20, 2014 Angelica Dimeo rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book on goodreads.
I liked this book because it gave a fresh perspective on tales
throughout American history. I also like that the book was not boring
at points it was slow. I also liked the quotes on the first page of each chapter.
I recommend this book to history buffs or just people who love good story's.
thanks for the opportunity
Jul 29, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
A great intro to some of the behind the scenes goings on in museum education. Funny stories, some sense of complications, and a taste of national history. I personally was hoping for a little more of a critical look, maybe some more frankness, but it's a good read for those new to the subject.
Apr 24, 2014 Dale rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Tim Grove shares his experiences in the museum world while also introducing me to new perspectives on the history I thought I knew. Each chapter is short and enjoyable with new stories from interpreting the past.
Aug 02, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful and conversational look back at Tim Grove's decades working in public history, this book offers a great peek behind-the-scenes at just how historians do their work, peppered with background on the stories and artifacts that have intrigued him over the years.
Libby O'connell
Sep 10, 2014 Libby O'connell rated it it was amazing
I am , I admit, a history geek, and I also love museums, so perhaps it is not a surprise that I enjoyed Grove's adventures. The narrative climbs some hills but mostly provides an enjoyable ride through interesting country side.
Terence rated it it was ok
May 20, 2014
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May 22, 2015
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Marissa Sobel rated it it was amazing
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Tim writes about surprising and fascinating topics in history and strives to make the past accessible to everyone (including those people who claim to hate history). His writing combines hands-on experience with research, observation, insider perspective and a conversational style. He lives in northern Virginia and works at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. His ...more
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