I returned last night from my 10-day, 9-city, 13-stop tour; spreading the word of my new book Reporting the Revolutionary War: Before It Was History, It Was News. It was such a thrill to move so quickly around New England and the Mid-Atlantic, visiting several universities, bookstores and museums. In total, I spoke in front of about 200 people, met eight of the 37 historian contributors to the book and interviewed with about 10 different media outlets, including CNN, WBUR (Boston), WHYY (Philadelphia), WNYC (New York) and FOX 5 DC. The tour included three rental cars, four flights and seven hotels! Below are a few superlatives to remember the book tour:
- Best Restaurant: Rosemary’s, Greenwich Village, NYC (highly recommend the Cavatelli)
- Best Hotel: Sheraton Wilmington South, New Castle, DE
- Most Expensive Cab Fare: $188.50 from Midtown Manhattan to Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, during rush hour
- Best Presentation Performances: American Revolution Center, Hale Byrnes House, Yale University bookstore and American Revolution Round Table NYC
- Best Media Interviews: WBUR (Boston), WNYC (New York), CNN and FOX 5 DC — Not technically a media interview, but the Old State House talk was filmed by BookTV/CSPAN and should air in late December
- Greatest Crisis Averted: Heavy traffic between New Haven, CT, and NYC prevented me from making it to the WNYC studios for my in-person interview so five minutes before going on air I made the car driver pull over in Midtown Manhattan and I raced into the nearest hotel to find a quiet spot for a 30-minute interview by cell phone.
- Best Audience Q&A: The Q&A at the American Revolution Round Table (Delaware) at the Hale-Byrnes House lasted about an hour, longer than the presentation itself; also had fantastic Q&A at the American Revolution Center, NYC Round Table, Fraunces Tavern Museum and Old State House.
- Nicest Compliment: Author Thomas Fleming said someone in audience at the NY Round Table told him that my talk was their best program in five years! CNN host Soledad O’Brien said I should have a History Channel documentary made about me and the book, and joked that she’d have to fight to represent me.
- Loudest Laughs: At dinner following the Old State House (Boston) talk with J. L. Bell, Don Hagist, Ben Edwards, Gary Gregory and Lee Wright. Who knew conversation about the 18th century could be so funny?!
- Worst Traffic: Downtown Philadelphia and Williamsburg
- Coolest Coincidences: Finding the February 2013 issue of American History magazine at the Yale bookstore and it features a wonderful review of the book! “This is ‘you are there’ history at its best: 70 essays by modern historians based on eyewitness accounts, battlefield letters and newspaper stories from 1763 to 1783. Cumulatively, the collection lets us see and feel how events unfolded for the people who lived them.”
- Books Sold in Two Hours at Barnes & Noble Newark: 21
- Greatest Travel Accomplishment: Successfully completing the 10-day book tour out of one carry-on suitcase and personal duffel bag
- Best Publisher in the World: Sourcebooks! They have done a wonderful job promoting the book and made the most of the week and a half of vacation time (from my full-time job) that I allocated for this book tour. I can’t say enough great things about Sourcebooks. This was a book marriage made in Heaven!
Thank you to all those who attended the talks. It was such a thrill and an absolute delight to share the experience with so many fellow history buffs!