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The Potomac River: A History and Guide (The History Press) (DC) Paperback – March 6, 2012


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The Potomac River: A History and Guide (The History Press) (DC) + The Smithsonian Castle and the Seneca Quarry + Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren't
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609496000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609496005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In recounting the history of the sites and cities along the Potomac, [Peck] raises the very awareness that's necessary to saving the river." - DCist, April 26, 2012

"Peck churned out one quirky anecdote after another, giving the audience a catalog of fun facts to pull out at happy hours." - National Journal Daily, May 8, 2012

"From sourcing the rivers' origins far from town to highlighting many interesting stops along the way, Peck does a great job of providing short stories of our region. It's a quick, easy read filled with lots of fun photos that doesn't read like a textbook." - Rick Snider, Monumental Thoughts, March 27, 2012

"Peck has just finished a chronicle of and guide to Washington's primary waterway, all the way from West Virginia to the Chesapeake watershed. Make your next tubing trip a little more educated." - Washington City Paper, May 18, 2012 

"The Potomac River has shaped history. It's also an awfully nice place to go for a hike. Both these aspects of the river are explored in [Peck's] new book." - Huffington Post, May 24, 2012


"Peck has once again done yeoman service in ferreting out and elucidating some of the more fascinating aspects of our shared local history." - Hill Rag, June 2012

About the Author

Garrett Peck falls down Georgetown's Exorcist stairs every chance he gets, yet he can't exorcise his passion for history. A literary journalist and history dork, he is the author of The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet and Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren't and leads the Temperance Tour of Prohibition-related sites in Washington. The Potomac River: A History and Guide is his third book. A native Californian and a Virginia Military Institute graduate, he lives in lovely Arlington, Virginia.

More About the Author

Garrett Peck is an independent historian and literary journalist. His fifth and latest book is "Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C." Peck was involved with the DC Craft Bartenders Guild in lobbying the DC City Council to have the Rickey declared Washington's native cocktail. He researched and pinpointed the site of the Washington Brewery at Navy Yard, and is particularly proud that Green Hat Gin is named after a character Peck wrote about in his book "Prohibition in Washington, D.C.": congressional bootlegger George Cassiday. He has lectured at the Library of Congress, delivered the Ruth Ann Overbeck Lecture, and often speaks at literary clubs, historical societies, and trade associations.

Peck leads the Temperance Tour of Prohibition-related sites in the nation's capital, which has been featured on C-SPAN Book TV and the History Channel program "Ten Things You Didn't Know About" with punk rock legend Henry Rollins. He also leads the Jazz History Tour of U Street, as well as tours of Seneca quarry.

Peck graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and earned a master's degree in international affairs at George Washington University. Peck has worked nearly two decades in marketing and is a former U.S. Army officer. A native Californian, he lives in Arlington, Virginia. www.garrettpeck.com

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JOHN DEFERRARI on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Garrett Peck has written another thoroughly enjoyable book about the history of the Washington, D.C. area, this time in a unique tour guide format that allows him to cover many intriguing spots along the Potomac River that are rich in culture, history, and recreational pleasure. The route of the majestic Potomac River, which Peck seems to appreciate far more than the average observer, is a wonderful conduit for fun and fascinating tidbits, such as the story of John Brown's raid on the scenic town of Harper's Ferry; the emotion-charged Cvil War battle settings of Antietam, Ball's Bluff, and others; and the red sandstone quarries at Aquia and Seneca that were the source of the building material for the most important structures of the Nation's Capital. It was a pleasure to read the wonderful stories Peck narrates, but at the same time I wanted to jump in my car and drive out to see all these great unexplored places. I hope I get the chance to visit them all!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth E. Troxell, Jr on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you live near the Potomac River and grew up near Washington, DC there is not much new here. Many of the stories and locales are often told and well trodden. Much of the book seems to come from books that are probably on your bookshelf already - the C&O Canal Companion and any local Civil War history or hiking guide. My brothers and I, former river rats, could have written this book over a long weekend.
If you are new to the region, take heart that this book will serve as an interesting introduction to the Potomac. The river carries with it the the soul of American History - from Capt. John Smith through the Revolution, War of 1812, dark shadow of slavery, Western Expansion, the Civil War, and today's Environmental Movement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pinmagic on March 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just like the title says, this is both history and tourguide, rolled into one. It's an easy read that gives you a real sense of the importance of sites it's describing. Makes a great history read, even if you're sitting on your sofa, but would be an outstanding companion on a trip to see the sites. Even DC locals (like myself) can learn a lot, like the origin of the names Little Falls, Seven Locks and Foggy Bottom, the location of the real "Cabin John Bridge", and the reason Chain Bridge is called Chain Bridge. And I guess I slept through high school, cause I really didn't know who the heck Clara Barton was til now. Plenty of photos, maps and diagrams, including a number of beautiful shots in color. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the Potomac River, and this book looked interesting. It was! It provided me with the info and history I was looking for, along with interesting photos.
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