In this week’s episode we chat with author Jason Cochran all about his new book “Here Lies America: Buried Agendas and Family Secrets at the Tourist Sites Where Bad History Went Down.”
I’m excited that Jason agreed to return to the podcast, but this time to chat all about his new book. According to the book’s web site:
What would happen if you took a long road trip–but only visited the tourism attractions that opened because something really horrible had happened? Jason Cochran romps through American disaster zones, battlefields, Confederate memorials, terrorist attack sites—as long as it has a parking lot and a gift shop, he put it on the itinerary, no gravestone unturned. Along the way, he takes a look at why these places matter, why some really don’t, and what motivated the people who built the monuments. And when he pauses to seek the meaning behind the early demise of one of his own ancestors, he uncovers a tragic race-based murder plot that had been buried for a century.
This is a kaleidoscopic American journey that could only be undertaken in our turbulent times, puncturing the absurdity of the lies we tell about our past while surveying the country’s teetering patriotic mythology from a healthy position on the margins. Jason creates a hilarious and often moving miniature portrait of what it really means to be an American: what’s “fact,” what’s “history,” and how we figure out what really matters.
Jason Cochran’s voice has reached millions of travelers, from the mid-1990s, when he wrote one of the world’s first travel blogs, to his work as a commentator on CBS and for AOL, to his work today as editor-in-chief of Frommers.com and co-host of the Travel Show on WABC. Jason was twice awarded Guide Book of the Year by the Lowell Thomas Awards (Society of American Travel Writers) and once by the North American Travel Journalists Association.