My buddy and travel colleague of 20 years Jason Cochran has written a new book. It’s called “Here Lies America: Buried Agendas & Family Secrets at the Tourist Sites Where Bad History Went Down.”
If Jason’s name looks familiar to you, it might be because he’s the editor of Frommers.com and co-hosts the weekly Frommers Travel Show on WABC in New York City. Jason’s also been a regular writer for Travel + Leisure, the New York Post, USA TODAY, and The New York Times. He’s also been on staff at Entertainment Weekly, Budget Travel, and AOL Travel (as executive editor). Jason’s books have twice won “Guide Book of the Year” in the Society of American Travel Writers’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition and once from the North American Travel Journalists Association.
“Here Lies America” by Jason Cochran ($17.99 on Amazon)
The book’s description on Amazon reads like this:
“Here Lies America is a fast-paced, hilarious travel narrative in which Jason Cochran visits the major American tourism attractions that exist because something really horrible happened there. He romps through disaster zones, battlefields, 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 the motivations of the people who installed 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 an American journey that could only be undertaken in our turbulent times, celebrating the absurd while surveying the country’s teetering patriotic mythology from a healthy position on the margins. Jason chases newspaper clippings in dusty archives to inscriptions on rusty plaques to get to the truth, and in doing so, creates a moving miniature portrait of what it really means to be an American: what’s ‘fact,’ what’s ‘history,’ and what really matters.”
Reviews of “Here Lies America”
“Here Lies America” has received some glowing reviews from some of the biggest names in travel (and Jerry Springer!):
- “With Here Lies America, Jason Cochran takes his place among America’s most influential travel writers. But beyond travel, Here Lies America is a searing exposé of our nation’s frequent hypocrisy over historic events. It is also an important commentary on many of our current political beliefs, and a page-turner that I could not put down.” — Arthur Frommer, author of Europe on $5 a Day, and founder of the Frommer’s Travel Guides
- “Jason Cochran’s Here Lies America joins the great tradition of works from my favorite travel writers, from W. Somerset Maugham to Tony Horwitz. I love great historical tales, and those from the fringe are best of all. In pursuit of chronicling our country’s most popular tourism death sites, Cochran uncovers even better history, a better story, a better pursuit, and a Southern Gothic tapestry to lay it all out on. This amazing book merges the best of superbly unknown historical moments with relatable learning all tied up with the insouciant bow of what feels like a yearlong trek in the family station wagon with your favorite incurably curious dotty uncle.” — Andrew Zimmern
- “Americans sometimes have a way of hiding behind rationales to cover for bad behavior–and I know, because I’ve seen a lot of bad behavior. But Jason Cochran doesn’t let us get away with it. Whether he’s wryly exposing how all those Confederate statues really got there or stunning us with forgotten stories from the historical events we thought we knew, Jason Cochran nails it. His writing is quick and witty, and never dry like medicine. He has a sharp eye for absurdity, and he knows how to stand aside and let the crazy circus of America show its true colors, with all its noise and all its heart, and I know something about that, too.” — Jerry Springer
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