This poignant, first-of-its-kind book celebrates words that define America’s storied past and symbolize the drive of its people—from the boardrooms of Manhattan to the farm fields of Iowa. Author Ryan Coonerty highlights profound phrases inscribed on 52 monuments and public sites. Some are famed monuments like the Lincoln Memorial; others are simple or stark places of honor, such as Angel Island, where immigrant Chinese scrawled their words on imprisoning walls.
Etched In Stone unfolds the American saga from four perspectives. “In Praise of Public Lives” (Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King gravesite) celebrates leaders, thinkers, and innovators. “Ordinary Heroes” (Gettysburg Battlefield, Korean War Memorial, Memphis Firehouse) honors ordinary people who did extraordinary things. “Bearing Witness” (Salem Witchcraft Victims Memorial, Clayton Jackson McGhie Museum in Duluth) seeks to remind future generations of horrendous moments in history that must not be repeated, while “A More Perfect Union” (IBM School House, Dexter Gate at Harvard University, New York Public Library) reveals the promises of America—freedom and future.
Stunning images by noted architectural photographer Carol Highsmith enhance the powerful messages and give each site a life and purpose beyond stone. The dramatic interplay of words and photographs makes this a beautiful gift book that will strongly appeal to all readers interested in American history, architecture, culture, and art.