Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World

Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World

by Paul Martin

Paperback(Original)

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Overview

Secret Heroes is a remarkable compendium by Paul Martin, former Executive Editor of National Geographic Traveler, that illuminates the lives of thirty forgotten American heroes. Gathering together remarkable stories about unknown champions, explorers, inventors, and innovators who never made the pages of American history textbooks—not George Washington, but the tailor who saved his life…twice; the first African-American combat pilot; the 62-year-old female muckraking journalist who refused to turn her back on injustice—Secret Heroes is just the sort of fascinating and fun popular history that readers love, not unlike Kenneth C. Davis’s bestselling Don’t Know Much About® series and Rick Beyer’s The Greatest Stories Never Told.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062096043
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/10/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,214,230
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

A book and magazine editor with the National Geographic Society for three decades, Paul Martin spent the last ten years as executive editor of National Geographic Traveler. Earlier in his career, he served as a military journalist in Vietnam and was assistant editor of Outdoors magazine and managing editor of Continuing Education for the Family Physician. Martin lives near Washington, D.C. When not writing, he builds acoustic guitars. Readers can meet all thirty of the characters in Secret Heroes at http://www.paulmartinbooks.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Voyagers

The Intrepid Leopard Wrestler Carl Akeley 3

On the Wings of an Angel Jimmie Angel 13

The Explorer with the Red Umbrella Giacomo Beltrami 21

The Genetics of Truth Kirk Bloodsworth 31

The Slave Who Became a Union Spy Mary Bowser 39

The Black Swallow of Death Eugene Bullard 47

The Last Stone Age Man in America Ishi 57

General Washington's Genial Savior Hercules Mulligan 67

A Captive in Two Cultures Cynthia Ann Parker 75

An Act of Valor Denied James Parker 87

The Yank Who United Canada William Van Horne 95

Innovators

Why We Are What We Eat Wilbur Atwater 107

Mythmaker of the Old West John Wallace Crawford 117

The Inquisitive Benefactor George Fabyan 129

Sealing the Victory at Gettysburg Herman Haupt 141

Keeping Eisenhower's Invasion Afloat Andrew Jackson Higgins 153

The Lovely with the Lovely Brain Hedwig Kiesler 161

Choctaw Code Talker of World War I Solomon Louis 169

A Thorn in the Side of Convention Anne Royall 179

The Man Behind the Checkout Counter Clarence Saunders 189

An Idea That Bloomed to Perfection Eliza Scidmore 197

Dispenser of Beauty and Truth Madam C. J. Walker 207

Humanitarians

Defender of the Defenseless Grace Abbott 221

The Man Who Fed Asia Henry Beachell 233

America's Joan of Arc Inez Boissevain 241

A Saint's Unassuming Assistant Joseph Dutton 249

A Life's Labor of Love Gertrude Elion 257

The Mayor Who Just Wanted to Be Fair Golden Rule Jones 269

Healer of the Fallen Jonathan Letterman 279

Warrior with a Conscience Hugh Thompson 291

Afterword 303

Acknowledgments 305

Sources 307

What People are Saying About This

Thomas C. Foster

“Endlessly entertaining…Martin introduces us to a colorful cast of saints, visionaries and occasional rogues, and he does so with style and zest. Heroes, yes, but secret no more, these are (extra)ordinary men and women well worth our attention, in a book that makes history joyous.”

Rick Beyer

“Look who Paul Martin found hiding in the cracks and crevices of American history—a colorful cast of forgotten characters definitely worth getting to know!...From the grocery store to the battlefield, forgotten heroes who left an indelible mark on American history. An enjoyable and eye-opening read.”

James Conaway

“Paul Martin creates a fascinating sub-text to American history: the literally un-sung hero who through imagination, daring, perseverance, and occasional great risk affects the shaping of democracy. This enthralling, episodic ramble’s perfect for anyone interested in how America managed to get from there to here.”

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Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ReviewsFromTheHeart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some names in history are easily associated with the greatness of the acts they committed or simply by the person that they became. Other's however often go by the wayside because no one paid them much mind but their accomplishments are just as worthy as those of someone whose name is synonymous with greatness.In the novel, Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World, author Paul Martin did some extensive research into the lives of people who really did have an impact on the way this great country has been so blessed. Names of people you wouldn't recognize such as Carl Akeley, Jimmie Angel, Kirk Bloodsworth, Ishi, Hercules Mulligan, Cynthia Ann Parker and even Solomon Louis. In this amazing book, Paul Martin researches 31 amazing people whose lives had a lasting impact in ways we fail to recognize and in some cases taking our own government decades before they acknowledged the sacrifices these people made.Ishi was the last of his Native American tribe that would rather risk death than living alone when his entire race of people were slaughters by the white man, leaving him all alone. Yet no remorse or bitterness was present when white man came to attempt to communicate with him and his story will not only make a lasting impression on your mind but on your heart as well.Cynthia Ann Parker, was a white girl that was abducted by the Comanche tribes and spent years becoming part of their lives until her family intervened and attempted to bring her back to freedom. In the end, it broke her heart and ultimately brought about her own death.We've all seen or heard about the movie Windtalkers, the men who kept our nations secrets from being discovered by the Navajo Indians during World War II, but failed to acknowledge the Choctaw Indians who began the practice in World War I, and even our own government failed to recognize their service to our country until 2008 when President George Bush finally signed the Code Talkers Recognition Act into law and authorized Congressional Gold Medals for the eighteen original Choctaw code talkers.As you can see this book captures some of the untold stories of true American heroes and is a must read for those who love history and the stories that went along with them to make them great. I received this book compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Being a huge lover of history I was immediately drawn to this book. There are stories about men and women, of all races and nationalities, who made huge impacts or whose stories set the precedent for greatness to follow. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and will now find a permanent place on my library shelf for future reference. Not all of us may be recognized for our greatness but it doesn't mean that great things won't happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey. *smiles*
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
A great book that captures stories of America's unsung heroes! Some names in history are easily associated with the greatness of the acts they committed or simply by the person that they became. Other's however often go by the wayside because no one paid them much mind but their accomplishments are just as worthy as those of someone whose name is synonymous with greatness. In the novel, Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World, author Paul Martin did some extensive research into the lives of people who really did have an impact on the way this great country has been so blessed. Names of people you wouldn't recognize such as Carl Akeley, Jimmie Angel, Kirk Bloodsworth, Ishi, Hercules Mulligan, Cynthia Ann Parker and even Solomon Louis. In this amazing book, Paul Martin researches 31 amazing people whose lives had a lasting impact in ways we fail to recognize and in some cases taking our own government decades before they acknowledged the sacrifices these people made. Ishi was the last of his Native American tribe that would rather risk death than living alone when his entire race of people were slaughters by the white man, leaving him all alone. Yet no remorse or bitterness was present when white man came to attempt to communicate with him and his story will not only make a lasting impression on your mind but on your heart as well. Cynthia Ann Parker, was a white girl that was abducted by the Comanche tribes and spent years becoming part of their lives until her family intervened and attempted to bring her back to freedom. In the end, it broke her heart and ultimately brought about her own death. We've all seen or heard about the movie Windtalkers, the men who kept our nations secrets from being discovered by the Navajo Indians during World War II, but failed to acknowledge the Choctaw Indians who began the practice in World War I, and even our own government failed to recognize their service to our country until 2008 when President George Bush finally signed the Code Talkers Recognition Act into law and authorized Congressional Gold Medals for the eighteen original Choctaw code talkers. As you can see this book captures some of the untold stories of true American heroes and is a must read for those who love history and the stories that went along with them to make them great. I received this book compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. Being a huge lover of history I was immediately drawn to this book. There are stories about men and women, of all races and nationalities, who made huge impacts or whose stories set the precedent for greatness to follow. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and will now find a permanent place on my library shelf for future reference. Not all of us may be recognized for our greatness but it doesn't mean that great things won't happen.