Starting with the journey to Washington, D.C. for Obama’s inauguration in January, 2009, I have logged tens of thousands of miles in travel for the Historian’s Eye Project, including trips to every part of the continental U.S. The resulting galleries have many stories to tell. The thing that strikes me most is the sameness that runs through these galleries, even in the context of vast local and regional variation. One can identify and “read” the post-2008 layer of distress, that is, whether against the deeper backdrop of post-industrial plant closings in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the persisting post-Katrina cataclysm in New Orleans, or amid the pristine yet ghostly, overbuilt business complexes in Phoenix. The phrase and concept “historian’s eye” occurred to me only as I was learning to read these landscapes. These galleries devoted to “place” are meant to convey the national story in its local and regional variations, and to provoke or inspire further inquiry into conditions on the ground. What does the current moment look like in your town? mj

Boulder, Colorado


Los Angeles,

San Diego,

New Haven, Connecticut

Gainesville, Florida

Lexington, Kentucky

New Orleans, Lousiana

Boston, Massachusetts

Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Route 1 Corridor, New Jersey

Binghamton, New York

New York, New York

Eastern Pennsylvania

I-5 Corridor Seattle to Vancouver


San Antonio, Texas

Washington, D.C.

St. Louis, Missouri

Baltimore, Maryland

Cleveland, Ohio

Olympia, Washington

Tuscaloosa, Alabama