Twenty distinguished American historians vividly reimagine twenty events of great drama and significance in our countryâ€™s past. â€œWhat is the scene or incident in American history that you would like to have witnessedâ€”and why?â€ This is the thought-provoking question that editor Byron Hollinshead posed to twenty of our finest interpreters of American history with the invitation to write a personal essay answering it. The result isI Wish Iâ€™d Been There, a book that trains a lens on crucial moments of our past and brings them to vivid life. With these peerless scholars as their guides, readers will be transported to the Salem witch trials, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the raid on Harpers Ferry, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Scopes â€œmonkey trial,â€ the beginnings of the Vietnam War, the voting rights march to Selma, and other turning points of our national drama. Contributors include Mary Beth Norton, Joseph Ellis, Jay Winik, Carol Berkin, Kevin Baker, Robert Cowley, Carolyn Gilman, Geoffrey Ward, Robert Dallek, and William Leuchtenburg, among other luminaries of the historical profession. I Wish Iâ€™d Been Thereis a marvelous concept, wonderfully and imaginatively executed. The result is an American pageant of character and event that will attract and delight readers of history.