Posts Tagged ‘Moments That Made America’

Geoff Armstrong began his teaching career in 1965 after receiving a teaching diploma from McGill University’s Macdonald College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montreal’s Concordia University in 1967 where his major field of study was history. Armstrong credits writers such as Bruce Catton, and Thomas B. Costain, as well as the encouragement of his father who had little formal education, but a deep love of reading and of history, as the inspiration for his own life-long interest.

Throughout a 25-year teaching career he taught history at several grade levels and learned quickly that to reach the hearts of his students, history had to be made immediately and deeply relevant and accessible: that some event that took place centuries before those students were born had a direct and profound influence on every aspect their lives. He also learned that talking down or writing down to his students was a recipe for defeat. It is this awareness, shaped by a quarter century of teaching and countless questions by thousands of intelligent young people that has informed and shaped his writing.

His latest book is Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo.

You can visit his website at www.MomentsThatMadeAmerica.com.

About the Book:

From its geological birth during the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent millions of years ago, through the nation-shaping key events that led to its political independence from the British superpower, and other crucial, sometimes miraculous events that worked to create the nation, Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo explores those defining moments, both tragic and inspirational that profoundly shaped the nation and its people – crucial turning points that worked inexorably to mold and make America. These pivotal “tipping” events formed America’s geographical, sociological, political and historical landscape. Part 1 culminates with the discovery of gold in California and the role it played in fulfilling America’s dream of Manifest Destiny.



Would you call yourself a born writer?

I believe that writing, like art or musical ability are gifts given to us as part of creation. I suppose this means that I was born to be a writer.

What was your inspiration for Moments That Made America: From the Ice Age to the Alamo?

There are a number of answers to this question, but the most accurate is one that I probably have already given:  I am a Canadian living in the United States and surrounded by Americans who know less about the history of their remarkable country than I do. My entire family lives in the United States. As a result, I spend almost half of my time in this country. Over the years I have become more and more appalled at how little Americans understand about how difficult it was for the United States to exist at all and how easy it would be to lose the freedom so many Americans take for granted. I had no choice. I had to write this series of books. The second book in the series of three, Moments That Made America: From Civil War to Superpower is now with the publisher.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I am surprised, though I shouldn’t be, about how much my fascination with history influences my writing and interests. I say “I shouldn’t be” because history has always been one of my interests as well as a favorite subject for my dad and my brother.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It is not a novel. It is a history of the United States told from a different perspective. I focused on those key moments that fundamentally and permanently made or changed America, tipping points that had they not happened or ended differently would have ended the American story or made the nation unrecognizable. The actual writing of the first of what has turned out to be three books took me about a year. The second book took about 10 months. The planning and research have taken a lifetime.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I might be an old guy (76), but I hold a full time day job (as well as morning, evening and sometimes much of the night) that presents me with frequent deadlines I cannot ignore. If I’m not disciplined, nothing gets done. I could also lose my job.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Carving out the time to do the extensive research and the writing. That’s where the discipline comes in. Another challenge. Is dealing with the conflicting viewpoints and the inevitable controversies that history produces.

What do you love most about being an author?

Having the freedom to write about anything I choose

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I sent query letters to dozens of publishers. It took me nearly a year, but I found an excellent publisher (History Publishing Company) in Palisades, NY. They have been very helpful and I count myself extremely fortunate to have found them.

Where can we find you on the web?

MomentsThatMadeAmerica.com also Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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