The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough can now add a colorful new title to his impressive resume: honorary park ranger.
McCullough was honored Tuesday by the National Park Service for featuring park sites in his books. The honor, as well as the Saint-Gaudens Medal, were awarded at a ceremony near the Shaw Memorial on Boston Common.
McCullough frequented the famed Civil War memorial, by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, several times while researching one of his bestselling books, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.”
On the occasion, the Globe asked several local historians to reflect on McCullough’s rich career and contributions.
Professor Heather Richardson, Boston College: “His investigations of iconic events or monuments in our history bring to life the story of how all Americans have been part of constructing our nation.”
Professor Daniel Bluestone, Boston University: “In terms of the national park service, McCullough has committed his entire career to writing thoughtfully and accessibly about major events in American history. ... [He] writes well, clearly, and with powerful concision. He has also advocated for the preservation of historic sites -- crusading in the public realm.’’
Professor Patrick J. Maney, BC: “McCullough is one of the two or three best popular historians writing today. ... He has helped combat the epidemic of historical illiteracy which endangers democracy.”
Professor James O’Toole, BC, said McCullough appeals to non-historians. “History is, in the end, a story, and McCullough’s ability to tell that story in vivid, immediate ways has won over many people who once thought they weren’t interested in it.”
McCullough’s books also include: “The Johnstown Flood,” “Mornings on Horseback,” which won the National Book Award, “Truman,” which won the Pulitzer, ‘’John Adams,” “1776,” and “The Wright Brothers.’’