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The former American History editor explores the creation and restoration of an essential part of a twentieth-century home’s identity—the American porch. “In this delightful look at an American icon, journalist and documentary scriptwriter . . . Dolan traces the history of the porch, using this history to explore subjects such as architecture, history, slavery, colonialism, trade, anthropology, sociology, consumer behavior, and publishing.” —Library Journal In 1981, Michael Dolan and his wife, Eileen O’Toole, bought a 1926 suburban bungalow in the Palisades area of Washington, DC. It was a fixer-upper and DIY project that consumed their lives for twelve years. As rooms were transformed with updated electrical wiring and plumbing, the house’s porch became a storage area, rotating appliances, furniture, and construction materials as they were used and discarded. After the interior renovation was completed, Michael finally turned his attention to the porch, working with contractors to resurrect it—a reconstruction that inspired him to uncover the history of porches and their significance as a symbolic piece of Americana. “In praise of the porch: Come up and sit a spell.” —USA Today “A wry, well-researched look at the place and the people who rocked, talked and courted on [the American porch] for three centuries.” —Parade “The porch is making a comeback, gradually replacing its humbler rival the deck, which the traditionalist Dolan refers to as the platform shoe or leisure suit of American architecture.” —Time “Dolan amply demonstrates that the porch is primarily a means of escaping the heat and, almost as important, a locus for casual social interaction.” —Publishers Weekly