6 January, Book Feature

How time flies – today it is already a whole year since the 6 January 2021 attacks on the Capitol building in Washington D.C. by an angry mob. Not only did this defile the holiest of holies of American democracy, its key icon even, several people also lost their lives as a result of these events. It was certainly a very dark day.

A year ago, I uploaded a post featuring the photo reused above (originally taken in 2010 from the Newseum). It was accompanied by the very shortest text ever on this blog, though I later added a comment that included a reaction by ex-president George W Bush.

Because of the first anniversary, the media here have already been awash with this topic over the past couple of days … and some of it made for very painful watching. And I’m expecting more tonight. But that’s all I’d like to say about this today …

The other reason I’m uploading a second post today (after this one, just posted) is to alert readers to a rather big feature about my book Atlas of Dark Destinations in the Mail online, the digital counterpart of the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK. This tabloid may have had its shortcomings over the years, to put it mildly, but when it comes to the topic of dark tourism, it’s actually featured comparatively balanced and decent articles. So it’s not all that surprising that this would be the first and so far only big paper to cover my book.

The online-only feature is basically a selection of quotes from the book, so it is mostly in my own words, plus a selection of 24 destinations and photos, many of which are also my own (copyright is duly marked).

I had a look at some of the comments too (I know, usually, that’s a very bad idea), and noted that many added further destinations or claimed they should have been covered too. Apparently they didn’t pay attention to the clearly stated “300 destinations in 90 countries”, making it clear that the few picked out for the feature are not the exhaustive list but just a small selection!

Two others claimed that Le Redoutable is not the only nuclear submarine open to the public. As far as nuclear-powered subs are concerned that’s correct (the USS Nautilus, the very first nuclear sub, is also visitable, as is HMS Courageous), but the point was that Le Redoutable was carrying nuclear missiles (the other two submarines did not), and in that sense of “nuclear”, Le Redoutable is indeed unique as a tourist site. That perhaps did not come across through the quotes selected by the Mail.

My most favourite comment, however, is this one: “Got to love alternative travel guides, I think I’ve found my bucket list”. Nice to read that!

This feature in a mass-media outlet is certainly great publicity; now I hope it will have a positive effect on sales numbers too.

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