Interview by Paul Salfen

New Book Offers a Breathtaking Celebration of Our Nation’s Unique Cultural History Through Stunning Photographs, Intricate Maps and More

Over the past two centuries, the United States has evolved in ways we could have never imagined, from its serene natural views to its unmatched history. During this difficult year, while many are groping to define what unites us, National Geographic takes readers through its legendary photo archives to deliver an up-close-and-personal view of the country we call home in America The Beautiful: A Story in Photographs.

Spanning a period of more than 130 years, this provocative collection of 300 breathtaking photographs depicts the splendor of our great nation as only National Geographic can. Featuring images of all 50 states, six territories, and Washington, D.C., this dramatic combination of modern and historical imagery was hand-selected to define and celebrate the distinct beauty and history found between one shining sea to the next — from the magnificent sweep of California’s Big Sur to Lake Superior’s breathtaking ice caves. In these vivid pages, readers will view the country’s most beloved icons in their early stages — from Mount Rushmore to the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge — reminding us that, sometimes, we need to look back in order to look forward.

Organized by region and inspired by the verses of the original poem and folksong “America the Beautiful,” this remarkable treasury also features illuminating words about every state and territory from the prominent citizens who call them home.

America The Beautiful will also be the subject of a future issue of National Geographic magazine.

Pear Photo Courtesy of National Geographic, P. 190 in AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: A Story In Photographs

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About Susan Goldberg

Susan Goldberg is Editor in Chief of National Geographic and Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners. As Editorial Director, she leads all journalism across platforms, including digital journalism, magazines, podcasts, maps, newsletters and Instagram. She was named Editorial Director in October 2015 and Editor in Chief of National Geographic Magazine in April 2014. She is the 10th editor, and first female editor, of the magazine since it was first published in October 1888.

Under her leadership, National Geographic has been honored with nine National Magazine Awards, including four awards in 2020 and the top prize for General Excellence in 2019. In 2020, National Geographic also was named the Webby Media Company of the Year, with a total of 15 awards, as well as earning the Gold Medal as Brand of the Year for the Society of Publication Designers, the most prestigious award for visual journalism in the industry. In addition, National Geographic was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2019 and for Explanatory Reporting in 2017. The magazine has received numerous other awards for photography, storytelling and graphics. Goldberg also has led reporting that was honored with multiple local, state and national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize at the San Jose Mercury News (1990/Breaking News), and a finalist for the Pulitzer at The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (2009/Feature Writing).

Before her employment at National Geographic, Goldberg was executive editor for federal, state and local government coverage for Bloomberg News in Washington. From 2007 to 2010, she was editor of The Plain Dealer, the daily newspaper of Cleveland and the largest newspaper in Ohio. Prior to that, from 2003-2007, she was the executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, and served as the paper’s managing editor from 1999-2003. From 1989 to 1999, Goldberg worked at USA Today, including stints as a deputy managing editor of the News, Life and Enterprise sections. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at the Detroit Free Press. She began her career as a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A Michigan native, Goldberg has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, where she now funds the Susan Goldberg Scholarship at the university’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences’ School of Journalism.

In addition to awards for journalism, Goldberg has been recognized repeatedly for leadership. In 2013, she was voted one of Washington’s 11 most influential women in the media by Washingtonian magazine; In March 2015, Goldberg received the Exceptional Woman in Publishing Award from Exceptional Women in Publishing. In 2017 and again in 2019, Washingtonian named Goldberg among the most powerful women in Washington across professions. In 2020, InStyle magazine included Goldberg on its “Badass 50” list, naming her as No. 7 in its issue about “women who are changing the world,” and she was selected as one of Folio’s Top Women in Media for having an “exceptional impact” on the direction of the industry.

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