Martin has collected the stories of 30 Americans left out of the history textbooks in his new book, "Secret Heroes: Everyday Americans Who Shaped Our World"... "These characters were relatively unknown, but what they did has had ripples that continue to affect us," Martin said. "Hercules Mulligan saved the life of the father of our country. Think of what would have happened if he hadn't been a tailor in New York City.
"Everyday Americans have had a huge impact on our history -- it isn't always presidents and generals who set the course for the country."
The characters called to him from the pages of history books, whispered from brief mentions of TV shows and clambered from the pages of historical society records, all begging to share their stories with someone who would listen.
"Secret Heroes" is the latest offering in a continuous genre of books that aim to remind us of our forgotten past and changes how we understand it.