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How the States Got Their Shapes (2008)

de Mark Stein

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1,2353915,985 (3.53)30
We are so familiar with the map of the United States that our state borders seem as much a part of nature as mountains and rivers. But every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of, well, humans drawing lines in the sand. This is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Packed with oddities and trivia, this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history, from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acquisitions. Adding the fresh lens of local geographic disputes, military skirmishes, and land grabs, Mark Stein shows how the seemingly haphazard puzzle pieces of our nation fit together perfectly.--From publisher description.… (més)
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    The Fabric of America: How Our Borders and Boundaries Shaped the Country and Forged Our National Identity de Andro Linklater (Othemts)
    Othemts: Fabric of America is a much more literary narrative of how the United States took shape than the bare-bones treatment in How the States Got Their Shapes.
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(2008)Very good NF that tries to explain all of the various shapes of the 50 states. As each state depends to some extent on how neighboring states were shaped, much cross referencing between chapters is required to get a complete story. Nonetheless, fascinating background to American history based on geography.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
A good resource surrounding our boundaries and the formation of the states and the Union. Don't recommend reading it straight-through in one sitting, as some of the states can get a little repetitive if read back-to-back. ( )
  alrajul | Jun 1, 2023 |
Amusing and interesting. It was sometimes frustrating that the states were in alphabetical order for discussion; logically, one state's borders are the borders of other states and to have to repeat the discussion three or four times was silly. It was very disturbing to understand the role of slavery in the creation of the states, especially how it reared its ugly head from the earliest moments of expansion beyond the original thirteen states. On the other hand, it was fascinating to understand the forward planning of the first presidents for the future of a country that would span a continent. ( )
  PattyLee | Dec 14, 2021 |
Recommended for anyone interested in US history. After a brief intro regarding major US land purchases, the author describes how each state got its present borders. Skip the states you don't want to know about and read the ones you are interested in. Gives a lot of insight into nation-building and "manifest destiny." ( )
  Jeff.Rosendahl | Sep 21, 2021 |
A nice book about how the states ended up with borders they have and how the came about. I think that this book would have been better that instead of alphabetical order maybe how the states came in their order of statehood would have been better. ( )
  foof2you | Jun 20, 2021 |
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To teach us the boundaries of the states, my seventh grade geography teacher would hold up cutouts and we would raise our hands, vying for the chance to identify which state had the corresponding shape.
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We are so familiar with the map of the United States that our state borders seem as much a part of nature as mountains and rivers. But every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of, well, humans drawing lines in the sand. This is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Packed with oddities and trivia, this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history, from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acquisitions. Adding the fresh lens of local geographic disputes, military skirmishes, and land grabs, Mark Stein shows how the seemingly haphazard puzzle pieces of our nation fit together perfectly.--From publisher description.

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