Review à How the States Got Their Shapes 102

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Why does Oklahoma have that panhandle Did someone make a mistakeWe 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 Even the oddities the entire state of Maryland have become so engrained that our map might as well be a giant jigsaw puzzle designed by Divine Providence But that's where the real mystery begins Every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of well humans drawi. This book is divided into 50 short chapters each detailing how a US state acuired its shape Easy to understandThis book at first fascinated me I love history and I love maps even I can just sit and look at a map for hours running my mind over the lay of the land So I was hooked How did West Virginia get that little finger of land that reaches toward Pittsburgh Why aren't Vermont and New Hampshire just one regular sized state Why did Wyoming take a bite out of Utah and not the other way around Why did Michigan get the Upper Peninsula instead of Wisconsin What about the Oklahoma panhandle Reading how our states were shaped is also a history lesson of its own as it takes us back to the Revolution the Louisiana Purchase the Missouri Compromise the Mexican American War the Kansas Nebraska Act and the Civil War etc etc It's a good way to learn a little about American historyThis book answers all the uestions I had and It discusses every jig and jag of a state boundary so you get not only answers to big uestions but also descriptions of why such and such straight line boundary is located at so and so latitude instead of another The drawback of this book is obvious A straight line that is Colorado's northern border also happens to be Wyoming's southern border and the meandering line through the Appalachians that forms North Carolina's western border also serves as Tennessee's eastern border In other words there's a lot of repetition You get to be told each story at least twice and many of them multiple times Oh that Adams Onis Treaty This book can probably best be used as a reference or read slowly enough that you've forgotten the previous stories when you get to read them again Not a good book to read cover to cover

Characters How the States Got Their Shapes

How the States Got Their ShapesNg lines in the sandHow the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are Here are the stories behind the stories right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny tiny and little known parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New JerseyHow the States Got Their Shapes examinesWhy West Virginia has a finger creeping up the side of PennsylvaniaWhy Michigan has an upper peninsula that isn't attached to MichiganWhy some Haw. This useless brick is unfortunately one of several self inflicted literary infections I got by whipping out my com iPhone App two hours deep into a happy hour GOOD friends don't let friends do that I need better friends it would seemThis book is about as compelling and forgettable as those Brain uest trivia cards and poorly written I gritted my teeth through the first several chapters that Professor Stein begins with How come Why not why Or better still why not acknowledge that your readers bought your damn book because they are already asking that uestion and then get rolling on your answer Don't expect any good story telling from this one either The drama professor performs little in the way of character development dropping open ended passive voice bombs where details should sprout such as a new northern border was established By whom Congress Uncle Melvin Sure if Stein went into as much detail for each state as Russel Shorto did for ManhattanIsland at the Center of the World 2005 this book would be enormous But it would also be fun and worth your time It is instead a long list of marginally interesting casually assembled facts that would best serve the kind of people needing a rapidly detachable read in the dentist's waiting roomI guess Stein gets the last laugh so I don't feel too bad for him This book or something like it ended up feeding one of those mindless holiday History Channel trivia marathons alongside The Presidents Someone surely made money mostly from people like me Well played sir Well playedBut not well written

Mark Stein Û 2 Read

Review à How the States Got Their Shapes 102 ☆ Why does Oklahoma have that panhandle Did someone make a mistakeWe 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 Even the oddities—the entire state of Maryland—have become so engrained that our map might aAiian islands are not HawaiiWhy Texas and California are so outsized especially when so many Midwestern states are nearly identical in sizePacked with fun oddities and trivia this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acuisitions 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 perfect. I don’t know why but holy shit I can’t get enough of this stuff I wanna give this six stars I also want one of these for every country state county city neighborhood etc