Why does Oklahoma have that panhandle? Did someone make a mistake? 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. 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 drawing lines in the sand. How 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 Jersey. How the States Got Their Shapes examines: Why West Virginia has a finger creeping up the side of Pennsylvania Why Michigan has an upper peninsula that isn't attached to Michigan Why some Hawaiian islands are not Hawaii Why Texas and California are so outsized, especially when so many Midwestern states are nearly identical in size Packed 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 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.
Examines the people who helped determine the state lines, including Roger Williams, Daniel Webster, and Ethan Allen and explains the history that can be found in these boundaries.
This title is the only book ever written about Fort Montgomery on Lake Champlain in Rouses Point, New York. Features over 160 photos, vintage and modern, almost all never before published.
In American Panic , New York Times bestselling author Mark Stein traces the history and consequences of American political panics through the years. Virtually every American, on one level or another, falls victim to the hype, intensity, and propaganda that accompanies political panic, regardless of their own personal affiliations. By highlighting the similarities between American political panics from the Salem witch hunt to present-day vehemence over issues such as Latino immigration, gay marriage, and the construction of mosques, Stein closely examines just what it is that causes us as a nation to overreact in the face of widespread and potentially profound change. This book also devotes chapters to African Americans, Native Americans, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Chinese and Japanese peoples, Communists, Capitalists, women, and a highly turbulent but largely forgotten panic over Freemasons. Striking similarities in these diverse episodes are revealed in primary documents Stein has unearthed, in which statements from the past could easily be mistaken for statements today. As these similarities come to light, Stein reveals why some people become panicked over particular issues when others do not.
Presidential campaigns often seem like popularity contestsand that needs to change. While some savvy American voters are becoming more reflective about the need to carefully pick presidents, that hasnt stopped the system from being eroded by special interests that endanger our liberty and freedom. The authors propose a disciplined approach for evaluating a candidates resume. In developing such a process, they share the resumes of the former U.S. presidents as well as a scoring method that can be used to compare them and prospective candidates. By examining the credentials and performance of past presidents and using techniques employed by Fortune 500 companies to create a knowledge, skill, experience, and proficiency profile, we can make significant headway in selecting the best candidates. Anyone can aspire to become president, but that doesnt mean we should elect our neighbor. Find out how to evaluate who is most qualified for the job in How to Select an American President.
Boundaries—lines imposed on the landscape—shape our lives, dictating everything from which candidates we vote for to what schools our children attend to the communities with which we identify. In Creating the American West, historian Derek R. Everett examines the function of these internal lines in American history generally and in the West in particular. Drawing lines to create states in the trans-Mississippi West, he points out, imposed a specific form of political organization that made the West truly American. Everett examines how settlers lobbied for boundaries and how politicians imposed them. He examines the origins of boundary-making in the United States from the colonial era through the Louisiana Purchase. Case studies then explore the ethnic, sectional, political, and economic angles of boundaries. Everett first examines the boundaries between Arkansas and its neighboring Native cultures, and the pseudo war between Missouri and Iowa. He then traces the lines splitting the Oregon Country and the states of California and Nevada, and considers the ethnic and political consequences of the boundary between New Mexico and Colorado. He explains the evolution of the line splitting the Dakotas, and concludes with a discussion of ways in which state boundaries can contribute toward new interpretations of borderlands history. A major theme in the history of state boundaries is the question of whether to use geometric or geographic lines—in other words, lines corresponding to parallels and meridians or those fashioned by natural features. With the distribution of western land, Everett shows, geography gave way to geometry and transformed the West. The end of boundary-making in the late nineteenth century is not the end of the story, however. These lines continue to complicate a host of issues including water rights, taxes, political representation, and immigration. Creating the American West shows how the past continues to shape the present.
Winner of the 2021 Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award Winner of the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Nonfiction Finalist for the 2020 National Book Critics John Leonard Prize for Best First Book Finalist for the 2021 New England Society Book Award Finalist for the 2021 New England Independent Booksellers Association Award A New York Times Editors’ Choice and Chicago Tribune top book for 2020 “Mill Town is the book of a lifetime; a deep-drilling, quick-moving, heartbreaking story. Scathing and tender, it lifts often into poetry, but comes down hard when it must. Through it all runs the river: sluggish, ancient, dangerous, freighted with America’s sins.” —Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland Kerri Arsenault grew up in the small, rural town of Mexico, Maine, where for over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that provided jobs for nearly everyone in town, including three generations of her family. Kerri had a happy childhood, but years after she moved away, she realized the price she paid for that childhood. The price everyone paid. The mill, while providing the social and economic cohesion for the community, also contributed to its demise. Mill Town is a book of narrative nonfiction, investigative memoir, and cultural criticism that illuminates the rise and collapse of the working-class, the hazards of loving and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxics and disease with the central question; Who or what are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?
The Creative Classroom presents an original, compelling vision of schools where teaching and learning are centered on creativity. Drawing on the latest research as well as his studies of jazz and improvised theater, Sawyer describes curricula and classroom practices that will help educators get started with a new style of teaching, guided improvisation, where students are given freedom to explore within structures provided by the teacher. Readers will learn how to improve learning outcomes in all subjects—from science and math to history and language arts—by helping students master content-area standards at the same time as they increase their creative potential. This book shows how teachers and school leaders can work together to overcome all-too-common barriers to creative teaching—leadership, structure, and culture—and collaborate to transform schools into creative organizations. Book Features: Presents a research-based approach to teaching and learning for creativity. Identifies which learning outcomes support creativity and offers practical advice for how to teach for these outcomes. Shows how students learn content-area knowledge while also learning to be creative with that knowledge. Describes principles and techniques that teachers can use in all subjects. Demonstrates that a combination of school structures, cultures, incentives, and leadership are needed to support creative teaching and learning.
Reflecting a multitude of developments in the study of language change and variation over the last ten years, this extensively updated second edition features a number of new chapters and remains the authoritative reference volume on a core research area in linguistics. A fully revised and expanded edition of this acclaimed reference work, which has established its reputation based on its unrivalled scope and depth of analysis in this interdisciplinary field Includes seven new chapters, while the remainder have undergone thorough revision and updating to incorporate the latest research and reflect numerous developments in the field Accessibly structured by theme, covering topics including data collection and evaluation, linguistic structure, language and time, language contact, language domains, and social differentiation Brings together an experienced, international editorial and contributor team to provides an unrivalled learning, teaching and reference tool for researchers and students in sociolinguistics
Some maps help us find our way; others restrict where we go and what we do. These maps control behavior, regulating activities from flying to fishing, prohibiting students from one part of town from being schooled on the other, and banishing certain individuals and industries to the periphery. This restrictive cartography has boomed in recent decades as governments seek regulate activities as diverse as hiking, building a residence, opening a store, locating a chemical plant, or painting your house anything but regulation colors. It is this aspect of mapping—its power to prohibit—that celebrated geographer Mark Monmonier tackles in No Dig, No Fly, No Go. Rooted in ancient Egypt’s need to reestablish property boundaries following the annual retreat of the Nile’s floodwaters, restrictive mapping has been indispensable in settling the American West, claiming slices of Antarctica, protecting fragile ocean fisheries, and keeping sex offenders away from playgrounds. But it has also been used for opprobrium: during one of the darkest moments in American history, cartographic exclusion orders helped send thousands of Japanese Americans to remote detention camps. Tracing the power of prohibitive mapping at multiple levels—from regional to international—and multiple dimensions—from property to cyberspace—Monmonier demonstrates how much boundaries influence our experience—from homeownership and voting to taxation and airline travel. A worthy successor to his critically acclaimed How to Lie with Maps, the book is replete with all of the hallmarks of a Monmonier classic, including the wry observations and witty humor. In the end, Monmonier looks far beyond the lines on the page to observe that mapped boundaries, however persuasive their appearance, are not always as permanent and impermeable as their cartographic lines might suggest. Written for anyone who votes, owns a home, or aspires to be an informed citizen, No Dig, No Fly. No Go will change the way we look at maps forever.
A fresh perspective on presidential history. Why was the Spanish Peso more valuable than the U.S. Dollar? How did a public relations fiasco derail Cuban statehood? Would we remember Herbert Hoover as the Jeff Bezos of his time had he been elected eight years earlier? If these don’t sound like questions you heard in history class, you’re right. They’re not. These are the questions you ask when you look at presidential history through the eyes of an advertising executive. Except Jason Voiovich isn’t your typical “Mad Man.” His penchant for asking weird questions has earned him a reputation as one of marketing’s most original thinkers. Now, he’s turned his unconventional eye on the conventional wisdom of presidential history. He retells the story of America through the eyes of its most influential salesperson – its president. America’s Marketer in Chief. Jason reconsiders the president’s role in American life – in fact, the entire idea of America as a nation – from a tantalizing and fresh perspective. He recasts the president as a brand manager of the American idea, much as Henry Ford shaped the development of the automobile, or as Steve Jobs introduced the world to the smartphone. No less than the Model T and the iPhone, America itself is an innovation in government and culture. Jason takes us on a wild ride through the lifecycle of America – from its first introduction, through its rapid growth, and finally, into its disruption and renewal. He reimagines Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase as a family board game. He solves the riddle of how Calvin Coolidge forged the link between religion and politics. And he shows us why Barack Obama’s presidency marked the end of the era of (human) soldiers. Born from the wildly popular weekly blog in 2020, Marketer in Chief repackages presidential history in a way that’s more natural for American consumers – the average person might take a history course in high school or college, but they make a purchase every single day. It’s irreverent, occasionally foul mouthed, and surprisingly insightful. Who knows? Once Americans know how they’re being sold, they might demand a better product.
Assessing where the red/blue political line lies in swing states and how it is shifting Democratic-leaning urban areas in states that otherwise lean Republican is an increasingly important phenomenon in American politics, one that will help shape elections and policy for decades to come. Blue Metros, Red States explores this phenomenon by analyzing demographic trends, voting patterns, economic data, and social characteristics of twenty-seven major metropolitan areas in thirteen swing states—states that will ultimately decide who is elected president and the party that controls each chamber of Congress. The book’s key finding is a sharp split between different types of suburbs in swing states. Close-in suburbs that support denser mixeduse projects and transit such as light rail mostly vote for Democrats. More distant suburbs that feature mainly large-lot, single-family detached houses and lack mass transit often vote for Republicans. The book locates the red/blue dividing line and assesses the electoral state of play in every swing state. This red/blue political line is rapidly shifting, however, as suburbs urbanize and grow more demographically diverse. Blue Metros, Red States is especially timely as the 2020 elections draw near.
In this comprehensive new text, Chris Mayda offers an exciting alternative to conventional North American geographies. Throughout her thorough discussion of the physical and human geography of the United States and Canada, the author weaves in the key themes of environment and sustainability. Combining incisive analysis, rich description, human stories, and vibrant photographs, this text offers a complete and vivid portrait of the region from human, physical, and cultural perspectives. Designed expressly for ease of teaching and learning, the book features color photographs and maps throughout, chapter highlights, key term and place listings for each chapter, discussion questions, and a glossary.
Citizen science might just be our last, best chance to fight extinction. But is there really hope for threatened species? Mary Ellen Hannibal needed to find out. Hannibal, an award-winning writer and emerging emissary from scientists to the public, sets out to become a citizen scientist herself. In search of vanishing species, she wades into tide pools, follows hawks, and scours mountains. The data she collects will help environmental research—but her most precious discovery might be her fellow citizen scientists: a heroic cast of volunteers devoting long hours to helping scientists measure—and even slow—today’s unprecedented mass extinction. A consummate reporter, Hannibal digs into the origins of the tech-savvy citizen science movement—tracing it back through centuries of amateur observation by writers and naturalists. Prompted by her novelist father’s sudden death, she also examines her own past and discovers a family legacy of looking closely at the world. Her personal loss only fuels her quest to bear witness to life, and so she ultimately returns her gaze to the wealth of species still left to fight for. Combining research and memoir in impassioned prose, Citizen Scientist is a literary event, a blueprint for action, and the story of how one woman rescues herself from an odyssey of loss—with a new kind of science.
America was discovered by a few Norwegians who got lost while sailing to Greenland. Had they established a permanent settlement, America might be the United States of Wine-Land. In 1492, Columbus gave the men of San Salvador shiney glass beads, and their women gave his crew syphillus. Who took advantage of whom? If not for the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, America today would likely be Spanish and Catholic. Early English explorers were pirates of the Caribbean, and early American colonists were illegal immigrants. The first English colony in America was a lot like Gongral Motore, and the husband of Pocahontas was responsible for lung cancer and slavery in the south. More recently, Teddy Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders" had to run up San Juan Hill--someone forgot to transport their horses! So how did America become the greatest nation on earth? Read my book.
The US and Europe have unraveled since World War II and radicalism has metastasized into every community, tearing away the decency, optimism, and security that shaped those robust democracies for more than eight decades. No place is immune, including the small West Texas town of Dell City, where four generations of an iconic American family and a Syrian Muslim family carve a farming empire out of the unforgiving high desert. These families’ partnership is as unlikely as the idea of a United States, and their powerful friendship can be traced back to a bloody knife fight in a Juarez cantina just after World War II. The bond forged that night between Jack Laws, an Irish American who staked his claim in West Texas after the war, and Ali Zarkan, whose great-grandfather sailed from the Middle East to Texas in the mid-1800s as part of President Franklin Pierce’s attempt to create the US Army Camel Corps, shapes each generation of the families as they come of age and adapt to shifting paradigms of gender, commerce, patriotism, loyalty, religion, and sexuality. From the beaches of the Western Pacific to the battlefields of the Middle East and from the lawless streets of Juarez to the darkest corners of the Internet, the two families fight real and perceived enemies—journeying, as they do, through the football fields of Texas and West Point, the hippie playgrounds of Asia, the music halls of Austin, the terrorist cells of Europe and the political backrooms where fortunes are gained or lost over the rights to Western water. Underlying their experiences is the basic question of what constitutes identity and citizenship in America, or in Texas, a land over which six flags have flown. The seventh flag, ultimately, is not one of a state or a nation, but of a mosaic of cultures, religions, and people from every corner of the world—all struggling to define what it means to be unified under an ambiguous banner.