The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
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HarperCollins 2013
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Description

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.

How did America become "one nation, indivisible"? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Rochester to San Francisco, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today's United States.

Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree. Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/15/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062079626
ASIN:
B00BATEINA
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Date Updated:
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The Men Who United the States
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Men Who United the States Americas Explorers Inventors Eccentrics and Mavericks and the Creation of One Nation Indivisible
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        Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006 Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He resides in western Massachusetts.

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title
The Men Who United the States
fullDescription

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.

How did America become "one nation, indivisible"? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Rochester to San Francisco, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today's United States.

Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree. Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Entertaining. ... A pleasure."
      • premium: False
      • source: STACY SCHIFF, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cleopatra
      • content: "A rousing tribute to the alliances, agencies, and inventions - from Lewis and Clark to the Internet - that underpin our more perfect union. A stunning, highly original feast of a book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Vivid, valuable. ... An extraordinary, propulsive tale."
      • premium: False
      • source: Miami Herald
      • content: "An impeccably researched, erudite, well-told tale, peppered with occasional grace notes."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "An elegantly written account... filled with fascinating information."
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: "[M]esmerizing and fascinating... Mr. Winchester is a master storyteller, and all the individuals, places, and events that he passionately writes about come to life in exquisite detail."
      • premium: False
      • source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
      • content: "Winchester has found a thematic way to tell this familiar story so it seems fresh and informative, even fascinating."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Winchester provides surprising insights into our social history, further enriching his narrative with accounts of his personal odysseys around the country. The results are highly recommended for public and school libraries and all readers looking for new and stimulating perspectives on the history of America."
      • premium: False
      • source: Las Vegas Weekly
      • content: "A most genial storyteller"
      • premium: False
      • source: The Oregonian (Portland)
      • content: "[I]nformative and absorbing"
      • premium: False
      • source: Tom Brokaw
      • content: "Simon Winchester never disappoints, and The Men Who United the States is a lively and surprising account of how this sprawling piece of geography became a nation. This is America from the ground up. Inspiring and engaging."
      • premium: False
      • source: Seattle Times
      • content: "He ... freshens U.S. history by refusing to tell it through the usual suspects."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Economist
      • content: "The subtitle promises readers a sackful of exciting tales-and the author delivers. This is a clever, engaging and original look at what would seem well-trodden historical paths; but Winchester, delightfully, breaks a fresh trail."
      • premium: False
      • source: Zócalo Public Square
      • content: "The tales he weaves were more engaging than most contemporary fiction."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 15, 2013
        Winchester’s latest history profiles a huge cast of eclectic characters who helped transform America from a cluster of colonies to a unified nation through the taming of the wilderness and the expansion of the country’s infrastructure. The sweeping narrative is cleverly organized into five sections—each corresponds to one of the classical elements (wood, earth, water, fire, metal) and focuses on a different phase of American exploration or development. Winchester (The Alice Behind Wonderland) masterfully evokes the excitement of the nation’s early days—when opportunity and possibility were manifest in uncharted mountains and new technologies—while bringing each of his subjects to life. Some, like Lewis and Clark, are familiar, while others—like the many topographers who set down the Mexican and Canadian boundaries—are more obscure, but no less interesting. Winchester, a Brit who recently became an American citizen, also incorporates personal travel anecdotes to comment on pivotal locations. This bold decision is the key to the book’s greatest achievement: conveying the large-scale narrative of unification via the small-scale experience of the individual—the creation of a people by the agglomeration of persons. Illus. and maps.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2013

        Popular historian and prolific author Winchester (The Professor and the Madman) focuses on the history of his adopted country and the individuals who contributed to its functioning as a cohesive whole. He organizes what are for the most part biographical sketches thematically, yet chronologically, in five sections named for elements: "Wood," "Earth," "Water," "Fire," and "Metal." Under this scheme, the immense Eastern Woodlands forest offers the first unifying context, as Winchester writes about the trip across the continent by Lewis and Clark and their Shoshone guide Sacagawea. Next, "Earth" includes efforts of pioneering geologist William Maclure, his 1809 geologic map of the Appalachian Mountains, and its unifying scientific impact. "Water" transportation routes include the creation of the Erie Canal and those who championed its economic importance to local businessmen, such as flour merchant Jesse Hawley. Robert Fulton's steam engine used "Fire" to make railroads practical and efficient. "Metal" stitched together the country through Samuel Morse's use of telegraph wires to increase the speed of communication; FDR brought electricity to rural America over the objections of power companies. VERDICT Along the way, Winchester provides surprising insights into our social history, further enriching his narrative with accounts of his personal odysseys around the country. The results are highly recommended for public and school libraries and all readers looking for new and stimulating perspectives on the history of America. [See Prepub Alert 4/1/13.]--Nathan Bender, Albany Cty. P.L., Laramie, WY

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

For more than two centuries, E pluribus unum--"Out of many, one"--has been featured on America's official government seals and stamped on its currency. But how did America become "one nation, indivisible"? In this monumental history, Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements of those American pioneers who helped to forge and unify the new nation, and who toiled fearlessly to bond the citizens and geography of the United States from its very beginnings. This sweeping narrative details how these daring men, some famous, some forgotten, left their mark on America's natural landscapes, through courage, ingenuity, and hard work.

Winchester follows the footsteps of America's most crucial innovators, thinkers, and explorers, from Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys of the West to the builders of the first transcontinental railroad and the curmudgeonly civil engineer who oversaw the creation of more than...

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Men Who United the States Americas Explorers Inventors Eccentrics and Mavericks and the Creation of One Nation Indivisible
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awards
      • source: The New York Times
      • value: The New York Times Best Seller List
subtitle
America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
publisher
HarperCollins