Friday, December 27, 2013

The Men Who United The States - Simon Winchester

I read this book because I enjoyed another of Winchester's books - The Professor and the Madman.  I am so happy that I did because this book is such a fantastic read! I liked it even more than The Professor and the Madman (and I liked that one a lot).

It is arranged in such a unique way.  He used the Chinese symbols of wood, earth, water, fire, and metal.  When I first read the theme, I wasn't sold on it but it really works.

One of my favorite stories is about Calbraith Rodgers - first man to fly across the United States.  But there are so many great characters and stories to learn about including Samuel Morse, Clarence King, Thomas MacDonald and Theodore Judah.  No, I won't give you more than their names.  You need to read this book to learn their very interesting stories.

It is pretty much settled that I will now have to read anything this man writes because he is a great storyteller of nonfiction.  And from my experience, that is a hard combo to find!

Amazon book 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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