Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Men Who United the States


Today’s Nonfiction book is The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester. It is 447 including notes and a bibliography. It is published by HarperCollins. The cover has two pictures on it ; at the top the picture of a man standing before Niagara Falls and on the bottom a train going across a high bridge. The intended reader is someone who is interested in American history. There is no language, no violence, and no sex in this book so all ages okay. The book is mostly told from third person but Winchester does put in stories about traveling around the US to add color. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- 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”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? In this monumental history, Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements that helped forge and unify America and the pioneers who have toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizens and geography of the United States from its beginnings.
Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, including Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery expedition to the Pacific Coast, the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph, and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Rochester to San Francisco, Truckee to Laramie, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing these fascinating men and others- some familiar, some forgotten, some hardly known- 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 forty illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh, lively, and erudite look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together, from one of our most entertaining, probing, and insightful observers.

Review- I enjoyed this book but I warned you; it can get meaty at parts. But if put the time into this book you will have a good time but I like to learn new things. I have never read Winchester before but he has made a fan out of me. He takes you on a journey from the beginnings of America all the way to the current age. His unique spin is using an Asian philosophy to explore American history. He starts with when America’s story was dominated by wood and ends with it told through metal. The chapters are long but there are breaks so you can stop and think about what you have just read. There is a ton of information in this book and Winchester does not waste an inch in this book. But it can drag at points just to warn you. All in all an excellent read.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book from HarperCollins in exchange for a review.