The Fabric of America: How Our Borders and Boundaries Shaped the Country and Forged Our National Identity
An evocative and highly original narrative that redefines America’s character and identity.With the same mix of compelling narrative history and captivating historical argument that made his previous book, Measuring America, such a success, Andro Linklater relates in fascinating detail how the borders and boundaries that formed states and a nation inspired the sense of ide...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Walker & Company
(first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 127)
I have often wondered how arbitrary borders are agreed upon. The Mason and Dixon line between Pennsylvania and Maryland is one of the most famous borders in the world. But most people don't know that Mason and Dixon stopped when they reached the Monongahela River. Their guides and guards, Natives from tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy would not so much as set foot on the other side of the river as it was an agreed upon border. Decades later, a Quaker from Philadelphia named Andrew Ellicott took...more
I was very much intrigued by the history of marking the borders of states and invariably the nation of the United States of America. The author draws on how marking these lines was accomplished and how it played in the politics and history of the nation. He concludes with an interesting projection into modern day borders and the future. I was surprised to find an emphasis on the struggle with slavery in the minds of the early Americans, long before the civil war came about. He also treats the to...more
Aug 29, 2013 Adam Grandberg rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
A fascinating book! We’ve all had geography classes in school, but this book goes into detail about how the state boundaries were actually surveyed and laid out, though the wilderness of the frontier (first, of the Appalachians, then the Mississippi River, and south to Florida). As another reviewer wrote, I had also never heard of Andrew Ellicott before this book, but he was an unsung hero in accurately determining the proper boundaries for the states and the international border with Canada. If...more
Another fascinating book by Mr. Linklater. His hypothesis regarding a unique American frontier experience and its ties to this country's land ownership laws and methods of acquisition is clearly explained and supported with historical examples. The biographical information about Andrew Ellicott is informative and extremely interesting. This is an entertaining and well written book that provides a very interesting take on an area of American history that is often overlooked.
I checked this out thinking that it might be interesting on a road trip. When that hadn't happened after 14 renewals I decided I'd better get started on my own. It was a little too scholarly for my aged brain, but, if I'd been reading instead of listening there were definitely some good anecdotes and interesting quotes I would have written down-like what Brigham Young said about slavery and how big the proposed State of Deseret was to be.
An interesting, if far-flung history of the shaping of the physical boundaries of the United States. I don't know whether the thesis was only weakly supported, or if I misinterpreted what the author was initially trying to achieve, but there was still lots of interesting history that I hadn't yet encountered.
Interesting book on the rather obscure topic discussing how many of the borders of the states were marked and the significance of them. How did Pennsylvania get its nice southwest corner square? What about Missouri (think Missouri compromise!). Find out here.
I have to say that I wouldn't have read this with my eyeballs, but listening to it was remarkably interesting. Not what I expected at all, but a completely different point of view of the expansion of America.