Matthew's Reviews > State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

State by State by Matt Weiland
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Sep 14, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction

John Hodgman writes the perfect entry for thist type of anthology, his contribution on Massachusetts is informative, detailed, extremely funny, and personal without being entirely personal.

The entry on Arkansas just focuses on Little Rock, so it is limited and not informative of the state as a whole - a flaw in too many essays in this book, focusing on the city with the largest population in the particular state.

Some are just prissy and needless, South Dakota and Kansas get short-changed by guys who just visit these places half-heartedly and are disinterested in the history.

Anthony Bourdain, Alexander Payne, S.E. Hinton: suprsingly good spokesmen for New Jersey, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

A lot of good charts and data on the individual states. Overall, it doesn't live up to the legacy of the WPA, or reflect the tone of those books, but it is an interesting read.
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