Wayne's Reviews > How the States Got Their Shapes

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein
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's review
Jan 13, 09

bookshelves: non-fiction, history
Read in January, 2009

For those geography buffs/geeks out there. This books details how each of the fifty US states got their individual and unique borders.
The book is split up into one introductory chapter with overall information that affects multiple borders and then one chapter per state. This necessarily doubles the discussion for each border as it is analyzed from each side. This makes it easy to look up any particular state and getting almost the entire story, but also makes for a large amount of references to see the chapter or figure in a different chapter.
There are a lot of stories that are interesting footnotes of history. For the most part the author delivers the facts with the exception of the closing paragraph of each chapter where he delivers gems such as "Rhode Island is the only state in the union founded expressly for religious freedom. It was the first American colony to celebrate, rather than tolerate, the differences among us. In this respect, the fact that Rhode Island is also the smallest state in the union gives one pause."
A very interesting book for the lovers of anectodal history and trivial tidbits.

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