Friday, July 8, 2011

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein, 332 pages

I'm a big fan of the TV show of "How the States Got Their Shape" so I thought I would like the book that started it. Unfortunately, it is an extremely dry read. It's alphabetized by state, and opens with an intro that explains the borders between us, Canada, and Mexico. There is a lot of repetition since states share borders, along with "SEE WYOMING" or "NEW HAMPSHIRE" or "SEE INTRODUCTION". The book also talks WAY TOO MUCH about dry facts, such as longitudes and latitudes, and skims over the border battles that seemed at all interesting. Did you know there was a border battle called the Toledo War? That little fact got just a sentence or two when I would have loved to read more about it. I was totally bored by the time I hit New Hampshire but I was determined to finish the book. This is one time when the TV show is much better than the book, and I never say that.

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