Historical Atlas of the United States

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9780415941112: Historical Atlas of the United States

Designed for all libraries, this large-format, full-color atlas is an authoritative guide to the history of the United States. From the formation of the continent up through current events and information based on the most recent census, this work uses the geography of the United States to portray the history of the land and its people. The 300-plus maps tell the engaging story of America with detailed, clear information; accompanying text highlights key information presented in each map.

An indispensable tool for students and educators alike, the Historical Atlas of the United States is destined to become a classic in the field.

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About the Author:

Mark C. Carnes received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, where he studied and trained with Professor John A. Garraty. The Ann Whitney Olin Professor History at Barnard College, Columbia University, Professor Carnes has chaired both the departments of History and American Studies at Barnard. In addition to this textbook, Carnes and Garraty have co-authored "Mapping America's Past: A Historical Atlas" and are co-general editors of the 24-volume "American National Biography," for which they were awarded the Waldo Leland Prize of the American Historical Association, the Darmouth Prize of the American Library Association, and the Hawkins Prize of the American Association of Publishers. In addition, Carnes has published numerous books in American social and cultural history, including "Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies" (1995), "Novel History: Historians and Novelists Confront America's Past (and Each Other)" (2001), and "Invisible Giants: 50 Americans That Shaped the Nation but Missed the History Books" (2002). Carnes also created "Reacting to the Past," which won the Theodore Hesburgh Award, sponsored by TIAA-CREF, as the outstanding pedagogical innovation of 2004. "Garraty preaches a particular doctrine on historical writing, expounding on the details of a complex process whereby the murky abstractions of the past are distilled into clean, clear narrative. He insists that the writer's sole duty is to readers. This literary alchemy is all the more wondrous for being so devoid of artifice," Carnes observes. John A. Garraty. Holding a Ph.D. from Columbia University and an L.H.D. from Michigan State University, ProfessorGarraty is Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia. He is the author, co-author, and editor of scores of books and articles, among them biographies of Silas Wright, Henry Cabot Lodge, Woodrow Wilson, George W. Perkins, and Theodore Roosevelt. Along with Mark Carnes, he is co-editor of the "American National Biography," Garraty has also contributed a volume-The New Commonwealth-to the New American Nation series and edited "Quarrels That Shaped the Constitution," He was a member of the Board of Directors of American heritage magazine and served as both vice president and head of the teaching division of the American Historical Association. His areas of research interest include the Gilded age, unemployment (in a historical sense), and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Of his collaboration with Carnes on "The American Nation," Garraty says, "Although this volume is the work of two authors, it is as nearly the product of a single historical sensibility as is possible. Mark's scholarly specialization in cultural and social issues, especially gender, complements mine in politics and the economy. The book has benefited, too, from his special interest in postwar America. Over the many years of our collaborations, one of our favorite topics of discussion has been the craft of historical writing. We share a commitment to clarity and conciseness. We strive to avoid jargon and verbiage. We believe that while the political history of the nation provides a useful narrative framework, its people are what give the story meaning."

From Booklist:

More than 300 maps divided into 21 chronologically arranged parts cover the history of the U.S. from the formation of the North American continent to the September 11, 2001, attacks. There are special sections for presidential elections and territorial growth. The maps are in color and are generally easy to read. They include the expected maps of territorial changes and military campaigns but also include some more unusual additions, such as Harlem during the period of the Harlem Renaissance, Hollywood movie studios in 1919, and Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

Overall, this atlas is a useful companion to the study of American history. Unfortunately, it is marred by mistakes that could have been avoided with more careful editing. For example, on the map "The Fate of Empire Loyalists, 1776-92," the king of England is identified as James III rather than George III. On "Civil Aviation, 1918-30," the beginning date for air service to Havana, Haiti, and Venezuela is given as 1839. On "New European States Emerge, 1991-93," the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa are given a different color from the rest of the country. The Eastern Shore of Virginia is often not delineated or is given the wrong color. The Canadian Manitoulin Island is sometimes mistakenly shown as U.S. territory. These mistakes and others detract from an otherwise useful source.

There is no shortage of good, if older, atlases of American history. The excellent Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (Greenwood, 1975) is a reliable source. Newer sources, such as Atlas of American History (Facts On File, 1993), also give good service. If the many errors are corrected, Historical Atlas of the United States will be an extremely valued addition to reference collections. Even with the errors, most of the information is accurate. The currency and unique content make it worth considering, and it is recommended with reservations for public and academic libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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