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This latest edition of a longstanding classic contains concise information on each U.S. county's area, population, date of creation and name origin. Unlike previous editions, counties and other 'first-order subdivisions' - independent cities, boroughs, census areas-are now presented in a single list. Greater attention has also been paid to county name origins. An essential resource for researchers in local or state history, travelers, and genealogists.
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The late Joseph Nathan Kane is the author of the 4th Edition of The American Counties and laid the groundwork for this revision. Charles Curry Aiken is an occupational safety and health consultant. Previously employed with the Navy Safety School, this position provided him the opportunity to travel across the U.S. and fostered his interest in U.S. geography-especially counties.From Booklist:
Last updated in 1983 by the late Joseph Nathan Kane, this title is a basic collection of information and data about counties. Aiken is a countyphile who has enthusiastically brought the last edition up-to-date by adding the previous two census numbers. He covers all county-level geographic areas as recognized by the U.S. government, including Alaska's boroughs and census areas, Louisiana's parishes, New York's boroughs, and the independent cities of Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and Virginia. Information is provided in an A-Z listing of areas, with population from the 1950 census forward, the county seat, the date of creation, area in square miles, and the origin of the name. Three appendixes list all counties by date of creation, counties by state along with the statutes that created them, and counties by the county seat. A brief bibliographic essay notes the author's sources.
Aiken claims that there is no other book with this data, though there are books that contain some of it, such as United States Counties (McFarland, 2003) and County Name Origins of the United States (McFarland, 2001). The County and City Data Book, by Bernan, also provides extensive demographic data. There are also Web sites that have a good portion of the data. The Census Bureau Web site [http://www.census.gov/prod/www/ccdb.html] makes considerably more demographic data easily available but does not provide information about county names. The National Association of Counties Web site [http://www.naco.org/Template .cfm?Section=Find_a_county] also provides a wealth of detail, including many photographs of county courthouses. The American Counties can be a quick way to get a glimpse of these basic geographic regions, but if a library already owns one or more of the other texts, this one is not a necessary purchase. Steve Stratton
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