The Men Who United the States: Book summary and reviews of The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester

The Men Who United the States

America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

By Simon Winchester

The Men Who United the States
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2013,
    512 pages.

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Book Summary

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.

How did America become "one nation, indivisible"? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Rochester to San Francisco, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today's United States.

Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree. Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Winchester, a Brit who recently became an American citizen, also incorporates personal travel anecdotes to comment on pivotal locations. This bold decision is the key to the book's greatest achievement: conveying the large-scale narrative of unification via the small-scale experience of the individual - the creation of a people by the agglomeration of persons." - Publishers Weekly

"Another winning book from a historian whose passion for his subjects saturates his works." - Kirkus

"Winchester provides surprising insights into our social history, further enriching his narrative with accounts of his personal odysseys around the country. The results are highly recommended for public and school libraries and all readers looking for new and stimulating perspectives on the history of America." - Library Journal

"Simon Winchester never disappoints, and The Men Who United the States is a lively and surprising account of how this sprawling piece of geography became a nation. Inspiring and engaging." - Tom Brokaw

"A rousing tribute to the alliances, agencies, and inventions - from Lewis and Clark to the Internet - that underpin our more perfect union. A stunning, highly original feast of a book." - Stacy Schiff, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cleopatra

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Author Information

Simon Winchester Author Biography

Simon Winchester, OBE, a British writer, journalist and broadcaster, was born in north London on 28th September 1944, the only child of Bernard and Andrée Winchester (née deWael).

Though not Catholic, he was educated first at a boarding convent in Bridport, Dorset and later at Hardye's School, Dorchester, Dorset. After taking time off to hitch-hike around Canada and the United States for almost a year between leaving school and entering university, he went up to Oxford in 1963, to read geology at St. Catherine's College.

After graduation in 1966 he joined a Canadian mining company, Falconbridge of Africa, and worked as field geologist in Uganda, looking for copper deposits in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains, close to the border with Congo.

He then made a ...

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