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The Men Who United the States Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007532377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007532377
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 4.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Winchester studied Geology at Oxford University. He is the author of 'Atlantic','A Crack in the Edge of the World', 'Krakatoa', 'The Map That Changed the World', 'The Professor and the Madman', 'The Fracture Zone', 'Outposts', 'Korea', among many other titles. He lives in Massachusetts and in the Western Isles of Scotland.

Product Description

Review

‘Winchester achieves something remarkable here … ‘The Men Who United the States’ is not only readable, it’s compelling and quite marvellous reading’ Literary Review

‘Winchester pioneered the genre of popular narrative history … His admiration for his adopted homeland, and respect for those who forged it, shine out from every page … [he] understands that specificity is what counts, as it always does in writing’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Simon Winchester is a literary impresario … The subtitle promises readers a sackful of exciting tales – and the author delivers. This is a clever, engaging and original look at what would seem well-trodden historical paths; but Winchester, delightfully, breaks a fresh trail’ Economist

‘An imaginative piece of historical writing, interwoven with memoir. But it is, in the end, more than either of those things: it is a love poem to the American landscape and to the spirit of people’ BBC History Magazine

‘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

‘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. This is America from the ground up. Inspiring and engaging.’
Tom Brokaw

About the Author

Simon Winchester is the bestselling author of ‘Atlantic’, ‘The Man Who Loved China’, ‘A Crack in the Edge of the World’, ‘Krakatoa’, ‘The Map That Changed the World’, ‘The Surgeon of Crowthorne’ (’The Professor and the Madman’), ‘The Fracture Zone’, ‘Outposts’ and ‘Korea’, among many other titles. In 2006 he was awarded the OBE. He lives in western Massachusetts and New York City.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to admit to usually reserving my kindle for fiction as I prefer my non-fiction in book form, especially those with maps. Having seen a copy of this book in a bookshop I was put off buying it because the maps and plates are on the whole poorly reproduced copies and you need a magnifying glass to glean any information from them. Well hurrah then for the kindle, or more pertinently the Kindle app on the iPad, as you can use the zoom function to get a bit more from the illustrations. Having said that they are still not perfect but this is offset by the author's usual casual grace, eye for the telling detail and ability to pick a relevant quote or two from and about the protagonists. Talking of whom, there are quite a few individuals whose stories are told here so if you require more in depth detail about anyone who takes your fancy there is an extensive bibliography that will assist with this. Yes this is of necessity no more than an introduction to those who explored and subsequently "opened up" the country, and these are of course predominantly of European extraction. Native Americans are given due consideration and race relations and slavery are not ignored but the reality is that this is the story of how the Europeans fared and should be read as such. It is not a commentary on what was "right" or "wrong" about such exploits, more a tale of what happened given the social mores of the day. Other books, many mentioned in the bibliography, provide that sort of information. i enjoyed this book though and perhaps the best thing about it is that I am now encouraged to read about some of the more contentious issues that are only touched upon here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Highmark Ltd on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really well told series of accounts showing how the United States
grew out of its historical past, and using major themes such as metal, water
to tell the story. Full of details linking inventors, politicians and frontiersmen
to provide some coherence to the way the west was won, but well away from the conventional cowboys and Indians.

This is a must for anyone who wants to know what made the world's most powerful country-
and gives a fresh perspective on the spanning of the giant continent.
This is not a text book in any way, and yet it provides serious scholarship alongside
some enjoyable anecdotal insights into early America.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another superb book from Simon Winchester. Simon cleverly and uniquely draws together the development of the USA through the lives and achievements of explorers, thinkers, and innovators. He charts and deals with fascinating pioneers who developed communications together with the spread of industry, in particular water, metal and electricity. It is a vast coverage of every aspect of the development of the USA as we know it today and an extremely clever concept as well. Few books become "unputdownable" but this is certainly one of them and the reader is drawn into the unique world of how the USA and the states in particular became integrated almost as one as modern development spread across state boundaries. Characters like the explorers Lewis and Clark and other familiar names are included as well as many now forgotten who had the original involvement with the development of this huge and powerful nation. Very well written and easy to read, highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Hannay on 6 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like the curate's egg "Good in parts". Winchester follows the footsteps of Raban and Bryson but the former's prose is better and the latter writes with more charm and humour.

That said this book should be read. I found certain sections quite moving not least bringing electricity to farmers for the first time under the New Deal.
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By R. Ripper on 21 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
reveals some little-known contributors to the rise of the USA.
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By Garden girl on 28 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Typical Simon Winchester - well researched ad written
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By Robert Meldrum on 2 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book. On time, good condition.
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