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on 31 March 2012
A wealth of knowledge for anyone with any interest in the USA. From road trip routes to state by state facts and local state information. A fascinating book about a fascinating diverse part of the world. Each state has 4 pages dedicated to it stating: Etymology of the state name, nicknames, motto, capital city, population, area, time zone, state bird, state flower, major industries, politics, best time to go, history in a nutshell, landscape, natural beauty, trademarks, people, culture and traditions, economy, cuisine, did you know?, urban scene, representations, legend and essential experiences. The photos are fantastic.
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on 14 April 2013
Great (relatively brief) descritions of each area, great photography! Nice coffetable companion, absolutely fine to get a good idea of the country and make initial decisions. Then you need a more detailed guidebook
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on 27 February 2015
Looks good, purchased as a gift
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on 5 August 2013
Brilliant book and speedy delivery. I bought it as a gift and it looks to be jut the thing I wanted to give.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 March 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Wow, what a book. Ever since I was little and took my first trip to the US of A, I fell in love with the place. The people, the places, the food just everything. I have visited many places and each one is whole new experience. This book is a combination of all these things. The best, the most beautiful, the best food, the best beaches and so on.

The cover itself is enough to make you want to visit. The book itself is broken down into sections. At the beginning you have an introduction to the USA and then the USA by theme such as Arts and Architecture, Food and Drink and the weird and wonderful. They then have a section on the best road trips. With the USA being 3.8 million square miles, they have sensibly narrowed this down to only two options.

They then have a section for every state. The section per state gives you a breakdown of the following:-
History in a Nutshell
Natural Beauty
Landscape
Culture & Traditions
Cuisine
Economy
People
Urban Scene
Area Legend

The information given on each state gives the traveller a real idea of what to expect from each state. The wonderful thing about this book is also the wonderful photographs that accompany each section. If you love the USA or are thinking of travelling there this book may only make you less decisive on where to go. Each state sounds and looks so appealing it makes the choice that much harder.

Overall I think this book is great and the photographs are fab too.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
On first glance "The USA Book," looks fantastic. It is a large, glossy hardback with intriguing pictures to flick through and be drawn into. However on deeper exploration it lives up to its shiny exterior. It is well set out with 4 pages dedicated to each state, in alphabetical order. More than half of the state provides gorgeous representative photographs of each state which provide an insight which are not always seen, both of natural and human phenomena.

However, it's not all about the photography. Accompanying the pictures is information about each state, beginning with a fact file including nick name, capital, population and area as well as a map showing major cities, mountains and rivers. This is followed by a brief history before examining the landscape, natural beauty, trademarks, people, cuisine, culture and traditions, economy, urban scene and legend which make each state unique.

To help those looking to visit it also includes a 'did you know?' fact box, a handful of 'essential experiences' and also explains the best time to go. Whether you are interested in visiting or just want to learn a little bit more about America, this is a stunning book which I would highly recommend.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you think this book will be a useful guide to exploring the U.S.A., you're wrong. As some other reviewers have mentioned, the size puts it firmly into the `coffee table' section. On that, it ticks all the correct boxes; the aforementioned size, the delightful colour photos, the quick readable text, and the facts and figures. Unfortunately, all this tome will ever be is something that people will pick up and flick through whilst waiting for something to happen.

All 51 states get mentioned, and the text for each is separated into a dozen small sections (Washington DC excepted) one of which is called `Trademarks', or what a state is famous for. A variety of `celebrities' and historical figures are name checked here. Whilst Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and The Osmonds speak for themselves, how long will the queue be for those saying, "Yes, I've heard of Stephen Colbert, John Mellencamp and Andy Griffith"? Though I can't comment on the relative merits of what's included in this book and why the publisher chose to include what they have, there is one glaring omission. Within the text for Kentucky, nowhere is Muhammad Ali mentioned; along with Abraham Lincoln, surely the Bluegrass State's most famous son.

If you like looking at photographs, and they aren't the tourist ones you would expect, most being of a more travelogue nature, wait until this turns up in your local library or dentist waiting room. If you're planning a trip to the United States, don't be tempted.
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VINE VOICEon 3 April 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book looks great. It's an incredibly large, hefty hardback with a gorgeous front cover. Inside it has a four page spread of information and photos for every state in North America (aside from a small amount of states which are apparently too small or too dull and so only get two pages). You would think this would be an awesome way to get to know the continent and to inspire you in planning a trip to America.

However I have found it to be not very practical at all. Each state has various bits of information on its history, its landscape, its cuisine, the type of people who live there, representations of it in popular culture and local legends. Each section finishes with a very brief and often jokey list of four or five `essential experiences'.

What the book is sorely missing is a decent section for each state telling you the best things to actually do and see when you're there. I'm sure these states have absolutely amazing landmarks and experiences to be seen and had, and indeed some of these can be glimpsed from the photos, but nothing is said about them in the text. Background information on the states is fine, but I want to actually know why I should visit them and what I should do when I'm there. And this book is almost useless in this regard.

This is a lovely glossy coffee table book and anyone just looking for a flick through and a bit of light reading will enjoy it, but if you are seriously considering a holiday to the states and are trying to decide which ones to go to and what to do in them, I'd advise you look for a book with a different focus.
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on 21 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is not a travel guide, so much as it is a background to the country. It is a very large hardback book, so I really wouldn't fancy carrying it around with me anyway! The book includes chapters on themes of the USA, such as arts and architecture, sports, environment and so on, however the vast majority of the book is divided into a chapter on each of the states.

Each state gets 4 pages, around three quarters of each double page spread is taken up with photographs, with the remainder text. The text covers the history, landscape, people, culture, cuisine, economy and urban scene of each state, as well as a small insert box on the essential facts for each state such as population, capital and area.

The pictures in this book are absolutely stunning, and give a real taste of each state. Just flicking through I've come across an amazing image of Cracker Lake in Montana, as well as Carhenge in Nebraska. Each chapter also has a small list of `essential experiences', and from reading these I don't think one road trip is going to be enough, there are so many amazing sights and experiences to be had in America, and I can't wait until the day I can go and experience them.

I was surprised to find there are actually several chapters of pre-designed road trips. These are really helpful as a jumping off point for planning your trip. However having read the rest of the book I don't think I could stick to any one road trip, as there are always going to be some amazing sites just off the prescribed track. One thing I would have liked to see would be a rough estimate of how long each road trip trail would take, or even how many miles each one is, as some are much longer than others.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 December 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Lonely Planet has always had a penchant for the slightly quirky approach - and this is no exception. It's a beautiful, interesting, coffee table style book lavishly illustrated throughout.

The book starts with its least successful bits - brief chapters on the biggest, longest etc, and then a series of themes too large to be at all meaningful in a book of this nature on Arts & Architecture, Music, Food and Drink etc. There are also brief looks at the major regions and several great Road Trips.

Then, we get into the meat of this large tome. Each state is given around four pages looking at:

- history
- landscape
- natural beauty
- trademarks
- people
- representations (particularly interesting)
- culture and traditions
- cuisine
- economy
- urban scene
- did you know?
- myths
- essential experiences

And each state has a number of full colour pictures - not your typical tourist images but often of people, food, etc.

It's totally dip-into-able and frequently fascinating. I've docked the book one star though because while some of the images are fantastic, the quality of others is not quite up to what I'd call "National Geographic standard".

But if you are a fan of the US, then this book will give you a great deal of pleasure. In a country as large as the US, it's all too easy to identify omissions from various chapters (why no mention of the Sopranos in New Jersey for example) but that misses the point of this book in my opinion. Highly recommended.
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