The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester
America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

77%

13 Critic Reviews

Winchester...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

Synopsis

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.

 

About Simon Winchester

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Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Professor and the Madman, Atlantic, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa. In 2006, he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Now an American citizen, he resides in western Massachusetts.
 
Published October 15, 2013 by Harper. 691 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Travel. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 03 2013
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Critic reviews for The Men Who United the States
All: 13 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on Jul 15 2013

...a myriad other stories of American ingenuity, which Winchester recounts with enormous gusto and verve. Another winning book from a historian whose passion for his subjects saturates his works.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 15 2013

Winchester...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.

Read Full Review of The Men Who United the States... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Stephen Mihm on Nov 08 2013

Winchester is America in miniature: many talents, many loyalties and numerous, often contradictory opinions. He’s a bundle of contradictions. Little wonder he finally feels at home.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 15 2013

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.

Read Full Review of The Men Who United the States... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jeffrey D. Simon on Oct 10 2013

Mr. Winchester is a master storyteller, and all the individuals, places, and events that he passionately writes about come to life in exquisite detail.

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Washington Times

Good
Reviewed by James Srodes on Dec 15 2013

...elegantly written and captivating meditation on the unique physiology of that cultural-political phenomenon known as the United States of America.

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The Economist

Excellent
on Jan 04 2014

This is a clever, engaging and original look at what would seem well-trodden historical paths; but Winchester, delightfully, breaks a fresh trail.

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Oregon Live

Above average
on Oct 23 2013

Despite its curious organizational structure, "The Men Who United the States" is informative and absorbing, a compliment to Winchester’s gift for telling a story well and his clear devotion to his adopted country. But it will not stimulate readers to revise their perception of the long-dominant narrative of American history.

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Good
Reviewed by Carl Caton on Jan 16 2014

Despite the book's tortured structure, Winchester's style and evident enjoyment of his subject matter make this book a joy to read, and his idea that this wide variety of personalities and accomplishments collectively wove the disparate parts of the nation together is hard to dispute.

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History Book Club

Good
Reviewed by Geoffrey Wawro on Jan 16 2014

Simon Winchester has written another illuminating book, this one compelling readers to reconsider everything they know about the uniting of America.

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Kittling: Books

Good
Reviewed by Cathy on Oct 15 2013

...Winchester reminded me of the many wonderful things that have occurred to transform this country. He's also sparked my interest to research several subjects more deeply, and isn't that one of the best things a book can do-- entice us to learn more?

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Ruthfully Yours

Good
Reviewed by RICHARD SNOW on Oct 15 2013

Mr. Winchester is by no means simply celebrating the hardihood and ingenuity of the builders of our nation. He is clear about the danger in any great expansion...Yet, what an extraordinary, propulsive tale he tells.

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What Would the Founders Think?

Below average
Reviewed by Martin on Jan 16 2014

...comments and innuendos detracted immensely from what was, on the whole an interesting and well-written book. However, instead of finishing the book with a positive impression, this reviewer was left with a sour taste in his mouth.

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Alp Koksoy 5 Sep 2013

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