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

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

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. Introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree.
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Publisher's Summary

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times best-selling 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. The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on Earth came together.

©2013 Simon Winchester (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (133 )
5 star
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Story
4.3 (123 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 10-30-13
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 10-30-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "deserves seven stars"

    The combination of wonderful writing, author as narrator and a wide range of interesting stories is an unbeatable combination. Moreover, Winchester goes beyond the major historical stories we are all familiar with, and illuminates a wide range of other people and events that played a role in forming the United States.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda United States 02-15-14
    Linda United States 02-15-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating with Amazing Detail"
    Would you listen to The Men Who United the States again? Why?

    Yes, there is so much interesting information contained in this book, that a second or third read wouldn't be out of the question, just for all of it to register.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Men Who United the States?

    The account of the Lewis and Clark expedition.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Winchester’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not applicable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's not that kind of book, although it's full of chuckles.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Lifelong Learner Santa Monica 01-26-14
    The Lifelong Learner Santa Monica 01-26-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Story
    "An Interesting Amble through a Big Story"

    A little confused. I couldn't figure out his structure until the end. But he made a good story out of an enormous library of information. And he made it interesting, in bites you can follow. He colors some of his narrative with editorials parading as facts. This cheer leading got heavy handed and tiresome in the era and chapter on rural electrification and continued into the modern era and public television. Too bad. It detracts from an otherwise pleasant story. I've enjoyed two of this author's other books immensely. This one has its moments but is a little frustrating to read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Lee California 10-26-13
    J. Lee California 10-26-13 Member Since 2009

    Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little slow but worth sticking it out."

    The characters are unknown to many and little remembered in history but one comes away with a deep appreciation of the greatness of our country and it's amazing people. Another great history of our of the USA from a different angle.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryon Nepean, ON, Canada 03-07-14
    Bryon Nepean, ON, Canada 03-07-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but not his usual A Game"
    Would you try another book from Simon Winchester and/or Simon Winchester?

    Of course. Overall a great author.


    Any additional comments?

    I did find this book a bit disappointing in that Mr. Winchester seemed to let more of his own personal philosophy, politics and moral judgement leak into this book, a vanity of many authors of history he has up to now, to his credit, refused to indulge in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Mineral Wells, TX, United States 11-28-13
    Ed Mineral Wells, TX, United States 11-28-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "White man cometh"
    Where does The Men Who United the States rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rate this book among the better audio books that I have listened to.


    Would you recommend The Men Who United the States to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this audio book to someone who is interested in the general history of America as it follows mostly white adventurists on there adventures and shortcomings.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The author has a very good and clear voice and the performance was well laid out


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Rather long book 12+ hours would not be something I would want to listen to in one sitting, day, etc


    Any additional comments?

    Delved deeply into subjects, Lewis and Clark for example and then some it just flittered thru the subject example Wounded Knee.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn Westminster, CO, United States 11-03-13
    JoAnn Westminster, CO, United States 11-03-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Little pieces of history"

    An interest look at the history of the US and those who contributed in many different ways. I regularly enjoy Winchester's book. Interesting that he has decided to become an American citizen.

    Note - if you are not a fan of NPR and, instead, like Rush Limbaugh and others of the same mind and/or if you are a hunter, you may not enjoy this book quite so much.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Westchester, IL, United States 01-28-14
    Michael Westchester, IL, United States 01-28-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long Winded - Disjointed - Not Great History"

    If you want history go to another author like Stephen Ambrose, David McCullough or Joseph Ellis.

    It more travelogue than real history with the author inserting his politically correct musings and pot shots at the United States, the military, real estate development patterns and even McDonald's.

    He is a Bill Bryson pretender without Mr. Bryson's storytelling skills.

    The worst digression when Winchester takes time to reminisce about his real estate deal in Montana where he made a great return but has to slam the more recent buyers who built bigger houses (On their own property) than his narrow mind could envision.

    My favorite display of Winchester's pomposity is when a father & son take time out of their afternoon to ferry him on their boat and he buys ONE OF HIS OWN BOOKS as a thank you gift to send them.

    It was wasted time and a wasted credit.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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