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Regional History

Once upon a time, schoolchildren could be expected to know the name of the mountains separating France from Spain, the location of the Nile River, the capitals ofall fifty states, and what and where the Pampas could be found. Now, even adults have a hard time naming the most populous city in the U.S. or the countries of Asia. These are, indeed, sad times, and doomed to become sadder if this geographic ignorance is not turned to knowledge.

Without a firm grasp on geography, how can we expect to know anything about history? History is rooted in a sense of place. Why did the Union troops lose the Battle of Cold Harbor? Because they were attacking Confederate fortifications uphill. And if you don't know anything about the Alps, the fact that Hannibal's army crossed them with elephants won't surprise you near as much as it should. Understanding the physical terrain and the demographics of an area are essential to understanding the history of that region.

Which is why studying history by place is such a good idea. There are cultural considerations, of course, and these can be immensely helpful guides in their own right, but simply looking at the lay of the land so to speak will provide a sense of context more abstract boundaries never can. African history, for instance, makes so much more sense if you know what the continent is like.

Even cultures are influenced by geography. Take the United States: some of the most important advances in transportation technology happened within her borders largely due to necessity. The steam engine train was perfected here, automobiles and airplanes were invented here, and in the last few decades we've led the world in space exploration.

It's not that no one traveled before the 19th and 20th century, or outside the North American continent—it's just that because the new nation was so vast, and there were so many natural barriers (the Mississippi River, the Grand Tetons and Great Smokey Mountains, the Mojave Desert), new forms of getting from here to there were not only a good idea, they were a necessity.

There probably isn't one instance in the history of the world in which geography and events weren't directly tied. Certainly this is true for military history, and exploration, and agriculture, but it's also true of ideas and ideologies. Part of the reason slavery was such an important part of Southern culture in the U.S. was that cotton was an immensely growable crop and only armies of slaves could be counted on to get all the work done; in order to justify the use of forced labor, however, a philosophical ethos was developed.

Other instances may be more obscure, but no less true. In France, the mild climate and fertile country led to a series of approaches to thought that emphasized experience and the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake (particularly existentialism); in ancient Greece, the geographical isolation enforced by mountains and seas allowed democratic polity to emerge among the city states.

Geography and history are pretty much Siamese twins, andacademic technology has not advanced to the point where they can be separated without risk of life to both. We've organized the subcategories in this section along pretty standard lines (continents, countries, and the like), but standards arise because they work. Explore a region you're unfamiliar with; you're likely to uncover quite a few surprises.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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5,160 Items found Print
"Chinese" Way of Doing Things
by Samuel Ling
from P&R Publishing
in Asian Religions (Location: C07-01F)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
¡Pío Peep!
by Alice Schertle, Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy
Bilingual from Rayo
for Preschool-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
10 American History Plays for the Classroom
by Sarah J. Glasscock, editor
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in American History Reference (Location: B04-03C)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
10,000 Days of Thunder
by Philip Caputo
1st edition from Atheneum
for 5th-10th grade
in Vietnam War (1957-1975) (Location: B01-26C)
$24.95 $16.00 (1 in stock)
14 Cows for America
by Carmen Agra Deedy, in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah
Reprint from Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
for 3rd-5th grade
in Africa (Location: B02-05E)
1421: The Year China Discovered America
by Gavin Menzies
1st edition from William Morrow & Company
for Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
1620, Year of the Pilgrims
by Genevieve Foster
from Charles Scribner's Sons
History Reference/Biography for 7th-10th grade
in New World Colonization (Location: B01-08A)
1776
by David McCullough
from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in American Revolution (1765-1783) (Location: B01-09C)
$14.00 $8.00 (1 in stock)
1776
by David McCullough
1st edition from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in American Revolution (1765-1783) (Location: B01-09C)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
1776
by David McCullough
1st edition from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in American Revolution (1765-1783) (Location: B01-09C)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
1776, Year of Independence
by Genevieve Foster
from Charles Scribner's Sons
History Reference/Biography for 7th-10th grade
in American Revolution (1765-1783) (Location: B01-09C)
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by Sally M. Walker
from HarperCollins
Realistic fiction for 2nd-4th grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: CPB-04B)
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1846 - Portrait of the Nation
by Smithsonian Institute
from Smithsonian Books
in Western Expansion (1800-1898) (Location: B01-14A)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
1963 Civil Rights March
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by Sabrina Crewe, Scott Ingram
from Gareth Stevens Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
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by Dean R. Bowman
Revised from Walch Publishing
for 7th-9th grade
in Theater, Drama & Film (Location: ART-03B)
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20th Century in America Lap-Pak
from Home School in the Woods
for 3rd-8th grade
in Hands-On History Activity-Paks (Location: B01-03B)
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for 5th-12th grade
in 20th Century America (Location: B01-22A)
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by Scott O'Dell
from Houghton Mifflin
for 4th-9th grade
Hans Christian Andersen Award
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
50 States Flipper
from Christopher Lee Publications
for 5th-Adult
in United States Geography (Location: B04-04E)
$9.95
7 Continents: Africa
by Jo Ellen Moore
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: B04-04D)
$21.99
7 Continents: Asia
by Jo Ellen Moore
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: B04-04D)
$21.99
7 Continents: Australia & Oceania
by Jo Ellen Moore
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: B04-04D)
$21.99
7 Continents: Europe
by Jo Ellen Moore
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: B04-04D)
$21.99
7 Continents: South America
by Rachel Lynette
from Evan-Moor Educational Publishers
for 3rd-6th grade
in Evan-Moor Geography (Location: B04-04D)
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for 5th-9th grade
in Biography Anthologies (Location: A12-07B)
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1st edition from Simon and Schuster
for Kindergarten-4th grade
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Reprint from Puffin Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Alphabet & Counting Books (Location: CPB-02A)
A Portrait of Dickens
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from J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd.
for 8th-Adult
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
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by Laurie Lawlor
from Minstrel Books
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in Series Books (Location: A10-02B)
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Reprint from Kids Can Press
for Preschool-1st grade
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Abe Lincoln
Landmark Series
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from Random House
Biography for 5th-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$5.99 $4.00 (1 in stock)
Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance
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Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
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Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington
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from National Geographic
Picture Book Biography for 2nd-4th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.95 $5.00 (1 in stock)
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1st edition from Graphia
Biography for 5th-8th grade
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1st edition from HarperCollins
Biography for 1st-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
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from Simon Pulse
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in Abortion (Location: C03-01D)
$17.00
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from Emerald Books
Biography for 4th-7th grade
in Heroes of History (Location: A12-06D)
$8.50 $6.50 (2 in stock)
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by Clara Ingram Judson
from Sterling Publishing Co.
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1951 Newbery Honor Book
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
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from Scholastic Inc.
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in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
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Abraham Lincoln
by Carl Sandburg
from Harcourt
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in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Abraham Lincoln
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
75th Anniversary Edition from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
1940 Caldecott Medal winner
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$17.95
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by Tom Tierney
from Dover Publications
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Dover Paper Dolls (Location: A01-01B)
$6.95
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Dover Coloring Books
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from Dover Publications
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in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
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in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
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for 6th-10th grade
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by Genevieve Foster, expanded by Joanna Foster
from Beautiful Feet Books
Historical Non-fiction for 7th-10th grade
1945 Newbery Honor Book
in American Civil War (1860-1865) (Location: B01-18A)
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