In many ways, the United States are becoming more homogeneous than they were fifty or a hundred years ago. The rise of mass technology, communication, and entertainment has meant more people get the same information through the same media, resulting in a sameness among people and places not possible before.
The old days were much different. For one thing, until recently a large percentage of the U.S. population were immigrants, bringing with them the culture and ethnic traditions of their home countries. Italians, Chinese, Africans, Dutch, Puerto Ricans, Irish, Jews, Scandinavians—they all tended to settle together, and were thus able to preserve what they knew.
Communication was also far less unifying. Correspondence was much more local, typically, and interactions between regions were limited, usually to word-of-mouth and newspapers. In such circumstances, different parts of the country often seemed almost like different countries altogether; this was especially true in places that didn't become part of the Union until relatively late in the nation's history.
Each state has a history of its own, and each one is uniquely fascinating. Even where there seems to be considerable overlap, the differences are very real, such as the difference between the California Gold Rush and the Alaska Gold Rush. An appreciation of the diversity of our nation is almost always preceded by a knowledge of the individual states and regions within it.
Some states naturally have more written about them than others, like Texas, which before it was a U.S. state was an autonomous nation. Nevertheless, we're working on building a diverse collection, though we do have a slight bias for books about the Pacific Northwest. We also have a bias for books from a Christian perspective, though we carry both Christian and secular titles.
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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