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Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It Hardcover – February 1, 2010


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Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It + How the States Got Their Shapes
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What If? by Randall Munroe
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, find hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; First Edition edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594744106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594744105
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 10.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“We all know the 50 states, but how much do you know about the hundreds of statehood proposals that never came to pass? These fascinating maps of states that might have been are from Michael J. Trinklein’s Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It.”—Country Magazine

“Fascinating, funny book.”—New Yorker, Book Bench

“This book is geared to the general reader and has a larger format that encourages perusal. It is recommended for history, geography, and general trivia buffs.”—Library Journal

“Amusing and lavishly illustrated book.”—Christian Science Monitor

“Complete with maps, Lost States is an interesting travel guide to the world of ‘what-if history.’”—McClatchy Newspapers

About the Author

Michael J. Trinklein wrote and produced the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary Pioneers of Television (2008), as well as The Gold Rush (1998) and The Oregon Trail (1993). His work has been consistently praised in the national media, including USA Today, Washington Post, Parade, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. He lives in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
 

More About the Author

Twice nominated for an Emmy Award, Michael J. Trinklein writes television programs, books, and articles--and served as a university professor for nearly 20 years. He's written for the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and Time Magazine. Trinklein's been interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered and Here and Now--and appeared on numerous television talk shows, including a full hour on C-SPAN. He's been quoted in the Washington Post, Business Week, and on the front page of The New York Times.

Trinklein wrote the PBS documentaries The Gold Rush and The Oregon Trail in the 1990s, which led to his role as the sole writer and co-producer of the top-rated PBS series Pioneers of Television, now in production of its fourth season. In crafting that series, Trinklein has been privileged to interview--in depth--more than 100 Hollywood celebrities, including Jerry Seinfeld, Betty White, Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Tina Fey, Jay Leno, Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, Mary Tyler Moore, Ray Romano, and many others.

At age 23, after receiving a graduate degree from The University of Iowa, Trinklein became a professor at Idaho State University, teaching journalism and media production for nearly two decades. In 2004, he left that position to pursue writing and producing full-time, while retaining the title of professor emeritus.

In 2010, Trinklein penned the book Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and other states that never made it. Published by Quirk Books, it became a bestseller--and the definitive work on American statehood movements. The New Yorker called it, "a fascinating, funny book."

Critics have also enjoyed Trinklein's television writing. The Los Angeles Times called Pioneers of Television, "thoroughly enjoyable... entertaining and enlightening." Similarly, The Chicago Tribune labeled Trinklein's work, "Never less than interesting," and The Hollywood Reporter described his writing as, "Engaging and thoughtful."

In his spare time, Trinklein dabbles in permaculture farming on his 18 acre property on Lake Michigan's western shore.

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Customer Reviews

If you like a little history, this is a good book.
Edward C. Hartmann
In the section on Cuba, there is no mention of the Ostend Manifesto and the attempts to annex the island in the 1840s and 1850s.
Andrew Collins
It's a book to be picked up when you just have a few minutes to spare and can just read one page.
Marie OTE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Collins on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
On the outside, the book looks very interesting. The set-up itself is nice with many full color pictures and maps. Each entry is two pages accompanied with text on one side and a map or other illustration on the other. However, the devil is in the details and they are numerous.

For starters, too many of the entries are completely pointless. Why? For a book called "Lost States," too many examples would never have been considered for statehood nor would ever seriously be considered for statehood. Some examples of this are Rio Rico (Texas), Saipan, Guyana, Boston, Chicago, Sicily, Navassa Island, etc. Most of these are complete jokes because of some complaint over taxes or some nameless politician says something that is never seriously considered.

There are also many amateurish errors. At one point, President William McKinley is referred to as James McKinley. A picture allegedly of Confederate President Davis does not look like him at all (because it is not). The section on Rio Rico completely fails to mention how the Texan town was ceded to Mexico back in the seventies (rather the author implies it is still U.S. territory). He incorrectly says the Northern Mariana Islands were under U.S. control since 1898, when in reality they were not occupied by the U.S. until World War II.

For whatever reason, the author also feels it necessary to criticize George W. Bush and the Iraq War on multiple occasions. The most notable of this is in the section on Iceland. What does Bush and the Iraq War have to do with Iceland's potential statehood? Absolutely nothing. So why mention it there at all?

The book also fails in its omissions. In the section on Cuba, there is no mention of the Ostend Manifesto and the attempts to annex the island in the 1840s and 1850s.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Paul Leopard on August 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a rather lazily written book, the layout and graphics are nice but most of the "states" were never seriously considered and basically are just a bunch of "Hey this one guy made a speech and in it he mentioned a state that doesn't exist!" and somehow he relates every other state to President Bush. Honestly this book is half political diatribe on the evils of voting Republican and half urban myths he found on wikipedia.
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me, and when I read the description of it I thought "hey, this is a great idea for a book." Unfortunately, this is not the book I had hoped it would be.

The layout and design of the book is great. Too bad it was wasted on this product. First of all, the title is misleading... several of the "lost states" preceded the U.S. and it is highly unlikely that any of these would have ever been seperate entities, much less states. These include New Sweden and Charlotina. Others discussed included territorial oddities which were NEVER seriously considered for statehood (like Howland, "Lost" Dakota and Rio Rico). These entries are just annoying.

When it comes to actual proposed states the book is better but only two pages are dedicated to each. Why not leave out the Howlands and New Swedens and put in more stuff about actual state proposals? And there are historical errors, the most egregious one was the depiction of Major-General Jefferson Davis (USA) on page 21, where the picture is clearly meant to be President Jefferson Davis, CSA. These two men are both Civil War figures but they certainly did not look anything alike. The fact that the man is wearing a Union general's uniform should have been a dead giveaway. This fast-food approach to history (as epitomized on the History Channel) really doesn't do the subject justice.

But the most annoying thing about this book, and the thing that will mark it for obscurity within the next year or so is how it constantly knocks President George W. Bush. I'm sorry... was this book originally titled "Lost States and Why It's George Bush's Fault?"

PLEASE, someone use the preliminary research here to write a decent book on this subject!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Kulicki on July 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was very disappointed in what could have been a great coffee table conversational book. After having the book for just two days and a couple of friends later (all with diverse viewpoints both politically and geographically) we all found this book to be childish, an attempt at being snarky but failing miserably, and certainly did not require the peppering of jibes at Bush. I thought it was just me but friends reaffirmed my suspicions so back to the bookstore it will go. After reading the other reviews here I certainly wish I had read them prior buying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Millis on December 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband had wanted this book for a long time after hearing the author interviewed on NPR, but after reading it, he said he would have to agree with other reviews (on and off Amazon) that said the book seems a bit half-done, not researched as thoroughly has it could've or should've been, and sometimes glosses over things. Interesting, but I'd get it from the library and pick a different book to buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marie OTE on April 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is almost a coffee table book. Leave it out and it will be picked up and looked at. What I really liked about the book is that each "Lost Syate" is described on only one page witha map on the facing page. It's not a book to be read from cover to cover at one or two long reads. It's a book to be picked up when you just have a few minutes to spare and can just read one page. I keep my copy on my car and read a page while waitin for a child. We then can have a lively discussion of the page. There is enough humor so a 4th grader won't be tempted to do the "eye-roll"
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