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The Real State of America Atlas: Mapping the Myths and Truths of the United States Paperback – July 26, 2011
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This 128-page book is packed solid with references, maps, graphics, illustrations, essays and statistics. It explores the myths and the realities of Americans living in the 21st century.
Topics include the wage gap, the economy, export/imports, marriage/divorce, foreclosures/homelessness, the environment, nuclear arms, climate change and so much more. Each shows the reader, in detail, the percentage of Americans who are affected and how they rate globally.
The Real State of America breaks this information down into rates for men, woman, by nationality, age et cetera and shows how each group combines to make up the statistics. Most of the facts and figures are up-to-date, with many of the reports from 2008-2010.
Cynthia Enloe is a Research Professor from Clark University and in 2010 she was awarded the Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace studies. Joni Seager is a Professor and Chair of Global Studies at Bentley University, has several books accredited to her as well as, working with the UN and UNESCO in further world benefiting projects.
These two women have collected all the data that you will find within these pages and have presented it by an easy-to-follow method. Their aim is to bring further awareness to the decline of the "American Dream" and discredit the myth involving the "Land of Opportunity".
What does it really mean to live in the United States of America?Read more ›
Whether Enloe and Seager's book is left on the cocktail table for sharing or in the bathroom for private pondering, it will leave you thinking and wondering and wanting to talk. The Real State of America Atlas is an important book for all of us who care about community, our country, and U.S. influence and impact on the world.
The data is great. A lot of very useful and illuminating information is packed into this slim volume. From personal experience I can vouch that the authors are working with top-notch sources for their graphics, although I wish that they would cite them more clearly.
The graphical presentation is also superb: very colorful, very creative and very engaging.
Now, the downsides.
The accompanying text is not top-quality. This is not to quibble with the authors' politics (Enloe in particular has written much on the intersection of international politics, militarism and feminism). Rather, the writing itself leaves much to be desired, especially in its overuse of "scare quotes" around every other "word". In addition, the text often makes sweeping generalizations that would seem to obscure, rather than to illuminate, the real state of America (examples such as "Americans eat big" and "Americans live, breathe and sleep sports"). Often this text is actually fact-devoid: for example, there is an infobox in the Native American section (you can see it in the preview) about the use of Native American Indian terms by school-based and professional sports teams, while not mentioning the numbers, the trend line, or acknowledging that some usages are sanctioned by affected Native Nations.
An additional issue is with the maps: often an abstract map of the United States is used in the graphics (to demonstrate obesity rates by state, say). This style of map shows each state as essentially a block floating in space, not connected to the other states.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some interesting material, so I see it mostly as an interesting coffee-table book. Much too scattered however, and the attempt at cohesiveness through chapter headings isn't very... Read morePublished 9 months ago by doug lowe
This book looked really intriguing... so I purchased it. What a mistake. I would NOT recommend wasting your money on this book for three primary reasons: 1) it is wrought with... Read morePublished on September 2, 2011 by Mark Barrett
Flipping randomly through the book, I burst out laughing at the map of a gerrymandered district on p. 37. I now understand why redistricting is an issue! Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by ChrisLook
I have rarely encountered such a biased, distorted piece of propaganda - the authors should be ashamed. Read morePublished on August 7, 2011 by tastefultrader
In some ways, this book would have been the ideal coffee table book. Every page has eye-popping visuals along with compelling data tied together in unorthodox ways. Read morePublished on August 4, 2011 by Ronjan Sikdar