The Lower 48 have created myths and legends about things Alaskan: Things in Alaska are bigger, colder, wilder, fiercer, more independent, more rugged, more resourceful, to name just a few of the qualities that surround the Alaska myth. However, the one that says Alaskan bars stand head and shoulders above bars anywhere else just might be true. When author Doug Vandegraft moved to Alaska after graduating college in 1983, he found himself in the wild-west-style bar scene in Anchorage. Nearly two decades later, he officially began conducting research on Alaskan bars that he found as unique as everyone believed.
A Guide to the Notorious Bars of Alaska details the rich history and atmosphere of remarkable, one-of-a-kind Alaskan bars, many of which have been around since the end of Prohibition in 1933, and have become legendary in their communities and beyond as places to socialize, meet friends, come in from the cold, and sometimes as community centers or even as churches. Despite stricter laws regarding alcohol sale and consumption, Alaska's bars remain notorious in many ways.
Doug Vandegraft has worked as a Cartographer for the Department of the Interior since 1983. He began his notorious bars of Alaska project in 1999 while still living in Anchorage. A promotion in 2000 required him to relocate to the Washington DC area. This move was beneficial not only for his career but also for his Alaska bars project, as the Library of Congress and the National Archives contain a vast amount of material on Alaska. He supplemented these resources with bi-annual trips to Alaska to conduct research at the National Archives in Anchorage and the State Archives in Juneau. During these trips, he also interviewed many bar owners and consulted with historians from Alaskan historical societies.
North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory.
In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.
We are so familiar with the map of the United States that our state borders seem as much a part of nature as mountains and rivers. Even the oddities—the entire state of Maryland(!)—have become so engrained that our map might as well be a giant jigsaw puzzle designed by Divine Providence. But that's where the real mystery begins. Every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of, well, humans drawing lines in the sand.
How the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Here are the stories behind the stories, right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny-tiny (and little known) parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New Jersey.
How the States Got Their Shapes examines:Why West Virginia has a finger creeping up the side of PennsylvaniaWhy Michigan has an upper peninsula that isn't attached to MichiganWhy some Hawaiian islands are not HawaiiWhy Texas and California are so outsized, especially when so many Midwestern states are nearly identical in size
Packed with fun oddities and trivia, this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history, from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acquisitions. Adding the fresh lens of local geographic disputes, military skirmishes, and land grabs, Mark Stein shows how the seemingly haphazard puzzle pieces of our nation fit together perfectly.