An evocative and highly original narrative that redefines America’s character and identity.
With the same mix of compelling narrative history and captivating historical argument that made his previous book, Measuring America, such a success, Andro Linklater relates in fascinating detail how the borders and boundaries that formed states and a nation inspired the sense of identity that has ever since been central to the American experiment. Challenging Frederick Jackson Turner’s famed frontier thesis, he argues that we are defined not by open spaces but by boundaries. Linklater weaves his provocative arguments into a dramatic story line, wherein the actions of Andrew Ellicott, America’s greatest surveyor; Thomas Jefferson; the treasonous general James Wilkinson; Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas; and numerous hitherto invisible settlers all illuminate the shaping of the nation. This brilliant book will alter forever readers’ perception of America and what it means to be an American.