Cover image for This land is your land : the geographic evolution of the United States
This land is your land : the geographic evolution of the United States
Schwartz, Seymour I., 1928-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2000.
Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 31 cm
Reading Level:
1320 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E161.3 .S39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



An illustrated history of the discovery, settlement, and expansion of the United States. The book includes contemporary maps of the first depiction of each new state and modern maps created with the latest technology. It also features the history of place names.

Author Notes

Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz is a surgeon as well as an author. He was chairman of the department of surgery at the University of Rochester and president of both the American College of Surgeons and the American Surgical Association, and he is a member of the Institute of Medicine. He is on the board of directors of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, and a member of the Grolier Club and the Americar Antiquarian Society

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

From Jamestown to the admission of Hawaii to the Union, over 300 historical maps here cartographically showcase the United States. Many of these, such as George Washington's sketch of the region of his 1754 fracas with the French, are in private hands, so the carto-cognoscenti can admire items they are not likely to see anywhere else. Schwartz himself exemplifies these collecting enthusiasts, people successful in their profession (medicine, in the author's case) who can afford to cultivate their fascination with the history of cartography. It should not surprise readers, then, that the text is not as stylistic or insightful as, say, that of a professional writer such as cartographer Mark Monmonier in his many delightful books (most recently, Air Apparent, 1999). Instead of a description of how boundaries like the Mason-Dixon line were delineated and place names established, Schwartz's prose mainly signposts what to scrutinize on the maps. However the images will rivet the browser as certainly as they have their compiler, making this pricey album worthy of public library consideration. Gilbert Taylor

Library Journal Review

Schwartz (The French and Indian War: The Imperial Struggle for North America) is a famous surgeon with a consuming interest in American history who serves on the board of directors of the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution. His handsomely produced cartographic and geographic history of the territorial growth of the United States is a thorough treat for both antique map enthusiasts and American history buffs. Beginning with the age of European exploration, the author traces our national evolution, employing 159 contemporary maps (70 in full color), a fascinating text that includes the derivation of many local place names, and numerous other illustrations that enrich the reader's experience. After treating the 13 Colonies and the Colonial period, he explores the newly added territories in chronological order and state by state by order of admission to the Union. This is a book to curl up with on a rainy day and just enjoy. Highly recommended for all libraries.DEdward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This Land Is Your Land reveals the "discovery," territorial acquisition, settlement, and economic development of the US in an orderly sequence of 14 chapters. The conversion of 13 British colonies into the United States of America is a story well told, as is the push west "to grow up with the country." Division and discord, industrial and agricultural expansion, population gain, and ethnic diversity are treated with thoughtfulness and objectivity. Each state is represented with a brief illustrated "history" rendered in the order in which the states were admitted to the union. An excursion in toponymy permeates the book. Throughout, one is treated to explanations of the provenance and meaning of place names of state, city, village, mountain, river, and other geographic and natural phenomena. Beautifully produced and profusely illustrated (305 illustrations, 143 in color), this book will sate the appetite of geographers, historians, and others. Detailed index. Recommended for all general and academic collections. G. J. Martin; emeritus, Southern Connecticut State University

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 7
Introductionp. 9
Chapter 1 Earliest European Probesp. 10
Chapter 2 Early-Seventeenth-Century Sailings and Settlementsp. 36
Chapter 3 Completing the Original Thirteen Coloniesp. 56
Chapter 4 Away from the Atlantic Coast (1600-1750)p. 76
Chapter 5 Britain Gains Control of the Continentp. 90
Chapter 6 A Nation Is Bornp. 112
Chapter 7 Completing the Eighteenth Centuryp. 150
Chapter 8 The Nineteenth Century: Early Expansions and Divisionsp. 164
Chapter 9 Continued Population Shifts and State Developmentp. 192
Chapter 10 Closing the Ringp. 204
Chapter 11 Development, Disruption, and Reconstruction (1847-67)p. 220
Chapter 12 Completing the Nineteenth Centuryp. 250
Chapter 13 The Twentieth Centuryp. 268
Chapter 14 Condensing the Chronological Circlep. 282
Bibliographyp. 292
Acknowledgmentsp. 294
Indexp. 295