How the States Got Their Shape
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We are so familiar with the map of United States, but do we know why our states look the way they do? Every line on the U.S. map tells a great story: California’s border was bent to claw onto lucrative gold deposits; Oklahoma's panhandle reflects a shifting national barometer for legal slavery; and Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia's shared border traces the scar of a meteor impact. HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES reveals the larger story of what makes America unique: a range of natural resources, a history of social experimentation and a thriving democracy.
BONUS FEATURES: Feature-length HISTORY Special How The States Got Their Shapes
DISC 1: A River Runs Through It / The Great Plains, Trains, & Automobiles / Force of Nature / State of Rebellion
DISC 2: Living on the Edge / Use it Or Lose It / Church and States / A Boom With A View
DISC 3: Culture Clash / Mouthing Off
DISC 4: Bonus Special: How the States Got Their Shapes
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
You probably have never heard of the state of Jefferson. It may not exist on paper but it certainly rests in the minds and hearts of many who no longer call themselves Northern Californians. In 1941, some counties in the area ceremonially seceded. What stopped the real movement was America's entry into World War II, but the notion has been rekindled in recent years.
That's just one of the many interesting topics covered
the recently released DVD set, How the States Got Their Shapes.
The television series that airs on the History channel and is based on Mark Stein's book, How the States Got Their Shapes. It's hosted by Brian Unger, who was an original correspondent and producer on The Daily Show, from 1996-99. Comedy and history actually go together.
One state border runs right through the middle of a business, a bar (where it's legal to sell alcohol) and a restaurant (where it's not).
A lot of states got their shapes from rivers, but all kinds of things determined borders from bar fights, to guns, to churches and from too much water, or not enough.
One segment follows accents which was particularly entertaining. It turns out that speech coaches are most frequently hired by actors who want to not have any kind of accent.
The show started as a single two-hour special which first aired in April 2010, but returned as a regular series of one-hour shows starting in May 2011.
Unger takes us from coast to coast and border to border; he discovers the often seamy goings on that gave our states their individual shapes. He interviews the citizens, drives the highways, rows on the lakes and eats lots of barbecue! He discovers that there are little islands of rebels who have declared their independence from this great land of ours, and they are only partially kidding!
Colorful, scenic, interesting and entertaining, this fascinating DVD from Amazon.com is a painless way to get a little more insight into how this amazing nation grew.
The facts are fascinating. I love American history and this presents it in a way that is easy to absorb and fun to watch.
The graphics in the show are fabulous. I love it when they do the "flyovers" of the country, and how they use the US map for illustrations by switching it around or re-sizing it (sounds confusing until you see the show). The show definitely has a contemporary, fun feel to it.
Brian Unger is the perfect host for this show. He is witty, hilarious and does a fabulous job of presenting the facts in an interesting way. I know that has a lot to do with the writing, etc., but Unger adds his own flair to the show and it wouldn't be the same without it. A boring host can kill a great show quickly.
I REALLY hope that since this DVD set says "Season One" that it means they are planning on future seasons!