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Meinig, D.W., The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Vol. 1, Atlantic America, 1492-1800. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-300-03548-9. 25x18cm., xxii,  500pp., illustrated, cloth. (92A Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520,  $35.00)

A brief inspection of this book, which was received just before the Price Record went to press, shows that the author has written what might be called a geographical history of America, emphasizing as it does, geographical influences.  The early portions of the book describe colonization by the Spanish. French, and English.  Later chapters deal with the westward expansion.  The book contains a large number of idiosyncratic, two-dimensional diagrams of the type I have often encountered in German scholarly papers.  Though I absolutely loathe such diagrams, I suppose they may assist in conveying a partial picture of reality.  Being a geographically oriented work, the author has illustrated the work with a number of maps, some not often reproduced, the Jefferys broadside map of Halifax being an example.  The early portions of the book (all I had time to read) gave me a much greater appreciation of' the economic, ethnic, religious, and other forces behind early colonization. (Youngsters today are not able to learn in school about religious influences since textbook publishers omit such material, fearing controversy.  De facto censorship is becoming a way of life these days.  One state even bans mention of ice cream in textbooks because it is a "junk food.")  I think anyone interested in American maps and their connection with history would do well to get a copy of this book.  The price is certainly reasonable enough.

David C. Jolly, 1987
 

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