Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday Spotlight: Simon Winchester

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September 28 is the birthday of Simon Winchester, British author, journalist, and broadcaster, who was born in 1944.  Information about his life and books are available on his website,

Among his many informative, interesting, well-researched works are The Alice Behind Wonderland, a look at the inspiration for and creation of the children's literary classic; and The Meaning of Everything and The Professor and the Madman, which detail the conception of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Winchester has a new book coming out on October 15, which focuses on a group of America's forward-thinking individuals who influenced the course of the nation's history.  A synopsis of The Men Who United the States appears below.

 The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

From barnesandnoble.comFor more than two centuries, E pluribus unum—"Out of many, one"—has been featured on America's official government seals and stamped on its currency. But how did America become "one nation, indivisible"? In this monumental history, Simon Winchester addresses these questions, bringing together the breathtaking achievements of those American pioneers who helped to forge and unify the new nation, and who toiled fearlessly to bond the citizens and geography of the United States from its very beginnings. This sweeping narrative details how these daring men, some famous, some forgotten, left their mark on America's natural landscapes, through courage, ingenuity, and hard work. 

Winchester follows the footsteps of America's most crucial innovators, thinkers, and explorers, from Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys of the West to the builders of the first transcontinental railroad and the curmudgeonly civil engineer who oversaw the creation of more than three million miles of highway. Winchester travels across vast swaths of the American landscape, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Seattle to Anchorage, Truckee to Laramie, using the five classical elements—Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal—to chart the contributions these adventurous leaders made to connect the diverse communities within the United States and ensure the future of the American project begun in 1776.

The Men Who United the States is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope across time and open spaces, providing a new lens through which to view American history, led by one of our most gifted writers.

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Saturday Spotlight: Simon Winchester was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without attribution.  

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