Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Measuring America: How The United States Was Shaped By The Greatest Land Sale In History By Andro Linklater

Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History

Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History
By Andro Linklater

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(2 customer reviews)

Product Description

In 1790, America was in enormous debt, having depleted what little money and supplies the country had during its victorious fight for independence. Before the nation's greatest asset, the land west of the Ohio River, could be sold it had to be measured out and mapped. And before that could be done, a uniform set of measurements had to be chosen for the new republic out of the morass of roughly 100,000 different units that were in use in daily life.

Measuring America tells the fascinating story of how we ultimately gained the American Customary System-the last traditional system in the world-and how one man's surveying chain indelibly imprinted its dimensions on the land, on cities, and on our culture from coast to coast.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #214307 in Books
  • Published on: 2003-09-30
  • Format: Bargain Price
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 310 pages
Editorial Reviews

[Measuring America] deserves to be a classic... -- Simon Winchester, Boston Globe

[Measuring America] deserves to be a classic... (Simon Winchester, Boston Globe)

About the Author
Andro Linklater studied history at Oxford University and is a full-time writer and journalist, and author of several books.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
5If you want to understand freedom, you should read this book
By A. Litton
This is a great book for history buffs, but it's much more than that. While Measuring America tells an interesting story of the American Westward Expansion, it tells an even more interesting story about how individual rights stem from a common, legal system of measures. It is the story of how property came to be. Contrary to popular belief, property rights didn't always exist. It was impossible to determine the extent of one's ownership unless you could accurately measure it.

This is the amazing story of how a little clergyman from England changed the world by inventing a chain!

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
4Measuring America
By Steve F
This is an interesting book about how America was surveyed. It describes the hard work of accuratly surveying a contenent, and also the frauds and shoddy work as well; and the problems created by bad survey jobs. You learn why streets are as wide as they are and why blocks are sized as they are, all based upon the survor's chain. It is a good read if you are technically inclined.


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