What a country: The United States in 100 Words (Dickmann)

This book offers up some thoughts about the U.S. There are multiple entries for each letter of the alphabet, running the gamut from baseball to slavery.  The book reflects the author’s wish to paint the country in broad strokes.  Each entry includes an illustration and some thoughts about what is being pictured.  This is a modern book that reflects the current state of the country.

4/5 stars ****

Note: The formatting of the e galley that I received seemed to have some layout errors that I am sure will be corrected for the print book.  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this book in exchange for an honest review.

A couple pf examples from the publisher:


The Stars and Stripes is a potent symbol of pride in our country. Across the nation, people wear and fly it with enormous pride. Schoolchildren are taught the rules of flag etiquette, and millions of them pledge allegiance to it every morning. The flag is such a revered icon that burning it in protest still has huge shock value. The flag has changed many times over the years, but two features have remained more or less constant: 13 red and white stripes to represent the original 13 colonies, and white stars on a blue background to represent the individual states.


America is often called “the land of opportunity”—a place where everyone has the potential to be successful. The American Dream promised that anyone willing to work hard could rise to the top. And that did happen for huge numbers of people. But in recent years it’s become clear that opportunities are not equal for everyone. The average income of people in the top 10% of earners is nearly ten times that of those in the bottom 10%. Those born into the top are more likely to stay there, and those at the bottom have a harder time moving up.


America’s best-known island lies at the heart of the Big Apple—New York City. Manhattan is home to about 1.7 million people, along with soaring skyscrapers, glittering theatres, amazing museums, the glorious Central Park, and some of the world’s most expensive real estate. Not bad for a small island that was bought for a pittance by Dutch traders in the 1600s! Representatives from around the world now gather at the United Nations headquarters, while tourists from just as many countries come to see Times Square and other iconic sights, such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

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