Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press; Enlarged, Updated with new material edition (May 26, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,187,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #68 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Coins & Medals > State Quarters #48609 in Books > History > Americas > United States > State & Local
History, Sartre said, is what happens behind our backs (or something to that effect). It's also something that jangles in our pockets, if we carry or save or even spend quarters from the 50 State Quarters Program.We know this because Jim Noles has taken the time and expended great effort to write the winsome and valuable A Pocketful of History: Four Hundred Years of America--One State Quarter at a Time (Da Capo Press).Following Canada's lead in the mid 1990s, the US government decided to issue, over a period of ten years, commemorative quarters representing some significant and representative event or symbol or enduring attribute of each of the fifty states, issued in the order in which all fifty states came into the union. There is more than one history at work here, that being a coin's depiction of a state's historical self-definition -- but, in addition, much to our benefit, Noles has taken the time to tell us the stories behind the states' decisions and debates on which events or symbols to use, and how best to depict them.Those descriptions in themselves prove to be a fascinating look at how politics and personalities shape what we see and how we see it -- a history lesson in itself.In scrupulous -- but not overbearing -- detail, Noles tells us about Delaware's Ceasar Rodney who, in 1776, suffering from a debilitating cancer, rode 80 miles in one day from his home state to Philadelphia just in time to cast his vote for independence; or Colorado's perhaps not unexpected depiction of the majestic Rockies as a symbol of the beauty and natural resources of the state; or North Dakota's display of bison and the stunning buttes and mountains that make up the 39th state's harshly beautiful Badlands.
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