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January 10, 2012

The People Behind the Formation of the States’ Borders to Be Discussed

“How the States Got Their Shapes Too” Is Mark Stein’s New Book

Was Roger Williams too pure for the Puritans, and what does that have to do with Rhode Island? Why did Augustine Herman take 10 years to complete the map that established Delaware? How did Rocky Mountain rogues help create the state of Colorado? All this and more is explained in Mark Stein’s new book.

"How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Borderlines" (Smithsonian Press, 2011) is the sequel to Stein’s "How the States Got Their Shapes" (2008). But while the first book told us why the states look as they do, this book tells us who shaped them. Stein will discuss and sign his new work on Thursday, Jan. 26, at noon in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by the Center for the Book as part of its Books & Beyond author series, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

The people featured in "How the States Got Their Shapes Too" lived from the colonial era right up to the present. Some are famous, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster; others are not.

Stein is a playwright and screenwriter. His plays have been performed off-Broadway and at theaters throughout the country. Stein has also taught writing and drama at American University and Catholic University. His previous book, "How the States Got Their Shapes," a New York Times best-seller, was the basis for The History Channel's documentary of the same name.

Stein’s book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. TThe Books & Beyond Book Club is available at www.facebook.com/booksandbeyond/. Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

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PR 12-009
01/10/11
ISSN 0731-3527

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