The Real State of America Atlas

Mapping the Myths and Truths of the United States
Buy now Recommend

This fascinating atlas reveals a new and surprising picture of America in the twenty-first century. Packed with beautifully designed maps and graphics and incisive essays, it examines the most cherished ideals about American life to see how they measure up to the realities: Who votes for whom? Are McMansions really taking over? Where do soldiers come from? How are women faring in the recession? Are there any wild open spaces left in America?

It matters where you live in the US: foreclosures, the minimum wage, marriage and divorce, gay rights, access to health all vary across the nation. It matters who you are in the US: Native American women, white men, homeless children, and new immigrants don’t necessarily live in the same America. This is an essential resource for anyone wanting up-to-date information about the United States. Look inside the book here.

Co-authored with Joni Seager

Zocalo Public Square

22 November 2011

[A] literary lovechild of Jon Stewart’s America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction and Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, for fans of Rachel Maddow… Bring this book to a dinner party: its factoids will amuse through the cocktail hour and partially into the second course… Eye-catching, easy-to-read, and full of fun facts, this makes a great gift book.

View source

Times Higher Education

28 July 2011

A visually stunning collection of 40 chapters that lays bare the condition of the modern US... It offers a visual hymn to the power of maps, geography and the endless fascination of a nation with which so much of the world has such an essential relationship.

View source

The Millions: Staff pick

26 July 2011

If you’re thinking about taking a road trip in America this summer, you might want to consider leaving the GPS and the Rand McNally at home and, in their place, packing this bewitching new book. This idiosyncratic travel guide will reveal how life is lived today in any state you happen to pass through. By the time you finish digesting the book’s short essays, colorful graphics, charts and maps, you’ll understand that the 50 states were not created equal. Geography does matter. Enormously. Where The Real State of America Atlas truly shines is in its demolition of the notion – the enduring fantasy – that America is a land of equal opportunity, a place where boundless bounty awaits anyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules. With a relentless parade of statistics, the authors make a compelling case that the playing field is far from level and the American Dream is, increasingly, becoming the destiny of the privileged few as it slips beyond the reach of most members of the middle class. Forget about the poor... Enloe and Seager have produced a timely reminder that America is a place where the deck is stacked, where the rich keep getting richer, and where nothing is going to change until the members of the great, duped, sinking middle class wake up and realize they’ve been sold a bill of goods.

View source

Beacon Hill Patch

26 June 2011

Packed with fascinating facts and illustrated throughout with clear, easy-to-read, four-color graphics, The Real State of America Atlas draws back the curtain on our complex nation to reveal the myriad realities of the American experience... Co-written by two esteemed authored scholars, this comprehensive, enlightening work is the perfect read for anyone who wants to better understand our ever-changing nation. This is great reading for family discussions.

View source

The Village Voice

25 May 2011

'The Real State of America Atlas delivers a riveting portrait of an America that doesn’t always live up to its ideals. Real State maps the USA’s patterns in religion, race, politics, the minimum wage, the dwindling lands of Native Americans, the proliferation of guns, the most environmentally dangerous areas, the number of missing nuclear weapons, among many other hot-button subjects — daring us to confront the facts. This utterly fascinating (and surprisingly slim) atlas is comfortable bearing the weight of America on its back.

View source

With so much misinformation and obfuscation being perpetrated by politicians, and corporate media, The Real State of America Atlas is a powerful tool for active citizens.

View source

It should be on everyone’s bookshelf at home, because it gives you a real idea of where our country stands. Plus, you know, those interesting factoids really work well at cocktail parties. Buy It. RIGHT NOW. Run to the bookstore. Knock over children and old ladies if you have to. Just get your hands on this book!

Kris Bordessa, Geekmom

This is one of those books that sits on the kitchen table ready for the next person to sit down for a snack or lunch to thumb through it. A book that intrigues both of my kids (not to mention my husband and me) and starts interesting discussions. That gets high marks around here.

The Kenyon Review

One of the essential non-fiction books of the last decade… I can think of very few books which so effectively and thoroughly force or lead me to be confronted by perhaps overlooked info as The Real State of America Atlas. This really is a fantastic new book everyone should have a copy of.

Sonali Kolhatkar

It's one of those books that you can't put down because there's just nuggets of information that are easily understandable both graphically as well as in text throughout the book… it's a very professionally put together book. It doesn't do it justice to try and talk about it over the radio.

Professor Alan Ware, University of Oxford

These excellent maps and diagrams explain clearly the variety of social life in the United States in a way that mere text cannot. The range of subjects covered is also impressively broad. Obviously, students and scholars will find it an exceptionally useful tool for their work, but many other readers too will want to dip into it; they will discover much that they did not know previously or had not understood fully. Its exciting presentation of material will attract attention, and once a reader has started to look at it he or she will surely want to explore even further; it is the sort of book that is unlikely to be put back on the shelf.

Bonnie Greer

This gorgeous book is a road trip into the American Dream, with its failures and triumphs. It unfolds like a country and western anthem — full of glory, melancholy and will. A book to savour, it will take you to the heart of America and surprise you, and show you something you never knew before.

Real State of America

Buying options