Names on the Land A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2008-07-01
Publisher(s): NYRB Classics
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Summary

George R. Stewart's classic study of place-naming in the United States was written during World War II as a tribute to the varied heritage of the nation's peoples. More than half a century later,Names on the Landremains the authoritative source on its subject, while Stewart's intimate knowledge of America and love of anecdote make his book a unique and delightful window on American history and social life. Names on the Landis a fascinating and fantastically detailed panorama of language in action. Stewart opens with the first European names in what would later be the United StatesPonce de Leon's flowery Florida, Cortes's semi-mythical isle of California, and the red Rio Coloradobefore going on to explore New England, New Amsterdam, and New Sweden, the French and the Russian legacies, and the unlikely contributions of everybody from border ruffians to Boston Brahmins. These lively pages examine where and why Indian names were likely to be retained; nineteenth-century fads that gave rise to dozens of Troys and Athens and to suburban Parksides, Brookmonts, and Woodcrest Manors; and deep and enduring mysteries such as why "Arkansas" is Arkansaw, except of course when it isn't. Names on the Landwill engage anyone who has ever wondered at the curious names scattered across the American map. Stewart's answer is always a storyone of the countless stories that lie behind the rich and strange diversity of the USA.

Author Biography

George R. Stewart (1895—1980) was born in Pennsylvania and educated at Princeton. He received his Ph.D. in English literature from Columbia University in 1922, and joined the English faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1924. He was a toponymist, founding member of the American Name Society, and a prolific and highly successful writer of novels and of popular nonfiction, especially dealing with U.S. history and with the American West.

Robert Krulwich is an American radio and television journalist whose specialty is explaining complex topics in depth. He has worked as a full-time employee of CBS, National Public Radio, and Pacifica. He has done assignment pieces for ABC's "Nightline" and "World News Tonight," as well as PBS's "Frontline," "NOVA," and "NOW with Bill Moyers." TV Guide called him "the most inventive network reporter in television"

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Foreword to the Revised and Enlarged Editionp. xvii
Of what is attempted in this bookp. 3
Of the naming that was before historyp. 4
How the first Spaniards gave namesp. 11
Of English, Spanish, and French in the same yearsp. 20
Of Charles Stuart and some othersp. 35
How the Massachusetts General Court dealt with namesp. 44
How the people began to give namesp. 57
How names were symbols of empirep. 67
The History of New Yorkp. 78
Of the Frenchp. 82
How the Spaniards named another kingdomp. 95
When King Charles came to his ownp. 97
How the names became more English and less Englishp. 108
How they took the names into the mountainsp. 126
Of the years when they fought the Frenchp. 135
Of a pause between warsp. 149
How the Leather-Jackets rode northp. 156
Of new names in the Landp. 162
America discovers Columbusp. 169
Of the last voyagersp. 174
Of ancient glory renewedp. 181
Of the new nationp. 188
Yankee flavorp. 205
How they took over the French namesp. 209
Of Mr. Jefferson's western landsp. 214
Of the dry country and the farther mountainsp. 219
Of a new generationp. 226
Of patterns for street-namesp. 244
Flavor of the New Southp. 250
Melodrama in the Fortiesp. 252
"Ye say they all have passed away..."p. 270
How the tradition of the States was brokenp. 285
Of the cities of the Fiftiesp. 289
How they fought againp. 295
How Congress took overp. 301
Of the last flourishingp. 314
"Change the name of Arkansas-Never!"p. 335
Of rules and regulationsp. 340
Flavor of Californiap. 346
Of modern methodsp. 353
Cause celebrep. 364
Unfinished businessp. 372
Heritagep. 381
Alaskap. 386
Hawaiip. 412
Current affairs-1944-1958p. 423
Author's Postscriptp. 439
Notes and referencesp. 442
Indexp. 483
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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