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Book Review: The Real State of America Atlas by Cynthia Enloe and Joni Seager

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The Real State of America: Mapping the Myths and Truths of The United States is an atlas of statistical data pertaining to the USA and how they rate with the rest against the world. This 128-page book is packed solid with references, maps, graphics, illustrations, essays and statistics. It explores the myths and the realities of Americans living in the 21st century.

Topics include the wage gap, the economy, export/imports, marriage/divorce, foreclosures/homelessness, the environment, nuclear arms, climate change and so much more. Each shows the reader, in detail, the percentage of Americans who are affected and how they rate globally.

The  Real State of America breaks this information down into rates for men, woman, by nationality, age et cetera and shows how each group combines to make up the statistics. Most of the facts and figures are up-to-date, with many of the reports from 2008-2010.

Cynthia Enloe is a Research Professor from Clark University and in 2010 she was awarded the Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace studies. Joni Seager is a Professor and Chair of Global Studies at Bentley University, has several books accredited to her as well as, working with the UN and UNESCO in further world benefiting projects.

These two women have collected all the data that you will find within these pages and have presented it by an easy-to-follow method. Their aim is to bring further awareness to the decline of the “American Dream” and discredit the myth involving the “Land of Opportunity”.

What does it really mean to live in the United States of America? This book will explain the transaction between cultural, material and ideological relationships in such things as religion; military; healthcare and its politics; big business and the economic flows of wealth and debt both globally and locally.

Mapping, it is believed, is a tool that can display and analyze patterns of similarity and difference to enable political debate. With over 40 topics addressing information-rich subjects, The State of America will ensure conversation and discussions.

After reading this book, I found myself sharing the conclusions with others, marking this as a definite conversation-starter. It shares a wealth of data and I found it interesting how it was cross-referenced with the globe. I was surprised to see how Canada stacked against the USA and found it highly informative.

The information shared is some of the most up-to-date that I have found and it is because of this that I would highly recommend it. The comparisons dispensed throughout the pages give the reader a new view of the world  and how the United States interacts with it.

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