Lost States: The Stories of Lands that Never Were
By Maria Popova
Two of our obsessions — quirky history trivia and map books — converge in Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It — a fascinating and beautifully illustrated chronicle of states that almost were, based on the excellent blog of the same name.
From Mormon migrations to a 19th-century plan for relocating Germany to Texas, author Michael Trinklein tells the bizarre, outlandish, alternate-reality stories of epic geopolitical fails, augmented with stunning full-color original maps of the visions for these imaginary states, alongside images of real-life artifacts and ephemera from the time of their conception.
Though not all the states described were seriously considered for statehood, it’s still an engrossing and priceless peek at the strange, though not entirely nonsensical, ideas history’s horsemen entertained.
Lost States is equal parts fascinating and funny, a curiosity-tickler for the history geek and an absolute treat for the design aficionado.
Published January 21, 2011