The Shape of Texas: Maps as Metaphors / Edition 1

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Overview

Over the years America's most recognizable state outline has become one of its most potent symbols, a metaphor for Texas popular culture. In the last decade, the private, commercial, and official use of the Texas map as cultural symbol has boomed. Richard V. Francaviglia identifies this current trend as "Tex-map mania," and contends that the Texas map as icon integrates geography with history - and gives shape to a mythic landscape and to abstracted notions of what Texas is and who Texans are. Written in a lively style that engages both the scholar and the general reader in a discussion of the power of symbol and the meaning and significance of a shared aesthetic, The Shape of Texas is at the crossroads of cartography and popular culture. Francaviglia uses more than one hundred illustrations in offering a provocative visual and written account of this important, yet much neglected, aspect of Texas history and the dynamics of a still emerging Texas identity.
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Editorial Reviews

Jeffrey S. Murray
" . . . the first serious attempt to examine the process by which a map becomes a popular symbol. Although its focus may be liminted in that it concentrates on a single cartograhic icon, the methodology will surely be applicable to the study of any popular map. . . . Francaviglia has just legitimized popular cartography as a thoughtful academic pursuit."—Jeffrey S. Murray, Association of Canadian Map Libraries
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Product Details

Meet the Author

RICHARD V. FRANCAVIGLIA is an associate professor of history and the director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has written more than twenty articles for geographical and historical journals. His two previous books are Hard Places: Reading the Landscape of America's Historic Mining Districts (1991) and The Mormon Landscape: Existence, Creation, and Perception of a Unique Image in the American West (1978).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 Maps and Identity 12
2 The Shape of Texas 30
3 The Creation of an Icon 55
4 From Map to Symbol 80
Epilogue: The Map of Texas and the Future 105
Notes 107
Bibliography 111
Index 114
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