Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Names on the Land

Names on the Land

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
  • About this Book
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Names on the Land

Written by George R. StewartAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by George R. Stewart
Introduction by Matt WeilandAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Matt Weiland

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics
  • On Sale: July 1, 2008
  • Price: $19.95
  • ISBN: 978-1-59017-273-5 (1-59017-273-6)
about this book

This beloved classic about place-naming in the United States was written during World War II in a conscious effort to pay tribute to the heritage of the nation’s peoples. George R. Stewart’s love of the surprising story, and his focus not just on language but on how people interact with their environment, make Names on the Land a unique window into the history and sociology of America.

From the first European names in what would later be the United States–Ponce de León’s flowery Florída, Cortez’s semi-mythical isle of California, and the red river Rio Colorado–to New England, New Amsterdam, and New Sweden; the French and the Russians; border ruffians and Boston Brahmins: Names on the Land is no dry dictionary but a fascinating panorama of language in action, bursting at the seams with revealing details. In lively, passionate writing, Stewart explains where Indian names were likely to be kept, and why; the fad that gave rise to dozens of Troys and to Athens, Georgia, as well as suburban Parksides, Brookmonts, and Woodcrest Manors; why “Brooklyn” is Dutch but looks English and why “Arkansas” is Arkansaw, except of course when it isn’t.

His book has delighted generations of road-trippers, armchair travelers, and anyone who ever wondered how their hometown, or (more likely) the next town over, could be called that. Stewart’s answer is always a story–one of the countless stories that lie behind the rich and strange diversity of America.