While we're talking imaginary maps....

Previously here. From one disgruntled reader:

"I know they're not your names, but North New England and South New England are just terrible. I recommend "Ocean State" for the southern portion and "Red Sox Nation" for the northern portion."

And from another, a reminder that this exercise has been carried out before -- including in an oddball (IMHO) suggestion in the 1970s for dividing the nation into 38 states of more or less equal territory -- though obviously not equal population. (Compare the 10+ million in teeming "San Gabriel" or "Hudson," on one extreme, with the scant ranks in "Seward" or "Bighorn," on the other.) The idea was that it would lead to efficiencies in governance, as explained here. Click for larger version.


A reader's note introducing this map:
"I thought I would bring to your attention a feature in Slate from November 2009 about the book Strange Maps by Frank Jacobs.  The article has a slide show that features a map by C. Etzel Pearcy created in the 1970s that redrew the United States into 38 regions...

"The maps by Neil Freeman use at least six of the same names contained in the Pearcy map for very similar locations - Susquehanna, Wabash, Chesapeake, Cumberland, Bitterroot, and Erie (OH in the Pearcy map while upstate NY in the Freeman map)  It appears the Freeman maps may have been inspired by the Pearcy map. ["Inspired" in the positive rather than derivative sense of the term, I think -- JF.] I received Strange Maps as a Christmas gift and it is an entertaining cartographic adventure."
Presented by

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.


Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.


How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In