The Shape of Texas: Maps As Metaphors (Google eBook)

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Texas A&M University Press, 1995 - History - 118 pages
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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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1 Maps and Identity
2 The Shape of Texas
3 The Creation of an Icon
4 From Map to Symbol
The Map of Texas and the Future

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About the author (1995)

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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