Here is a book that is a classic case of under-distribution. I think every thinking person in America needs this book; it is not expensive and it is well-produced; it is published by a big company; and yet, you won’t find this in any bookstore I know of. All because it is deemed an “educational” book or textbook, which means it goes into different distribution channels from normal “trade” (bookstore) books. But, in this case, thank heavens for the online booksellers.
 
The Allyn & Bacon Social Atlas of the United States by William H. Frey (Pearson/Allyn & Bacon, 2008) consists of about 150 pages of excellent full-color maps and charts which tell you almost everything you’d want to know about present-day America – from voting patterns to where seniors live, from crime to traffic problems, from life expectancy to computer usage.
 
Spend thirty to sixty minutes leafing through this book, pondering each map as you go along. Think about what the map tells you, what surprises you, and what confirms your suspicions. At the end of that little trip, you will know more about the texture of our land, about its people and the trends at work, about students and consumers, about how we are shaped by where we come from, than you could using any other learning method for such a short period of time. And you get a reference book – a very affordable one – thrown in as a bonus.
 
Whether you want to be a great marketer or enterprise leader, or just a better informed citizen, run out – er, run to your computer – and get this book!  
   

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