Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Transylvania, and Other States That Never Made It

By Michael J. Trinklein

Lost States bookcover

Recommended by Doug Braudaway

Lost States is a fun book. The American flag bears fifty stars representing the fifty states of the Union. But what if American history had gone a little bit differently? Well, Michael Trinklein’s book offers suggestions of how American history could have gone.

Essentially, the book is a list of statehood possibilities. Each possible state is explained with a page of text, a map of the area in question, and an image of some sort related to the story.

• Now admittedly, some of the entries in this book were not going to be states. Taiwan was not going to be state; nor was Guyana. Still, the author had found some story of who wanted the place in question to be a state, and why.
• On the other hand, Popham Colony was established at the same time as Jamestown and could have become a state the way Jamestown grew into the State of Virginia.
• Sometimes the "lost state" ending up being an actual state—maybe with a more popular name or slightly different boundaries—but on the map, nonetheless.
• Over the years, there have been several efforts to split California or Texas, two states that would not have been states if the American Congress had created them. (Both are way too large, but for both there were special circumstances.)
• And sometimes, individual cities got tired of being tied to outlying, rural populations. Boston, Chicago, and New York City have all tried to go their own way.

Lost States is an easy book to read and a fun one as well.