BOOK REVIEWS

Reviewed by Dr. James E. Newton, Professor Emeritus, Black American Studies, Univer-
sity of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
The Making of Delaware: One Day at a Time is an important timely book.  The author,
Abdullah R. Muhammad, has skillfully assorted, collected, and organized a practical and use-
ful variety of historical facts, data, and text about Delaware, “The Diamond State.”  The author’
s journey takes us “one day at a time” from Captain John Smith and his crew’s visit in the
early 1600s, believed to be the first Europeans in Delaware territory, to the 2005 restoration
of the Wilmington Marsh and the creation of the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge,
named for a former Delaware governor.

Native Delawareans, along with neighboring newcomers and visitors, will marvel at this work,
which provides them with a unique glimpse of Delaware history and the contributing role it
has played in developing the nation. It is clear that the author has done a worthy service to
Delaware and its citizens.  Through his diligent work, he has captured the historical essence
of “The First State” in a way that should enlighten anyone who reads this important work.

In today’s high-tech digital world, this quick reference is welcomed.  
The Making of Dela-
ware: One Day at a Time
should find its way into homes, schools, and libraries throughout
Delaware – the state that started the nation.

Reviewed by Deborah Howard, Library Assistant II, Wilmington Library.
This book is a product of the author’s determination to make a great educational tool that
would be both interesting and straightforward. Using his training as an educator, Mr.
Muhammad has taken his interest in history and applied it to the State of Delaware,
publishing a wide-ranging guide of historical facts. This volume is an expansion of the
Delaware History Calendar 2007-2012, which was published in 2006. The calendar lists daily
significant chronological events that have occurred throughout the State. The book is an
extension of the calendar, listing more background facts and information that could not be
included in the original format.
 

I like The Making of Delaware: One Day at a Time, as a quick reference guide for factual
information. The book is put together so that the information can be referenced quickly: The
historical events are listed each day of the calendar year, January to December; this
information can be crossed-referenced yearly in the Chronological History appendix and also,
by topic in the Index. The color photographs included make the volume have a more visual
appeal. Mr. Muhammad used a variety of organizations to provide information included in the
book. The use of so many experts makes the historical facts both extensive and focused. I
believe this book can be a handy tool for everyone from students to history buffs that want a
useful guide to a variety of historical facts

Reviewed by Michelle Church, Teaching Assistant, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
The Making of Delaware: One Day at a Time offers a unique and fascinating look into the
nuts and bolts of state-building in a nation still coming into its own.  Abdullah Muhammad
skillfully outlines a deceptively simplistic “calendar-style” narrative, in which the reader gains
an understanding not only of the historical timeline, but the frustration and the passion that
go into the business of state-building.  The reader who opens the book for a quick historical
reference finds him or herself compelled to read on, watching history unfold piece by piece.  
As the founders of America’s first state struggle with budget shortfalls, controversies, public
scandals, and battles of interests and will, the reader feels a sympathetic twinge of familiarity
as he or she is compelled to compare those challenges with the ones facing our nation today.
As a reference guide, this book is invaluable.  As a contribution to the historical narrative it
so artfully weaves, it is priceless.  
The Making of Delaware: One Day at a Time presents
historical truth that goes beyond facts and figures, offering a glimpse into the lives and minds
of those people whose characters became etched into the institutions, the attitudes, and the
foundations of this great state.