American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

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Viking, 2011 - History - 371 pages
11 Reviews

An illuminating history of North America's eleven rival cultural regions that explodes the red state-blue state myth.

North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory.

In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why "American" values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lucifey - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book. The author makes no secret of his yankee leanings, and is clearly anti-dixie. That being said, I still enjoyed the analysis; especially the speculation about possible futures in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - qebo - LibraryThing

This book is a schematic overview of US history from European colonization to the present. It is well organized, with few but sufficient maps. (Though it would benefit from a summarizing timeline.) It ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Colin Woodard is a Maine native and the author of Ocean's End: Travels Through Endangered Seas. He is a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Chronicle.

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