American Nations by Colin Woodard
A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Colin Woodard

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COLIN WOODARD is a writer, historian, and journalist who has reported from more than fifty foreign countries and six continents. He is a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and his work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Economist, Smithsonian, The Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsweek.com and the author of The Lobster Coast and Ocean's End. He lives in Portland, Maine.
 
Published September 29, 2011 by Penguin Books. 384 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Some of his “eleven stateless nations of North America” descend from these two regions, representing the old divide between moderate conservatism, with its “middle-class ethos and considerable respect for intellectual achievement,” and moderate liberalism, with its view that “society should be or...

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The Wall Street Journal

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I think Mr. Woodard errs in not defining a separate Germano-Scandinavian America in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota, whose isolationist and dovish proclivities made the region the center of opposition to U.S. participation in World War I and (before Pearl Harbor) World War II and a center of...

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The Wall Street Journal

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I think Mr. Woodard errs in not defining a separate Germano-Scandinavian America in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minnesota, whose isolationist and dovish proclivities made the region the center of opposition to U.S. participation in World War I and (before Pearl Harbor) World War II and a center of...

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of American Nations: A History o...

Christian Science Monitor

Colin Woodard’s latest book, American Nations, reminds me of the comedian Mike Myers and his “Saturday Night Live” sketch Coffee Talk.

Nov 07 2011 | Read Full Review of American Nations: A History o...

Daily Kos

There it – kind of – is again!) In the epilogue, Woodard speculates about the possibility Mexico may itself fly apart in the near future, and suggests if that were to happen the northern part of the Mexican states (which comprise part of El Norte) might form a break-away republic and attempt to ...

Dec 14 2011 | Read Full Review of American Nations: A History o...

Bookmarks Magazine

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 jo...

Nov 06 2011 | Read Full Review of American Nations: A History o...

The American Interest

You can quibble with his definitions and descriptions (and as a Maine Yankee he is of course subject to his own regional bias!) but his characterization of cultures such as Appalachia, Midlands, and “Yankeedom” as distinct entities with centuries-old formative histories – but which are as dis...

Oct 01 2011 | Read Full Review of American Nations: A History o...

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