(PDF READ) [American Nations] ð Colin Woodard
L the accolades we can throw at him At the same time the author s leftism leads him to say some inexcusably silly things particularly near the end of the book Those parts pulled down one and two stars One gets the feeling that some of what is driving this analysis is identity politics and it is clear that there are some identities that Woodard doesn t like very much here s looking at ou Southerners and Borderlanders
Growing Up In The South I Always up in the South I always why my family was so different from those around us We were friendly with the people in our community but when serious discussions came up my parents grew uiet Our friends and neighbors had no such reservations They were opinionated and always eager for Jon Stewart can t do it all alone The Daily Show has evolved toward open minded consideration of the issues of the day and less outright comedy because Stewart still thinks honest people of good faith can cut through the nonsense and figure out problems in a way any reasonable person can admit makes sense Col I am very enthusiastic about this 2011 book and would recommend it heartily even to people who might not themselves be inclined to give it five stars Colin Woodard assigns all of North America to one of eleven regions as opposed to Joel Garreau s NINE NATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA back in 1981 In so doing Woodard ignored the southern tip of Florida but added four brand new regions New Netherland Greater New York and a tri sected South that replaced a unified Confederacy wit My problem with broad stroke history books is that they are far too broad and that ou cannot really make claims or assertions because there simply isn t enough evidence provided to back them up Ultimately this is the greatest weakness of Woodard s book It s a very interesting premise and one
that I largely find to be true and intuitive if ou travel and live in different places in this I largely find to be true and intuitive if Sodoms Sons you travel and live in different places in this I grew up in Nebraska and found my time in North Carolina to be an interesting study mostly in what self reliance meant to different people because it s everything to the individual in my Germanic Midwestern upbringing but had a communal definition in the south It s just that there wasn t enough evidence provided behind each separate American nation mentioned in the book to make a very strong argument I certainly think he COULD make a strong argument but then this would have needed to be a series a books In a series of books there could have been a greater look at how the importation of various slave nations changed the language and cultures in Tidewater and the Deep South and how they changed them differently There could have been a greater look at how these various cultures freed or repressed women and other minorities But it was a broad stroke book and there was just no time for detailsStill it s probably a good and important book for people to read that don t delve a lot into history It covers a good chunk of time does spend at least some time looking at the treatment of the majority and the minority in each culture and will make a lot of things on the news make sense Like why can t we just all get along Short answer because we never have and we probably never will It clips along at a pretty decent pace so ifou aren t an avid history reader which is totally fine btw I don t ever ready mysteries myself then this won t bore A French Star in New York The French Girl you and will be a decent outline In particular I would have loved a much greater section on the newly growing but always present First Nation particularly in Canada and other countries We could learn so much by increasing the inclusivity of native people s into our governments I would have also loved to read particularly about the El Norte power struggle Alas like with so many books I have found new and interesting information and just want to go further into the rabbit hole35 out of 5 rounding down to 3 because it doesn t really belong in the 4 s with some of my favorite microcosm histories but maybeou can just chalk that up to tastes If Woodard wrote about his theory I would certainly continue to read about it because I do think he has mostly hit the nail on the head as far as the larger culture goes I would also love to read about subcultures in those broader stroke. D 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 countyred 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. D hard to take seriously His discussion concerns missionaries
SLAVE LORDS CONGRESSMEN ETC YET HE CASUALLY REFERS TO lords congressmen etc et he casually refers to or Yankees as though he has provided any insight whatsoever to the women minority residents or political moderates of that region Woodard s personal prejudices are made most evident by the facts and events he chooses to discuss and the ones he ignores He laments the railway land grants in the Far West but handily excludes of any thoughtful consideration of New NetherlandsYankee ownership of these railroad companies He obviously lambasts the Deep South for its commitment to slavery but obscures New England s history of violent relations with Native Americans Other events are presented in contentious and sometimes bizarre ways Reconstruction in the South for example is described as a benevolent peaceful outpouring of New English charityI expected from this book a thoughtful consideration of the areas that don t uite fit the regions we ve often assigned them to Woodard s El Norte Tidewater and parts of Appalachia for example And the book s discussion of these areas is rewarding at times But in the long run his re drawing of the US map is just a ualification for his broad stroke stereotyping of the people in those regions What could have been a good synthesis of the acuisition and founding of US territory devolves into something flat and unconvincing often annoyingThe writing is accessible but lazy with inconsistent parentheses recycled chapter openings and formulaic sentence structures There are un cited uotes and phrases put in gimmicky uotations for no apparent reason other than that the author doesn t want to take responsibility for them Two stars is generous but it s a cool map Journalist and amateur historian Colin Woodard makes a lot of interesting assertions on the back of thin evidence Splitting North America into eleven competing nations or accurately cultural archetypes Woodard goes to great lengths to explain the history of the United States not as a single hegemonic unit but as many smaller competing units within a federal framework Woodard himself explains his work as a synthesis and looking through the footnotes of American Nations one wonders at the paucity of original sources or at the scarcity of secondary sources Woodard puts forth broad claims about the American history or regional characteristics on the strength of few sources to wit McCullough s John Adams as the primary resource on the Adams presidency In all Woodard s view of his pet regions remains terribly surface Though his argument is engagingly presented Woodard s pessimistic impression not only about the current state of inter regional solidarity but about the entire history of inter regional solidarity lends itself to Woodard s worldview and worse his surface only approach to North American history The primary drive behind the book emerges in the final two chapters where Woodard engages in straight faced left wing sloganeering engineering the villainy of the Deep South against the social progressive good guys in so called Yankeedom Despite the shifting regional alliances from colonization to today mapped throughout the book Woodard insists that the primary cultural movers retain the traditional North South focus despite his earlier explanation that such a cultural axis possessed complexity than he later shows In Woodard s estimation all other regional groups are basically vassal states one way or another to this cultural axisIn the end Woodard s view of regionalism complete with names too cutesy to take seriously presents interesting ideas and
A New Way Of Interpreting new way of interpreting history but cannot carry the freight necessary to make a compelling argument from the sources When Woodard begins to fantasize about a United States without the former Confederacy as a socialist paradise like Canada or Europe he loses the thread of his own argument entirely and drifts into irrelevance Woodard ought to try his hand at Alternate History and leave this rank fantasy behind I give this book 4 stars because his underlying observation is so cogent so obvious and so explanatory Just wonderful Anybody who sees and describes the reality that makes up the American nations deserves al. Distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territoryIn 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 Woodar. .
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It was good but particularly toward the end became the author s opinion rather than statistical evidence or other facts He is from Maine and allowed his predjudices to show According to him all Southerners comprised of Tidewater Deep South and Appalachia are Republicans conservative
Racist Backward And So Onbackward and so on the usual stereotypes New Englanders are of
course progressive educated and egalitarian though he does admit to past intolerance I live here and let me tellprogressive educated and egalitarian though he does admit to past intolerance I live here and let me tell that is not uite the full story or even predominant characteristics of the people who live here His premise is that North America is made of of various nations each with its own uniue characteristics Left Coast Yankeedom Tidewater Appalachia Deep South etc While I agree with his assessment of the existence of the various nations I don t agree with his boundaries He Has Appalachia extending from Western Pennsylvania to Eastern Texas I am sorry but not only are Texas and Pennsylvania very different cultures Texas and the South whether Tidewater Deep South or Appalachia are different cultures with different manners accents ways of doing things etc Texas is western than anything He also has Tidewater ending in northeastern North Carolina while I would argue that it goes further south and further west as far as Charlotte He also claims that much of the Midwest is part of Yankeedom and barely discusses the enormous Scandinavian influenceI also think the author oversimplifies and generalizes too much He also fails to take into account the full influence of migration of all sorts of people to different areas Half the people who live in Dallas are not from there and the same is true of much of North Carolina where I m from and all of California He is from New England arguably the most homogeneous and insular area of the country and assumes that the rest of the nations are like that also I don t care how much American history ou know or think Freezing Point you know this book awkwardly sub titled A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures is a revelation I ll giveou an example of my own where is the oldest building made by Europeans in the US If Folk og røvere i Kardemomme by you grew up in the Northeastou re probably thinking it s in Boston or Philadelphia Went to school in the Southeast maybe it s in St Augustine or New Orleans So where Pure Excitement you grew up has a lot to do with whatou think Auksaviriai I d you know Don t believe me Then why isn t The Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe New Mexico built tenears before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock the first place that pops to mind Why isn t it as famous as Plymouth Rock Time and time again this book reveals how our cultural roots from centuries ago still shape our worldview It is why politics in Oregon with towns named after the places its early European settlers came from like Portland and Salem has in common with New England than it does with the Midwest or California Proof that Faulkner was right The past isn t dead It s not even past Recommended with reservations the first half of the book covering the historical origins of the 11 diverse nations that comprise modern United States is brilliant For instance most people don t realize that the vibrant multicultural entity that is New York was just like that continuously all the way back to its founding as New Amsterdam which was the most diverse and progressive city of its time Or that Deep South was founded by Barbados plantators unlike the Tidewater area of Virginia and Maryland founded by recently transpanted gentry from England with conseuent differences in culture and policy Etc etc The second half of the book however is devoted to exposing the author s deeply partisan interpretation of the recent US history which is so biased that it makes one uestion the veracity of every historical fact listed in support of the author s viewpoint The good first I buy the premise of this book that the US is made up of rival nations with borders vastly different from the regions depicted on common maps of the country And I enjoyed the parts that seek to illustrate the founding and spreading of US colonies and what later became US territory When Woodard tries to characterize the people of the land however he brushes with broad unflattering strokes that I foun. 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 Subseuent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an American or Canadian culture but rather into one of the eleven. ,