|An illuminating history of North America's that explodes the red state-blue
A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
By Colin Woodard
*Praise for AMERICAN NATIONS*
Named one of the Best Books of 2011 by the editors of The New Republic
Winner of the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Non-fiction
Named a Best Book of 2011 by the editors of The Globalist
A Publishers Weekly “Top Ten Politics” Pick for Fall 2011
“Colin Woodard explains away partisanship in American Nations: A History of
the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, which makes the
provocative claim that our culture wars are inevitable. North America was
settled by groups with distinct political and religious value—and we haven’t
had a moment’s peace since.”
“Woodard offers a fascinating way to parse American (writ large) politics and
history in this excellent book.” ―Kirkus (starred review)
"A smart read that feels particularly timely now, when so many would claim a
mythically unified “Founding Fathers’’ as their political ancestors."
-- Boston Globe
"[In] offering us a way to better understand the forces at play in the rumpus
room of current American politics, Colin Woodard has scored a true triumph"
-- The Daily Beast / Newsweek
"Woodard makes a worthwhile contribution by offering an accessible, well-
researched analysis with appeal to both casual and scholarly readers." --
"For people interested in American history and sociology, American Nations
demands reading." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"[A] fascinating new take on our history..." -- Christian Science Monitor
"Mr. Woodard's approach is breezier than [David Hackett] Fischer's and more
historical than [Joel] Garreau's, but he has earned a place on the shelf between
them." -- Wall Street Journal
"[American Nations'] compelling explanations and apt descriptions will fascinate
anyone with an interest in politics, regional culture, or history" -- Publishers
Weekly (starred review)
"[A] compelling and informative attempt to make sense of the regional divides
in North America in general and this country in particular....Woodard provides
a bracing corrective to an accepted national narrative that too often overlooks
regional variations to tell a simpler and more reassuring story. " -- The
|If you want to better understand U.S. politics, history, and culture, AMERICAN
NATIONS: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America,
by Colin Woodard (Viking; On-Sale October 3, 2011; ISBN :978-0-670-02296-0;
$30.00) is to be required reading.
In AMERICAN NATIONS, Woodard leads us through the history of our fractured
continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations. He
explains why “American values” vary sharply from one region to another—how
an idea like “freedom” as understood by an East Texan or Idahoan can be the
polar opposite of what it means to a New Englander or San Franciscan.
Woodard reveals how intra-national differences have played a pivotal role at
every point in the continent’s history, right up into the 2012 election cycle.
AMERICAN NATIONS is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America’s
myriad identities, and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past
and mold our future.
There isn’t and never has been one America, Colin Woodard argues, but rather
several Americas. The original North American colonies were settled by people
from distinct regions of the British Islands, and from France, the Netherlands,
and Spain, each with unique religious, political, and ethnographic
characteristics. Some championed individualism, others utopian social reform.
Some believed themselves guided by divine purpose, others freedom of
conscience and inquiry. Some embraced an Anglo-Saxon Protestant identity,
others ethnic and religious pluralism. Some valued equality and democratic
participation, others deference to a traditional aristocratic order. All of them
continue to uphold their respective ideals today, with results that can be seen
on the composition of the U.S. Congress or the county-by-county election maps
of most any competitive presidential election of the past two centuries.
Woodard tackles such questions as: why are there such enormous regional
differences in opinion over such fundamental issues as the appropriate balance
between individual liberty and the public good, over the relationship between
church and state or whether the United States is a “Christian” nation or a
secular one, if a national culture exists and, if so, whether immigrants should
be encouraged to assimilate into it; if business and industry should be closely
regulated or freed from constraints; over which party is defending American
values and which one is undermining them.
By revealing this continent of rivals, AMERICAN NATIONS will revolutionize
the way Americans think about their past, their country, and themselves and is
sure spark controversy and debate for the upcoming political season.
Available at your local bookstore or via Amazon.com, Powells.com,
Also available in Kindle and Nook editions.
Audiobook edition available via Audible.com and iTunes
Now in Penguin paperback.
|See Colin's interview on
PBS News Hour
|What does the American
Nations paradigm tell us
about Mitt Romney or Jon
|Download a detailed map
of the American Nations
|What does the American
Nations say about Obama's
Greater Appalachia Problem
and future of the Electoral