American Nations

American Nations:

A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America 

 
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition (September 29, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0143122029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143122029

American NationsThis book shows how American’s immigration history  has resulted in the different cultures of the United States.   It goes beyond the simplified red and blue state discussion that we hear so often in the news.   

It puts the political struggles of our democracy from the first settlements right up to current times in a framework that makes a lot of sense.  

Woodard’s main thesis is that the original immigrate cultures in each of these regions are still the basis for each regions’ culture.    We are not consciously aware of these differences and should be.

Woodward fills in a hole that the book “Generations” by William Strauss and Neil Howe theory didn’t explain.  Generations explained that the “Boomers” would bring great amounts of passion to their political activities, but not why they would differ on what they are passionate about.  American Nations explains the passion focus difference.  It proposes a theory on why a boomer from the left coast has as much passion about about expanding voting rights as a boomer from the Deep South has about avoiding election fraud.   

The map (below) that is in the front of the book shows the location of the 11 cultures of North America. Woodward included Canada and Mexico in this cultural explanation.   You can see the current political divide in the US on the map.

 ColinWoodard_AmericanNations_map

I grew up in the Southern California part of El Norte and my ancestors came from Yankeedom and New Netherland.   I could clearly see my views of the world were formed by this heritage and how close friends with Far West and Great Appalachia backgrounds formed their different view of the world.  

This book helps you understand the roots of America’s continuing partisanship. America has always been a collection of fragments, always at tension, and only rarely cohesive.

View all my goodreads reviews of anthropology books

Share
This entry was posted in Anthropology, Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply