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Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Vol. 1 | [David Hackett Fischer]

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Vol. 1

This fascinating audiobook is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time.
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Publisher's Summary

This fascinating audiobook is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins.

While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable audiobook explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.

©1989 David Hackett Fischer (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    leonie Australia 07-26-14
    leonie Australia 07-26-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is great, much more than title suggests"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Albion's Seed to be better than the print version?

    The narrator was great and when it came to comparing accents and usage of words listening was better than reading.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Albion's Seed?

    So much history that I never understood. The first British settlers shaped the USA as it is now in everything from cooking to the Presidents. This book brings history alive.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not so much a scene, but I did enjoy reading of the marriage customs in the different parts of hte country.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. It isn't that kind of book. I had a lot of moments of "that's where that came from."


    Any additional comments?

    This book makes the early years of American History so easy to understand. The time before Independence is explained and the reasons for later history up to the modern day make sense when these basic differences of early settlement regions are understood.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teadrinker Oak Ridge, NJ, United States 11-30-14
    Teadrinker Oak Ridge, NJ, United States 11-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Good New History"

    This is a new way of looking at history and makes much more sense than Wars, Generals and Regimes - it looks at a whole society and how it functions. It's probably not for everyone because it is scholarly, using the primary source material of comparative folklore, but the overall themes should be shared with everyone, perhaps even in secondary school texts, because it makes the mixture of people in the US much easier to understand. There were four areas in England from which the early settlers care, and we evolved from those cultures, even us latecomers. We adopted the ethics and habits of either the Puritians (northeast), Quakers (mid-Atlantic), aristocracy (south) or northern (Scottish/Irish) borderers (rural mid-south). If this type of history becomes common, we can see how all cultures contributed to America.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Putnam SW Missouri 07-12-15
    John Putnam SW Missouri 07-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Fascinating"

    I bought this book primarily to gain Fischer's view of America's Spiritual foundational and there intersection with out political heritage. I couldn't be more pleased with what I learned. His use of primary sources proves that America was founded as a Christian nation with the intent of achieving religious liberty. What surprised me is that there are at least four views of what religious liberty means. Although extremely long, the audible format allowed me to finish a very worthwhile endeavor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Mass. 07-10-15
    Amazon Customer Mass. 07-10-15 Member Since 2011

    Stephanie

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    "Why is this being read by an Englishman?"

    I am loving hearing about all these New England towns, but I keep getting tripped up with the reader using the English (and not even the East Anglican) pronunciations of the towns. I mean, it's kinda the point of the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TansyLand 05-03-15
    TansyLand 05-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very Informative"

    The first couple hours are a little slow. After the beginning it becomes very good. I am a history buff, but had never looked at American and British history from this perspective. I really learned a lot and enjoyed it tremendously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Albion's Seed: Wow So much information in one book"
    Would you listen to Albion's Seed again? Why?

    Yes I will listen to this book again there is so much information to take in it can't be done in one reading; However the vast amount of information and origins of folk practices we still do to this day, and don't know why, are fascinating. The wedding customs are a riot and some downright wacky .... but it gets very serious in places... I have had "Bound Away In my wish list for a very long time reading the reviews many said to read "Albion's Seed" first so I did.
    But first I started with" How the West Won The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity" (Unabridged) <--- Very true it's not about Cowboys and Indians


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Albion's Seed?

    Well I'll tell you I just never could see how easily the North could fight a war with the South, but it turns out that they pretty much hated each other already over drastically different religious beliefs and it probably was not that hard to kick off!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The wedding traditions because they were funny.(most but not all)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well you might want to but I'm not sure you can it gets intense at times; However I did repeat chapters and noted chapters I want to listen to again! I will listen to it as a whole again.


    Any additional comments?

    This author paints a very good scene, it is easy to imagine (if you have an inner eye) seeing our American ancestors and how they lived. Some things are very shocking considering how we were taught they behaved. Sometimes draggy but just about the time you say Oh Geezz... I'm reaching for the fast forward... a whole new can of worms pops out and your glad you didn't. This book leaves no doubt that this country was founded on differing Christian religious beliefs, strictly Christian. Even if not all were not very Christ like ....

    Sorry this review but the book is 39 hrs long

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Dolores
    new york, NY, United States
    7/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "One of the best"

    I loved this book in written form, and audio backs it up. A groundbreaking theory of how British culture is planted in current USA based on immigration roots over 400 years ago. Very very good if you like cultural studies, history, geography. Applicable to British and American readers. It is serious scholarship and detail oriented (food ways, language, clothing, politics, etc) but well worth it and a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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