Born Fighting

How the Scots-Irish Shaped America
By: Jim Webb
Narrated by: Allan Robertson
Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Born Fighting shows that the Scots-Irish were 40 percent of the Revolutionary War army; they included the pioneers Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston; they were the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain; and they have given America numerous great military leaders, including Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Audie Murphy, and George S. Patton, as well as most of the soldiers of the Confederacy (only five percent of whom owned slaves, and who fought against what they viewed as an invading army). It illustrates how the Scots-Irish redefined American politics, creating the populist movement and giving the country a dozen presidents, including Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. And it explores how the Scots-Irish culture of isolation, hard luck, stubbornness, and mistrust of the nation's elite formed and still dominates blue-collar America, the military services, the Bible Belt, and country music.

Both a distinguished work of cultural history and a human drama that speaks straight to the heart of contemporary America, Born Fighting reintroduces America to its most powerful, patriotic, and individualistic cultural group - one too often ignored or taken for granted.

©2004 Jim Webb (P)2015 ListenUp Production, LLC

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging if You Have Any Scots-Irish in You

I have around 1/6, so the book was engaging for me. Curious how a people can be embodied by a mindset rather than physical features, here a mindset of total independence, which, the book illustrated, both worked for them and at times against them. Half the book is prior to America, which for me was more fascinating, my not being as familiar with those times, people, and places.

3 people found this helpful

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  • 02-25-19

American Mindset - from Scots-Irish Immigrants

An ethnic group that assimilates so well it's identity is melded into a new continent of people as a whole. It was easy to stay focused & learn. These are a people that value truth above all.

2 people found this helpful

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  • 12-10-17

Wonderful, informative, compelling book!

The author does an outstanding job of clearly laying out Scot-Irish history. Never boring, always enlightening!

2 people found this helpful

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Terrific

If you have Scots Irish heritage or an interest in the same, this is a must read. You will not be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking

Good recounting of pre and post British Isles immigration to America. Personal history anecdotally woven in enriches the narrative.

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Every politician should read this

THIS is why Trump won. The mindset of the Scot-Irish that formed great county rob

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Historical Relevance

I appreciated the scholarship and research that went into this timeline of courage and tenacity found in an enduring people. That Mr. Webb wove in so much of his own family history and personal experiences, which shaped him also as a principled fighter for honor and liberty, was what made this book so meaningful to me. That he is so Jacksonian could be a point of historical debate since Jackson has some curious and contradictory history. Overall, this text could be a valuable resource for High School American History classes.

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Interesting - but a thin over view

Not sure to what extent Webb was hands on in writing this. It seems to be a very basic survey of stereotypes of the Scots Irish on the North American continent, with Webb's family ties plugged in now and again. I am trying to resist the suggestion of opportunism here, because the family has contributed widely to the country's needs.

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Should have stopped while ahead

The first 75% of this book was informative, but toward the end became an opinion piece.
The Scots-Irish have a huge influence on this country, and have been underestimated and disdained. Their history has been ignored in the textbooks. It shouldn't be a surprise that they are part of a political uprising now.
I recommend American Nations by Colin Woodard, There is overlap, since the Scots-Irish are one of the nations he writes about. The themes about the Scots-Irish were consistent between the two books, which was reassuring, given that the authors were from different parts of the political spectrum.

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Empowering message

As an avid Ancestry researcher, I enjoyed BORN FIGHTING with relish. It taught me aspects of my cultural background I never understood. Webb’s book explained how and why my Scots-Irish family quirks make us uniquely American. Additionally, I gained pride in my heritage. BORN FIGHTING tied together my Ancestry research into a cohesive journey.
I highly recommend it.