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American Nations Audiobook

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

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Publisher's Summary

An illuminating history of North America's 11 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. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent, each staking out mutually exclusive territory.

In 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.

Woodard 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 county/red 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.

©2011 Colin Woodward (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"Woodard offers a fascinating way to parse American (writ large) politics and history in this excellent book." (Kirkus)

"Woodard explains away partisanship in American Nations... 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." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    John Pensacola, FL, United States 05-12-14
    John Pensacola, FL, United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Liberal Woodard abuses the Southern United States"

    Prior to reading this, I had an idea what I was getting into because I watched the youtube clip of the MSNBC interview with the author and I actually made it completely through the entire book. I made it a point to resist the urge to give Mr. Woodard a 1-star review because the first 2/3 or so of the book was interesting and entertaining. I tip my hat to Mr Woodard for teaching me previously unknown facts and a fresh take on US regionalism from our nation's nascent days. Then came the final 1/3 of the book when Mr. Woodard pulled out his political soapbox and began a relentless intense disparagement of his definition of the Deep South. Prior to the latter section of the book, I noted more than a few obvious biased anti-Southern remarks but at least his earlier denigrating remarks were somewhat sparse and cloaked with an attempt at facts, even if the facts were somewhat truncated and skewed. By the last 1/3 or so of his book, the gloves were completely off and in addition to Woodard's antipathy for all things Southern, we get a nice condescending dose of the typical liberal political planks. The author obviously loves all things New England, climate change, abortion (choice), big government, high taxes and secularism to name a few. He obviously dislikes all things Southern United States, corporations, all forms of warfare (all wars in our history were avoidable-yes, Woodard actually wrote that), and all forms of religion but especially Christianity. After reading this, I thank Mr. Woodard for giving me a tour through the liberal Yankee mind but I only hope all of New England or "Yankeedom" as he calls it, doesn't hold such a haughty attitude toward the South. When I've visited New England, more than once, sitting on a barstool, I've heard New Englanders laughingly refer to the South by saying, "The war's not over down there" and I now agree. The Civil War of 1861-1865 rages on, at least in the mind of Mr. Woodard. Hopefully, someday soon, he'll be able to call the social debt paid and his personal statute of limitations reached. The peoples of the South aren’t disappearing; they’re evolving. And so, we hope, is every other form of American.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas B. Morris 11-24-17 Member Since 2015
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    "An Insightful Look at North American Regionalism"

    Woodard gives a good overview of the history of the distinct regions of the North American continent as a way of explaining their respective attitudes and values. Some of the complaints about his generalizations could be applied to any similar book, and are often made out of defensiveness at Woodard's largely accurate analysis. This is an interesting and important read for anyone looking for a more nuanced understanding of the cultural forces that have created our contemporary political situation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    michael 11-14-17
    michael 11-14-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Defines today's political drama by its history"

    I always wondered why other areas of the USA thought the way they did and how they made their decisions. I did not realize there were 11 rival regional cultures that were formed as this county was being created. They brought their cultures, religions, and beliefs with them and formed their societies and political beliefs as this county grew to what it is today and what we are dealing with today.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eryka 11-13-17
    Eryka 11-13-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Decidedly Average"

    Interesting take on the nations that make up America and the coalitions that have gotten us to where we are, though performance was rather pedestrian and conclusions often convoluted rather than concise.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    SunPen 11-13-17
    SunPen 11-13-17 Member Since 2013
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    "A must read"

    Great book and a must read for anyone who wants to understand America’s past and why we’re so divided in the present. The explanation this book provides is that American isn’t just one country it’s actially 11 separate Nations with 11 different cultures. Thr author traces the founding of these cultures and explains why they act like they do. Unfortunately the modern era with its social media echo chambers has amplified the beliefs in these nations, meaning the importance of this book will only continue to grow over time. AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles R. Scheel 11-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Political bias ruins intriguing premise"

    The authors political inclination causes severe problems with the narrative proposed. This is evident with outright historical falsehoods and a shuffling of the boarders of the "nations" described when explaining the action of a historical figure the author agrees with. A historical/sociological examination that is not trying to assign all good things in America as coming from the northeast and all bad things coming from the south would be much better. History is not that simple.
    Recommended if you would like to understand how a progressive liberal arts college professor views American history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Jared Johnson 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "fascinating history"

    Great insight into the history of the United States. He kind of took a hard left turn in the last chapters and it became a political rant but the history told in the rest of the book was great.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Atlanta Ga USA 10-18-17
    Amazon Customer Atlanta Ga USA 10-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Chapter 30 predicted the current events"

    This book was good the first time I heard it. It was great when I listened to it again after listening to What God Hath Wrought. Powerful insights throughout.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Misha 10-07-17
    Misha 10-07-17 Member Since 2016
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    "interesting but cherry-picks to make a point"

    This is a very interesting book about the different cultures Within North America. I would love to give it a five star; however, the book devolves into opinion, and he cherry-picks data to prove his point. the first half of the book is excellent. The second half is mediocre and biased.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Neil 09-24-17
    Neil 09-24-17
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    "Fascinating"

    This is a red spot on the forehead book. It may not be the final word, but his analysis of regional differences across the US is uncany in accuracy from my observations. I’ve lived in most of the “Nations” and find they are well described. What may bother me most is the epilogue (written in 2010) warning against many of the situations that now have emerged politically since the 2016 election. I think (hope?) he is not as good at prediction as on historical description, reportage and analysis.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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