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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

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  •  
    Patrick Mabry, Jr. 09-26-13 Member Since 2015

    An educator and senior who listens to his books from his phone through his hearing aids.

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    "A Sociological View of American History"

    American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard examines American history from a cultural perspective. The author suggests that North American is made up more by Nations than by states. Nations he argues are groups of people or regions sharing a common cultural, history and set of values. He posits that there are eleven such national regions in North America formed from the immigrant groups who had different heritages. Woodard describes how these different cultures divided the American people into slave owners versus abolitionists, central government advocates versus states’ rights proponents, and Tories versus revolutionaries. He argues that every major event and movement in American can be attributed to regional cultural differences that originated in our country’s early history and exist to the present.
    I enjoyed examining American history from a different perspective than I have in other sources I have studied. I recommend it to anyone truly interested American history or cultural issues.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pensacola, FL, United States 05-12-14
    John Pensacola, FL, United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2017

    razorjohn

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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
  •  
    Dinandrea 05-15-17
    Dinandrea 05-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "EXCEPTIONAL."

    ... finally understand why Americans are so divided and why our collective identity is a myth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-09-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent and Informative"

    A truly enlightening look into North America's historical cultures and how they continue to shape regional culture today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gwendolen 03-22-17
    gwendolen 03-22-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting and thought provoking"

    Not sure I agree with everything the author says but his premise has merit in my mind and is an interesting way viewing American history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Miller 02-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Understanding America"
    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    This book nailed why we are we. This should be compulsory reading for every American. I read very little non-fiction, but,I have recommended it to everyone I speak to. If you are into understanding our culture and people, you will not be disappointed. I just commented on a novel that I thought terrific and responded that I would never read a book again. Wrong, I would read this again. It seems that I should have distinguished between fiction and really captivating non-fiction. This book is captivating non-fiction.


    Any additional comments?

    Take a chance. You will be rewarded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 01-31-17
    Patrick 01-31-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Grinder Meet Axe"

    For about the first 20 chapters, I was enthralled with this relatively objective history of the societal-cultural factors that built the American nations.

    Wait, now let's editorialize for the last hour and a half!

    If you're interested in reading a non-myopic history, you'd be better served with something by David McCullough, Roger Crowley, Lawrence Wright, or Thomas Asbridge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victor United States 01-22-17
    Victor United States 01-22-17 Member Since 2011

    DocSugar

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    "Who knew the US of A was a conglomeration"

    This was a wonderfully informative remixing of the history of the North American continent. Though it concentrated on the US it also compared us to both our Northern & Southern neighbors showing the overall impact of our mutually dependent societies. It was filled with an ENORMOUS amount of information we were never taught in school. And made our regional differences much more understandable.
    The reader did an excellent job of communicating an at times rather dense discussion of the interaction of heritage, politics & philosophy.
    My one quibble is the far out & some silly 'epilogue'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-09-16 Member Since 2014

    no_beaner

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    "Didnt fully agree with his epilogue"

    I didnt fully agree with his epilogue and as an identifying libertarian I had some issue with how he used that word. But overall I found this book enlightening and easy to follow with a lot of great examples.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer Phoenix, AZ 11-26-16
    Amazon Customer Phoenix, AZ 11-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful Information, Boring Narrator"

    I struggled to finish because the Narrator was so boring but the information kept my eyes open.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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