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The Nine Nations of North America Paperback – June, 1982


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 427 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reissue edition (June 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380578859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380578856
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I bought this book when it came out in 1982.
Sibyl Masquelier
Published in 1981, this book is so forward-looking it continues to be relevant.
Peter D Shively
I recommend anyone interested in geography and marketing to read this book.
Thomas M. Gannon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Robert Burns on July 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Joel Garreau's Nine Nations of North America is still enjoyable, particularly because it is not nearly as dated as you might suspect. I was given it as a gift in 2001 and read it expecting Garreau's fieldwork to show me how people in North American regions used to talk. However, much of what Garreau heard and felt as he traveled accorded with things I'd heard and felt in my travels in the `90s and `00s. The only thing that struck me as (semi-)dated was Garreau's devotion of a significant portion of each chapter to how that "nation" was facing the energy crisis. Is such a concern really dated, though, given how the intervening years' explorations and exploitations more or less tabled the discussion for a future date?
As the holder of a B.A. in Geography, I winced at his choice of the word `nation' when clearly the better term is `region'. Nations are not defined by their interests and way of life, but rather an elusive mix of shared histories, cultures, and socio-political happenstances. However, Garreau's work serves to remind geographers that regions are indeed best defined by interests and way of life, despite much attention given to religious or institutional commonalties (i.e. "civilizations") recently.
What do I think of Garreau's boundaries? Let me answer this way: my brother-in-law recently remarked to me that in trying to correct misconceptions his fellow students at Harvard have about the Midwest, he'd explained that he felt Michigan was a lot more like Pennsylvania (typically considered a "Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic/East Coast" state) than it was like Kansas (often grouped with Michigan as a "Midwestern" state). I laughed and handed him Joel Garreau's Nine Nations of North America.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Howse on June 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Forget what you learned in any geography class you ever had. Forget what tourist brochures tell you about " their " part of the nation. And once you've forgotten that, read this book and learn what really constitutes North America both politically and sociologically. Joel Garreau has produced a masterwork that should be required reading for every citizen. Even if you think you know your part of the country, Mr. Garreau will provide an update to your knowledge that takes your from " knowing " to " understanding ". And without any apparent prejudice. Whether he is relating cities to areas or peoples to states, he gets it right and in an amazingly readable fashion. Is your company considering transferring you to Seattle? Read about Ecotopia. Do you fear that new position in Kansas City? Peruse the section on the " Breadbasket " and re-think the issue. Mr. Garreau had the presence of mind to realize that our country was a larger entity than 50 states and some off-shore islands. " The Nine Nations of North America " draws everything together and, for once, North America is at peace with itself. And, hopefully, its neighbors. On a personal note, I've given perhaps 600 copies of this book since it was published in 1980. Don't let that date deter you: It's as relevant and accurate now as then. Mr. Garreau loves North America and so will you. Just put yourself in his most competent hands and re-discover the greatness of our part of the planet.C
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So frequently we hear pundits and others refer to "red states" and "blue states." Garreau's _9 Nations of North America_ pre-supposes this by almost 25 years, and with a greater degree of finesse than such blanket simplifications as "red" or "blue."

Certainly many parts of the book are quaint - I particularly enjoyed his emphasis on Seattle's aviation industry and the emerging Silicon Valley of California. Yet the larger issue he points out: that North America is culturall divided primarily by economics, but also by social outlook and culture, remains relevant and hauntingly accurate.

Taken with a grain of salt to make allowances for the time that has passed since its publication (I, too, would welcome a revised edition), it is a fascinating read on America and largly remains relevant, particularly in the age of NAFTA and CAFTA.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lew Troop VINE VOICE on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this in a book kiosk at the Seattle airport en route to Miami. As I was in Seattle, I started with the section that dealt with the Pacific Northwest and, damn, I suddenly realized why I'd reacted to it as I did. A stop in Kansas City, in the bread basket, proved the same response. Garreau has an instinct for people, places and things and must have had the muse sitting on his lap twisting his tie as he wrote this. His divisions of North America, from Venezuela North to Alaska, are absolutely accurate and, not infrequently, absolutely hysterical. He clearly loves this wacky part of the world-some parts are so strange they are titled abberations-but spares it nothing. I've given over 200 copies of it to people few of whom have had less than overwhelmingly positive responses.No matter where friends live, they'll identify with their area and go on to understand the group in the next "nation". (This restructuring of North America into "Nations" is a stroke of brilliance. He had the intuition, and one suspicions, the research to get it absolutely right.) Quite simply, one of the ten most important books I've ever read.
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