From Library Journal
This cultural history explains the European settlement of the United States as voluntary migrations from four English cultural centers. Families of zealous, literate Puritan yeomen and artisans from urbanized East Anglia established a religious community in Massachusetts (1629-40); royalist cavaliers headed by Sir William Berkeley and young, male indentured servants from the south and west of England built a highly stratified agrarian way of life in Virginia (1640-70); egalitarian Quakers of modest social standing from the North Midlands resettled in the Delaware Valley and promoted a social pluralism (1675-1715); and, in by far the largest migration (1717-75), poor borderland families of English, Scots, and Irish fled a violent environment to seek a better life in a similarly uncertain American backcountry. These four cultures, reflected in regional patterns of language, architecture, literacy, dress, sport, social structure, religious beliefs, and familial ways, persisted in the American settlements. The final chapter shows the significance of these regional cultures for American history up to the present. Insightful, fresh, interesting, and well-written, this synthesis of traditional and more current historical scholarship provides a model for interpretations of the American character. Subsequent volumes of this promised multivolume work will be eagerly awaited. Highly recommended for the general reader and the scholar.- David Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"As one of the most imaginative historians in contemporay America, David Hackett Fischer has produced a work that may put his fellow scholars' teeth on edge....Yet Fischer's latest book, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America
, will fascinate them as well as the general reading public. Lucid, dramatic, always entertaining, the thick, handsomely illustrated volume may safely be called a modern classic, and comparisons to Tocqueville are inevitable....It inaugurates an ambitious design to reinterpret, rather than merely retell, the whole of American history." --American Heritage
"The finest work of synthesis in early American history in more than fifty years."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday
"One of the most thought-provoking works of American history to appear in recent years.... What is remarkable is how successful Fischer is in casting colonial America in a new light."--Eric Foner