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American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America Paperback – September 25, 2012
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An endlessly fascinating look at American regionalism and the eleven nations that continue to shape North America According to award-winning journalist and historian Colin Woodard North America is made up of eleven distinct nations each with its own unique historical roots In American Nations he takes readers on a journey through the history of our fractured continent offering a revolutionary and revelatory take on American identity and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and continue to mold our future From the Deep South to the Far West to Yankeedom to El Norte Woodard reveals how each region continues to uphold its distinguishing ideals and identities today with results that can be seen in the composition of the U S Congress or on the county-by-county election maps of presidential elections
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The last third, however, was a bit disappointing. Woodard's own bias becomes increasingly evident as he breaks the county into two segments when describing post-Civil War and twentieth century behaviors. He paints the southern portion of the country as being backwards and barbaric while the northern portion and west coast are described as being champions of intellectual development and enlightenment. While many practices of the southern United States were indeed backwards and barbaric, his sweeping generalization turned me off, especially as a native of the so-called "Dixie Bloc." If you can get over an obvious preference for one section of the country over another then read this book because there are plenty of fascinating insights.