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Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America by [Jim Webb]
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Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 595 ratings

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible book:
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Born Fighting is a bombshell—or else the most brilliant battle flare ever launched by a book. James Webb reveals the all-but-invisible ethnic group that has created the core beliefs of democracy American-style: our rights come from God, not the Government; all of us are born equal, and “born aristocrats” don’t exist; and tread on either of those two truths, and we’ll fight you down to the last unbroken hyoid bone. The Scots-Irish, for such is their name, have fought all our wars for us, including Vietnam. James Webb was there, and he can count. He has written not only an engrossing story but also an important work of sociological history in the tradition of the great James Graham Leyburn.”
—Tom Wolfe

From Publishers Weekly

Former navy secretary Webb (Fields of Fire; etc.) wants not only to offer a history of the Scots-Irish but to redeem them from their redneck, hillbilly stereotype and place them at the center of American history and culture. As Webb relates, the Scots-Irish first emigrated to the U.S., 200,000 to 400,000 strong, in four waves during the 18th century, settling primarily in Appalachia before spreading west and south. Webb's thesis is that the Scots-Irish, with their rugged individualism, warrior culture built on extended familial groups (the "kind of people who would die in place rather than retreat") and an instinctive mistrust of authority, created an American culture that mirrors these traits. Webb has a genuine flair for describing the battles the Scots-Irish fought during their history, but his analysis of their role in America's social and political history is, ironically for someone trying to crush stereotypes, fixated on what he sees, in almost Manichaean terms, as a class conflict between the Scots-Irish and America's "paternalistic Ivy League-centered, media-connected, politically correct power centers." He even excuses resistance to the "Northern-dominated" Civil Rights movement. Another glaring weakness is the virtual absence of women from the sociological narrative. Webb interweaves his own Scots-Irish family history throughout the book with some success, but by and large his writing and analysis are overwhelmed by romanticism.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • Publication Date : October 11, 2005
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 384 pages
  • Publisher : Broadway Books; 1st Edition (October 11, 2005)
  • File Size : 748 KB
  • ASIN : B000FCKGTS
  • Language: : English
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Not Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 595 ratings