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Showing 1-10 of 30 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 52 reviews
on October 17, 2015
"The Nine Nations of North America" came out in 1981. Now, thirty-four years later, it's very close to being as timely as when it was written. Over several years, the author criss-crossed the USA, talking to people, doing research, and getting a real feel for how the various regions of the country operate, what they consider important, and how they get along with the rest of the country.

He's used a combination of well-known regional names – Dixie, New England, Mexamerica, Quebec – and some more fanciful, evocative ones – the Empty Quarter (mountains and mining), Ecotopia (the West Coast, where environmentalism is huge), the Breadbasket (vast fields of corn and wheat), the Foundry (the industrial East), and the Islands (Miami and further south). Garreau's lively prose, combined with touches of wicked humor, is aptly described by the Detroit Free Press: "Could serve as a socio-political text book if it weren't so much fun to read." Dave Hickey, in the Texas Observer, wrote, "Home, in the twentieth century, is less where your heart is, than where you understand the sons-of-bitches."

No matter where in America you're from, you'll recognize your family and friends in these chapters. I've re-read this book several times over the years. I purchased this one as a gift for my brother.
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on January 19, 2017
From the author, Sept 10, 1981 he set out to “explain how the continent is really working right now, not as if it were three nations – the United States, Canada, and Mexico; not as if it were 50 states; not as it should work, as an academic might have it; but how it is really working and how best to understand how we will be moving into the 21st century as a result.”

In July of 2014, Garreau wrote: More than three decades after publication, two things amaze me: how little the boundaries have changed and how much chatter this idea is getting recently. Much of the online discussion in the last few years has been spurred by dismay over American national gridlock and the “nine nations” divisions that fuel it. The gridlock has grown, but the divisions are not new.

But what seems to really endure is culture and values. They are slow to change, and far more so than he originally guessed. “The layers of unifying flavor and substance that define these nations still explain the major storms through which our public affairs pass. Nine Nations” is also a map of power, money and influence, the patterns of which have only deepened.”
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on February 20, 2017
Thirty-five years after publication Joel Garreau's exploration of the economic and social geography of North America still rings true while providing a guide to the why's and wherefores of the Trump revolution or fiasco, the results of which remain to be determined. This hunch explains why I sought a copy to read again after giving away my last one some years ago. Think of Justin Trudeau when you read the last page, "Lapin aux pommes."
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on April 17, 2017
Very interesting, and not really out of date. Remarkably good analysis.
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on July 16, 2017
written so long ago, but the theory is still accurate to this day.....
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on October 8, 2011
I bought this book when it came out in 1982. I have bought four of them over the years because my "friends" kept stealing or borrowing them. I used Garreau's theorems in deciding which candidates stood the best possibility of adjusting to relocation in my executive recruiting business in the days before the Internet. The most successful, most interchangeable relocation: Pittsburgh-Baltimore, Baltimore -Pittsburgh. The most surprising but relevant detail: Fort Worth is a "Western" city and Dallas is a "Southern" one. He was the first writer of a published book who named what I had lived in Miami...South Florida is part of the Caribbean and South America. This was a book ahead of its time and NEVER should have gone to Remainders.
This was one of the most imfluential books of my career. Joel Garreau had vision thirty years ago that stood the test of time.
Sibyl Masquelier
Cape Elizabeth, ME
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on January 23, 2017
I read this book nesrly 30 years ago and really found it informative. I want to see how reelavant the author's evaluation of regional economies and cultures are today. Though there have been many changes the basic differences seem to still abide.
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on March 29, 2015
A truly eye opening book. I’ve lived in America most of my life and this was like seeing it for the first time. Of the nine “nations” of North America the author delves into in great detail to highlight their regional flavors, I’ve lived in three and spent time in another two. I can definitely confirm everything he’s saying, I just never saw what was going on around me with such detail, with the exception perhaps of my stint in Ectopia. While many leave their heart in San Francisco, Ectopia is where I left mine. Would love to return some day. And after reading this book I have a better sense of where exactly in Ectopia I would care to relocate.

This book is great homework for authors looking to set a story in a particularly region of the U.S. And it’s also invaluable for people who just want to see the big picture of what it’s really like to live in North America—it’s a distinctly different experience depending on what region you’re in. Different enough that the author’s title if a fair one.
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on September 14, 2006
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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on October 9, 2016
Spot on Book,
This book complements Collin Woodard's "American Nations" and "American Character" as well as David Hackett Fischer's "Albion's Seed." Unlike those other three books, it brings personal or anecdotal stories about those regions into the mix. Although it was written at the beginning of the Reagan administration, its divisions of the U.S. and Canada are still spot on. As a writer dealing with American history and political themes, I often refer to this book along with the other three I mentioned and I am always thumbing through it. The political almanacs, including the Barone and CQ ones similarly see these divisions in the U.S. Garreau's descriptions of several regions meeting in Texas and Indiana couldn't be more accurate. Its descriptions of Mexamerica, Ecotopia, Dixie, the Foundry, and New England couldn't ring truer. A must have book for anyone interested in the U.S. and its future.
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