An illuminating history of North America's eleven rival cultural regions that explodes the red state-blue state myth. North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.
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• A New Republic Best Book of the Year • The Globalist Top Books of the Year • Winner of the Maine Literary Award for Non-fiction • Particularly relevant in understanding who voted for who in this presidential election year, this is 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 (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) 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 any hotly contested election in our history.
The author of American Nations examines the history of and solutions to the key American question: how best to reconcile individual liberty with the maintenance of a free society The struggle between individual rights and the good of the community as a whole has been the basis of nearly every major disagreement in our history, from the debates at the Constitutional Convention and in the run up to the Civil War to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the New Dealers, the civil rights movement, and the Tea Party. In American Character, Colin Woodard traces these two key strands in American politics through the four centuries of the nation’s existence, from the first colonies through the Gilded Age, Great Depression and the present day, and he explores how different regions of the country have successfully or disastrously accommodated them. The independent streak found its most pernicious form in the antebellum South but was balanced in the Gilded Age by communitarian reform efforts; the New Deal was an example of a successful coalition between communitarian-minded Eastern elites and Southerners. Woodard argues that maintaining a liberal democracy, a society where mass human freedom is possible, requires finding a balance between protecting individual liberty and nurturing a free society. Going to either libertarian or collectivist extremes results in tyranny. But where does the “sweet spot” lie in the United States, a federation of disparate regional cultures that have always strongly disagreed on these issues? Woodard leads readers on a riveting and revealing journey through four centuries of struggle, experimentation, successes and failures to provide an answer. His historically informed and pragmatic suggestions on how to achieve this balance and break the nation’s political deadlock will be of interest to anyone who cares about the current American predicament—political, ideological, and sociological.
This book examines how the United States government, through the lens of presidential leadership, has tried to come to grips with the many and complex issues pertaining to relations with Indigenous peoples, who occupied the land long before the Europeans arrived. The historical relationship between the US government and Native American communities reflects many of the core contradictions and difficulties the new nation faced as it tried to establish itself as a legitimate government and fend off rival European powers, including separation of powers, the role of Westward expansion and Manifest Destiny, and the relationship between diplomacy and war in the making of the United States. The authors’ analysis touches on all US presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump, with sections devoted to each president. Ultimately, they consider what historical and contemporary relations between the government and native peoples reveal about who we are and how we operate as a nation.
The question of development is a major topic in courses across the social sciences and history, particularly those focused on Latin America. Many scholars and instructors have tried to pinpoint, explain, and define the problem of underdevelopment in the region. With new ideas have come new strategies that by and large have failed to explain or reduce income disparity and relieve poverty in the region. Why Latin American Nations Fail brings together leading Latin Americanists from several disciplines to address the topic of how and why contemporary development strategies have failed to curb rampant poverty and underdevelopment throughout the region. Given the dramatic political turns in contemporary Latin America, this book offers a much-needed explanation and analysis of the factors that are key to making sense of development today.
In Network Nations, Michele Hilmes reveals and re-conceptualizes the roots of media globalization through a historical look at the productive transnational cultural relationship between British and American broadcasting. Though frequently painted as opposites--the British public service tradition contrasting with the American commercial system--in fact they represent two sides of the same coin. Neither could have developed without the constant presence of the other, in terms not only of industry and policy but of aesthetics, culture, and creativity, despite a long history of oppositional rhetoric. Based on primary research in British and American archives, Network Nations argues for a new transnational approach to media history, looking across the traditional national boundaries within which media is studied to encourage an awareness that media globalization has a long and fruitful history. Placing media history in the framework of theories of nationalism and national identity, Hilmes examines critical episodes of transnational interaction between the US and Britain, from radio’s amateurs to the relationship between early network heads; from the development of radio features and drama to television spy shows and miniseries; as each other’s largest suppliers of programming and as competitors on the world stage; and as a network of creative, business, and personal relationships that has rarely been examined, but that shapes television around the world. As the global circuits of television grow and as global regions, particularly Europe, attempt to define a common culture, the historical role played by the British/US media dialogue takes on new significance.
This book offers an up-to-date analysis of the foreign policies of Latin American Nations and its international positioning in world politics, evaluating the impact of changes in the global community, on the hemisphere, and on individual states.
This is the stirring, epic story of the hundreds of Indian nations that have inhabited North America for more than 15,000 years and of their centuries-long struggle with the Europeans. It is a story of friendship, treachery, courage and war, beginning when Columbus disembarked at Hispaniola among the Arawaks in 1492, and comes to a climax when the last groups of Sioux were moved onto a reservation following the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.We meet men and women, heroes and villains through their own words, their lives recreated from memory, memoir, and ancient documents: Massasoit, whose greeting to the Mayflower pilgrims - 'Welcome, Englishmen' - was given in their own language; Pocahontas, whose father's intervention on behalf of John Smith ironically changed the course of her life; Deganawida, known as the Peace Maker, whose Great Law laid the foundation for the confederacy among the five nations of the Iroquois, which in turn may have influenced the colonists' fledging efforts at confederation; Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee alphabet; Tecumseh, the charismatic Shawnee leader; Satanta, who led the Kiowa resistance; Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce; Cochise and Geronimo of the Apaches; Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse of the Sioux...Written by the celebrated historian Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., lavishly illustrated with nearly 500 paintings, woodcuts, drawings, photographs, and Indian artifacts, this thrilling and beautiful book shows us the many worlds of North America's Indians, as we have never seen them before.