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Extended Audio Sample American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (494 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Colin Woodard Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 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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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Vic Ing | 2/20/2014

    " Every so often there will be a book that resonates so clearly, it causes one to wonder why it took so long for someone to write it. If you have ever wondered how it is that you can share a country with people who have ideas and beliefs so different from your own, this book holds the answers. It explains in great and believable detail not only why the Civil War occurred but why it is that the South is even more united after than before the war. It explains why northern politicians attempt to enforce their worldview upon the rest of the nation and how and why the rise of Hispanic culture in America's southwest is neither really new nor a surprise. Most distressingly, this book also emphasizes that the United States is really not so united after all but instead merely a federation of very separate nations with unique and quite different worldviews, bound only by the tenets of the U.S. Constitution which the author urges future politicians to pay heed to. Most importantly, this book is very well-written and supplies sufficient documentation and historical examples to back up the fact that there are indeed eleven rival nations (actually, fourteen nations) that comprise these United States. Lastly, most terrifyingly so (or perhaps comforting to some) is the last chapter where he surmises what might be the future of the flimsy political boundaries of North America (what we know today as the U.S., Mexico and Canada). He stresses that it is silly to assume that it be inevitable the borders remain the same throughout this century. Overall, this is a profound book and one that anyone with interest in politics, culture or U.S. history will find to be a fascinating read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jim Barrett | 2/18/2014

    " The book starts out interesting as the author describes his theory of rival nations and the description of their founding. But as he moves forward though history, his biases become increasingly evident and he uses oversimplified generalities to paint a struggle between what he clearly perceives as good and evil alliances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Joseph Mckenna | 2/11/2014

    " A very entertaining book that will give you pause and new thoughts on your view of "America". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Stacy | 2/6/2014

    " This is an excellent history book proposing that the character of the United States is not one universal value system, but made up of 11 very different cultures/nations who are involved in a very tentative union. The history is very good, the hypothesis, I think, is excellent. If you are a student of American history I highly recommend this book. "

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