Vic Ing's Reviews > American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

American Nations by Colin Woodard
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's review
Dec 08, 2011

it was amazing

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.
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