American Nations ~ by Colin Woodward

I’d been seeing this around and put it on my wish list so I nominated it for the All-Nonfiction reading group and it got selected.   I was glad and looking forward to reading it.   As usual, though,  I put off reading until closer to the date of the discussion – Oct. 1.

First,   according to Woodward in the Introduction,  “Americans have been deeply divided since the days of Jamestown and Plymouth,” and  “All of these centuries-oldcultures are still with us today and have spread their people, ideas, and influence across mutually exclusive bands of the continent.  There isn’t and never has been one America,  but rather several Americas” (pp 75-76)

According to Woodward,  the United States is comprised of eleven distinct different nations which have their own history and cultural identities (language, religion, ethnic origin, history) religious and political ideas, even  if they don’t have their own “states.”  The traits of these nations are outlined In the excellent Introduction:

American Nations:  A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America
by Colin Woodward
 2011 / 384 pages
read by Walter Dixon –  12h 52m
rating: 9.5
(read and listened) 

  • Yankeedom
  • New Netherlands
  • The Midlands
  • Tidewater
  • Greater Appalachia
  • The Deep South
  • New France
  • El Norte
  • The Left Coast
  • The Far West
  • First Nations

Each of these nations has a chapter or two (founding and spread)  but presented in chronological order of European settlement interspersed with major historical developments such as the “Six Wars of Liberation” and “Immigration and Identity.”

There is a superb article and map at:

I didn’t quite finish the chapter summaries,  but I got all but Part IV:  (see:


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