Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daily Beast: American Nations "a true triumph"

The Daily Beast/Newsweek has just published a glowing review of my new book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.

"[In] offering us a way to better understand the forces at play in the rumpus room of current American politics, Colin Woodard has scored a true triumph," Beast reviewer Steve Kettmann writes. "The key to the book’s effectiveness is Woodard’s skill—and irreverence—in delving into history with no qualms about being both brisk and contrarian....Yankees come off the worst...and Woodard seems particularly aghast at their eagerness to claim the U.S. narrative as their own."

I particularly enjoyed that last bit, as it's indeed true. Yes -- as some Deep Southern sympathizers have pointed out -- I'm from Yankeedom; but what they don't realize is that I'm also a native Mainer and, thus, raised in a regional subculture that was conquered by -- and has remained skeptical of -- the Puritan project, including the seizure of the historical narrative of both the region and the federation. (For more on all this subregional discord, please see my second book, The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and The Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier.)

And I certainly don't mind being lumped in with Jon Stewart, who remains far and away the most forthright and insightful political commentator on U.S. television. (Happy to lend a hand, Jon, anytime you need someone on the show.)

No comments:

Post a Comment