Sunday, October 30, 2011

Arizona Republic, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on American Nations

My new book, American Nations, was featured in two major Sunday papers today.

The Arizona Republic carried an OpEd with my byline -- "The great divide" --crafted from excerpts of the book. It lays out the central argument that the U.S. is really a federation of disparate "nations" and always has been and notes that it can only function through compromise at the federal level; that's how the deal between the component regional cultures was brokered.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviews the book in today's paper, calling it important if not "easy" reading. The reviewer also seems to have misread the "nations" map in the book: the counties that make up the St. Louis metro area are divided between the Midlands and Greater Appalachia, just as the text in the book notes. (Similarly, Chicago is another "border city" straddling the Midlands and Yankeedom.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

American Nations on WBAI and CBC and in Portland Daily Sun

Regular readers of this blog may have tied of hearing about my new book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, but, alas, promoting it is my primary task these days. I'm taking a break to report on Portland, Maine's mayoral election soon, so don't despair.

Yesterday I was the guest on "The Gary Null Show" on New York City's WBAI and simulcast on the the Progressive Radio Network. There's a podcast of the interview segment online.

Today, Maine's Portland Daily Sun has an essay/excerpt of the book as their weekend feature.

Over the past week, I was interviewed by a dozen radio affiliates of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: those in Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, Charlottetown (PEI), Cape Breton Island (NS), Windsor (ON), Thunder Bay (ON), Kenowa (BC) and, my favorites, Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) and Whitehorse (Yukon). CBC Halifax expanded their piece into the lead feature of their "Mainstreet Nova Scotia" program Wednesday, but at present they don't have it podcasted. [Update, 12/31/11: Here's that podcast as an mp3 download.]

Thanks also to everyone who came to the filled-to-capacity talk I gave at the Maine Historical Society Thursday. I had a great time speaking with you all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maine in the making of Yankeedom and the nation

Yankeedom -- the portions of the country colonized by New Englanders and blessed/cursed with their culture -- encompasses the New England states, upstate New York, Ohio's Western Reserve, most or all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I, and portions of northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and beyond. They also tried -- but only half succeeded -- to make the West Coast a "New England on the Pacific," literally sending missionaries to "save" the region for Yankees. It's a story of cultural transmission told in my recently released book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.

Within that migration, Mainers sometimes played a key role, particularly where the lumber industry loomed large: Michigan, Minnesota, and coastal Washington state. It's a tale I explore in this month's Down East magazine, and one you can now read online.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Speaking on American Nations, Portland, Oct. 26

For Southern Mainers who were unable to attend the Oct. 13 launch event, I'm speaking on American Nations this Wednesday, October 26 at the Maine Historical Society in downtown Portland at 7 pm. Do come if you can.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing for those interested in such.

American Nations has been getting some nice local attention, including a feature in the Maine Sunday Telegram, a recent cover story in the Portland Phoenix, and this segment on WCSH television's 207 program. It's also a #1 bestseller on the Maine Sunday Telegram list this week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On American Nations in the Maine Sunday Telegram

Fellow Mainers: I'm the subject of the book feature Q&A in this morning's Maine Sunday Telegram.

Bob Keyes interviews me on how I became interested in cultural regionalism, the reasons for the persistence of our regional cultures, and the fortunate timing, marketing-wise, of the release of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.

As the piece notes, I'll be speaking about the book in Portland this Wednesday, October 26, at the Maine Historical Society at 7 pm. Come if you can.

The book has been recently featured by Bloomberg, Rolling,, the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Miller-McCune, Washington Monthly, CBC radio, 207, and as last week's cover story in the Portland Phoenix. Segments with PBS News Hour and NPR's Weekend All Things Considered will be airing soon.

[Update, 13:00: American Nations was also #1 on the Maine Sunday Telegram's Hardcover Nonfiction list. (Lobster Coast was #9 on paperback.) Thanks to Longfellow Books patrons for that.]

Monday, October 17, 2011

Is the Tea Party Doomed? My take in Washington Monthly

My first feature for Washington Monthly is in the new issue to be released tomorrow, but it's their "sneak preview" article for the month, so it just posted online as well.

The article argues that the Tea Party is doomed to failure in large swaths of the country, making it unlikely to achieve more than fleeting nationwide success. The piece is, of course, informed by the American Nations paradigm. You'll be surprised at the regional character of the movement.

Maine politicos will be interested to know that Tea Party activist and U.S. Senate hopeful Alan Ian Dodge thinks the state movement is collapsing, partly as a result of the debt ceiling debacle.

Fittingly enough, I'm actually in Washington. If you are too and have an interest in American Nations, come to this evening's Zocalo Public Square / Center for Social Cohesion event.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My American Nations essay at Washington Post's Political Bookworm

My short essay regarding my new book, American Nations, has posted at the Washington Post's Political Bookworm blog.

Apparently quite a few people must be reading the piece -- "The roots of American disunity" -- as the book has surged on At this writing, I'm pleased to say, it has a better sales rank than Ann Coulter's Moronic -- sorry, I misread that -- Demonic. Now that's a screenshot for the scrapbook.

Speaking on American Nations, Washington, DC, Oct. 17

For those of you in the U.S. Capital Region, I'll be speaking about American Nations at the ASU Washington Center at DuPont Circle on Monday evening, October 17 at 6pm.

It's an event co-sponsored by Zocalo Public Square and the ASU Center for Social Cohesion. Their series has an enjoyable format: a 30 minute presentation followed by an hour reception at which all audience members are encouraged to engage in conversation with the presenter and each other. This particular event will be introduced by Andres Martinez from the New America Foundation.

The event is open to the public, but they ask you to RSVP online. Come if you can!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

American Nations in Portland Phoenix, Miller McCune, Zocalo

Regular readers of this blog are probably weary of hearing about my new book, American Nations, but I'm out flogging it these days, so brace yourselves....

Today, there's an extensive interview and book excerpt in the Portland Phoenix, where my more time-sensitive coverage of Maine politics usually appears. Thanks to the editors there for their interest. [Update, 10/14/11: Finally saw the print edition, which has American Nations on the cover, with a colorized map of the nations (above) to boot!]

Last night the always refreshing Miller-McCune magazine posted their interview feature on their website. [Update, 10/14/11: This piece was also cross-featured at Real Clear Science.

Yesterday, Zocalo Public Square published my essay on how the existence of the eleven "American Nations" complicates the job of running for president (and why Republicans would indeed be wise to pick Romney over Perry.) Zocalo is co-sponsoring my speaking event in Washington, D.C. this coming Monday (Oct. 17.)

And for those who just haven't gotten their fill, we have a book launch event at the Portland (Maine) Public Library tonight at 6:30. Come on by and say hello. [Update, 10/14/11: Thanks much for all of you who were able to join us!]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Speaking on WCSH/WLBZ's "207"

I was one of the guests on last night's edition of "207," the interview program produced by Maine's two NBC affiliates, WCSH-6 in Portland and WLBZ-2 in Bangor.

The segment -- in which host Rob Caldwell talks with me about my newly released book, American Nations -- is now online, for those interested.

The station's website makes mention of this Thursday's book launch party here in Portland. Note that this event actually starts at 6:30, not 7 (as once planned.) More details here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

American Nations launch event, Portland, Me., Oct 13

For those of you in Greater Portland (Maine, that is), we're having a book launch event for American Nations this Thursday, October 13, at 6:30pm at the main branch of the Portland Public Library.

I'll be introducing the book in the auditorium and, thereafter, there will be a reception where Longfellows will be selling books (which I'm happy to sign.) Come if you can!

Thanks to the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance for co-hosting.

If you can't make this event, I'll also be speaking Oct 26 at the Maine Historical Society here in Portland. (And for those in Washington, D.C., I'll be doing an event near you on Monday, Oct. 17.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

American Nations - The Rolling Stone interview

Rolling Stone interviewed me last week about American Nations. The story -- "Why Americans Can't Just Get Along" -- just posted on the RS Politics Daily section of their website, along with an excerpt from the book.

I've been very appreciative of the attention the book has received in its first week of life, including a five-part series of excerpts by Bloomberg / Business Week and a review in last Sunday's Boston Globe.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bloomberg excerpts of American Nations

Bloomberg has been running a five part series of excerpts from my new book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America.

The third installment is up now across their platforms. Previous episodes can be found here and here. The final two will run Tuesday and Wednesday. For reference, they've also been linking to the map on the cover at my website, which has been generating a startling amount of traffic there.

Enjoy. And let me know what you think.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Boston Globe on American Nations

Today's Boston Sunday Globe has a nice review of my new book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, which was released last Thursday.

The inevitable pull-quote for the paperback: "a smart read that feels particularly timely now, when so many would claim a mythically unified “Founding Fathers’’ as their political ancestors."

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting American Nations to audiences in Camden and Bangor, and am looking forward to a pair of events here in Portland later this month. Bloomberg continues their five-part series of excerpts tomorrow, and Rolling has an interview scheduled to run the following day. Thanks to all for the kind attention and insightful comments.