Colin Woodard’s American Nations is making its way around my office, and just last week it landed on my desk. Tracing the evolution of eleven regional cultures in North America that have developed distinct identities throughout history, Woodard exposes why our country is so deeply segregated across regional boundaries. The unique history of each “nation” has molded an America of manifold identities and continues to shape our perception of regional outsiders. A comparison of these regional cultures may explain current divides in politics, which appears to have a profound influence on Woodard’s motive for writing this book.
Woodard is a proud Maine native, which is partly why I’m reading his book. Hailing from the nation of Yankeedom myself, it will be interesting to discover how Woodard’s perceptions of other American nations mirror that of mine. Though only a few chapters in, I look forward to exploring more of our country’s history through the cultural lens that Woodard provides.