Albion's Seed

Albion's Seed : Four British Folkways in America

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Description

This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 912 pages
  • 158 x 238 x 58mm | 1,539.98g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 57 illustrations, 124 maps
  • 0195037944
  • 9780195037944

Back cover copy

This book is the first in a series, which will hopefully comprise a cultural history of the United States. It is cultural in an anthropological rather than an aesthetic sense--a history of American folkways as they have changed through time.
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Review quote

"Professor Fischer's careful research and analysis opens a much needed discussion of cultural character and origins in North America. The variety and complexity of historical sources will inform the work of other cultural historians and analysts."--Nadesan Permaul, UC Berkeley


"This is history at a lively pace, peppered with curious details about the origins of families...The author makes a convincing case."--Dolores and Roger Flaherty, Chicago Sun-Times


"A pleasure to read, for it is written with Fischer's characteristic perspicuity. Moreover, the numerous drawings by Jennifer Brody and maps by Andrew Mudryk are a visual treat."--Raymond A. Mohl, Review Essay


"The kind of book one can open to almost any page and immediately become engrossed...[R]eaders will enjoy and benefit from this book...We eagerly await volume two."--Neil R. Stout, Vermont History


"Holds up to readers a mirror in which they can discover in themselves and in their own world the persistence of their heritage...An engrossing work that will whet the appetite for more."--The National Genealogical Society Quarterly


"Ingenious and provocative...Raises matters of cardinal interest."--The Times Literary Supplement


"A splendid work of historical scholarship. . . . based on an original conception of cultural history which I find extremely usable. Eminently readable."--Omer Hadziselimovic, Earlham College [SEE REVIEW CARD FOR ACCENTS ON LAST NAME]


"[A] sprightly analysis....This is history at a lively pace, peppered with curious details about the origins of familiar words and practices....The author makes a convincing case for his claim that in a cultural sense most Americans are Albion's seed."--Chicago Sun-Times


"One of the most interesting, important, and ambitious books about American cultural and social origins ever written....A richly rewarding book, and one of great significance....It blends the best of new and old scholarship in lucid language designed to attract laymen and students alike. Very simply, Albion's Seed is a splendid achievement."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday


"David Hackett Fischer's book could not be much bigger or more ambitious. It is the first in a series of volumes that he hopes will eventually constitute a cultural history of the United States....This book starts his series with a bang--a big bang....Remarkable....A revisionist blockbuster."--Gordon Wood, The New Republic


"Beautifully produced, this work should popularize the discoveries of a generation of scholars in the new social history. Anyone interested in these four cultures of the Anglo-American colonists will find here population data, family life, community mores, and achetypical individuals, portrayed in a clear and often lively text, thoughtfully analyzed illustrations, and wonderful maps."--Stephen Saunders Webb, Washington Post Book World "Professor Fischer's careful research and analysis opens a much needed discussion of cultural character and origins in North America. The variety and complexity of historical sources will inform the work of other cultural historians and analysts."--Nadesan Permaul, UC Berkeley
"This is history at a lively pace, peppered with curious details about the origins of families....The author makes a convincing case."--Dolores and Roger Flaherty, Chicago Sun-Times


"A pleasure to read, for it is written with Fischer's characteristic perspicuity. Moreover, the numerous drawings by Jennifer Brody and maps by Andrew Mudryk are a visual treat."--Raymond A. Mohl, Review Essay


"The kind of book one can open to almost any page and immediately become engrossed....readers will enjoy and benefit from this book....We eagerly await volume two."--Neil R. Stout, Vermont History


"Holds up to readers a mirror in which they can discover in themselves and in their own world the persistence of their heritage....An engrossing work that will whet the appetite for more."--The National Genealogical Society Quarterly


"Ingenious and provocative....Raises matters of cardinal interest."--IThe Times Literary Supplement


"A splendid work of historical scholarship. . . . based on an original conception of cultural history which I find extremely usable. Eminently readable."--Omer Hadziselimovic, Earlham College [SEE REVIEW CARD FOR ACCENTS ON LAST NAME]


"[A] sprightly analysis....This is history at a lively pace, peppered with curious details about the origins of familiar words and practices....The author makes a convincing case for his claim that in a cultural sense most Americans are Albion's seed."--Chicago Sun-Times


"One of the most interesting, important, and ambitious books about American cultural and social origins ever written....A richly rewarding book, and one of great significance....It blends the best of new and old scholarship in lucid language designed to attract laymen and students alike. Very simply, Albion's Seed is a splendid achievement."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday


"David Hackett Fischer's book could not be much bigger or more ambitious. It is the first in a series of volumes that he hopes will eventually constitute a cultural history of the United States....This book starts his series with a bang--a big bang....Remarkable....A revisionist blockbuster."--Gordon Wood, The New Republic


"Beautifully produced, this work should popularize the discoveries of a generation of scholars in the new social history. Anyone interested in these four cultures of the Anglo-American colonists will find here population data, family life, community mores, and achetypical individuals, portrayed in a clear and often lively text, thoughtfully analyzed illustrations, and wonderful maps."--Stephen Saunders Webb, Washington Post Book World "As one of the most imaginative historians in contemporay America, David Hackett Fischer has produced a work that may put his fellow scholars' teeth on edge....Yet Fischer's latest book, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, will fascinate them as well as the general reading public. Lucid, dramatic, always entertaining, the thick, handsomely illustrated volume may safely be called a modern classic, and comparisons to Tocqueville are inevitable....It inaugurates an ambitious design to reinterpret, rather than merely retell, the whole of American history." --American Heritage
"The finest work of synthesis in early American history in more than fifty years."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday
"One of the most thought-provoking works of American history to appear in recent years.... What is remarkable is how successful Fischer is in casting colonial America in a new light."--Eric Foner "As one of the most imaginative historians in contemporay America, David Hackett Fischer has produced a work that may put his fellow scholars' teeth on edge....Yet Fischer's latest book, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, will fascinate them as well as the general reading public. Lucid, dramatic, always entertaining, the thick, handsomely illustrated volume may safely be called a modern classic, and comparisons to Tocqueville are inevitable....It inaugurates an ambitious design to reinterpret, rather than merely retell, the whole of American history." --American Heritage
"The finest work of synthesis in early American history in more than fifty years."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday
"One of the most thought-provoking works of American history to appear in recent years.... What is remarkable is how successful Fischer is in casting colonial America in a new light."--Eric Foner "As one of the most imaginative historians in contemporay America, David Hackett Fischer has produced a work that may put his fellow scholars' teeth on edge....Yet Fischer's latest book, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, will fascinate them as well as the general reading public.
Lucid, dramatic, always entertaining, the thick, handsomely illustrated volume may safely be called a modern classic, and comparisons to Tocqueville are inevitable....It inaugurates an ambitious design to reinterpret, rather than merely retell, the whole of American history." --American Heritage
"The finest work of synthesis in early American history in more than fifty years."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday
"One of the most thought-provoking works of American history to appear in recent years.... What is remarkable is how successful Fischer is in casting colonial America in a new light."--Eric Foner "As one of the most imaginative historians in contemporay America, David Hackett Fischer has produced a work that may put his fellow scholars' teeth on edge....Yet Fischer's latest book, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, will fascinate them as well as the general reading public.
Lucid, dramatic, always entertaining, the thick, handsomely illustrated volume may safely be called a modern classic, and comparisons to Tocqueville are inevitable....It inaugurates an ambitious design to reinterpret, rather than merely retell, the whole of American history." --American Heritage
"The finest work of synthesis in early American history in more than fifty years."--Michael Kammen, New York Newsday
"One of the most thought-provoking works of American history to appear in recent years.... What is remarkable is how successful Fischer is in casting colonial America in a new light."--Eric Foner
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About David Hackett Fischer

David Hackett Fischer is Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. He is the author of numerous books, including Paul Revere's Ride and Growing Old in America.
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Rating details

2,061 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 51% (1,044)
4 33% (680)
3 13% (265)
2 3% (56)
1 1% (16)
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