ALBION'S SEED: FOUR BRITISH FOLKWAYS IN AMERICA (AMERICA: A CULTURAL HISTORY) by David Hackett Fischer

WHY I LIKE IT
A 900 page history on pre-revolutionary American "folkways" (the way of life of a particular community) may not sound like thrilling Summer reading. But after reading this review (http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/04/27/book-review-albions-seed/) I gave it a chance and found it completely enthralling. If you have any interest at all in early American history, you won't want to miss this book. (The chapters are subdivided and well-organized around recurring themes, making it much easier to read in small portion.) Sample: 90% of Puritan names were taken from the Bible. Some Puritans took pride in their learning by giving their children obscure Biblical names they would expect nobody else to have heard of, like Mahershalalhasbaz. Others chose random Biblical terms that might not have technically been intended as names; “the son of Bostonian Samuel Pond was named Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin Pond”. Still others chose Biblical words completely at random and named their children things like Maybe or Notwithstanding.
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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.
Book Specifications
Release date: 0000-00-00
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 1989-03-14
Label: Oxford University Press
Pages: 972
Edition: 1
ASIN: 0195069056
ISBN: 9780195069051
Height: 613
Length: 919
Weight: 303
Width: 197
Product Group: Book