Open Thread, 10/17/2016

51I3Hux0TsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I reread Colin Woodward’s American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America on the plane recently. It’s a less scholarly work than Albion’s Seed or The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, Civil Warfare, And The Triumph Of Anglo-America, but arguably more straightforwardly relevant to modern conditions and events. I’m rather sure that Woodward would be interested in a further edition which updated with the goings on of the 2016 election campaign, if he’s not working on it already (an important complement, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Angloworld, 1783-1939, which takes a broader Anglospheric view).

The important point here is that initially developed cultural folkways can be persistent and reinforcing. The author observes that Nordic immigrants seem to have almost invariably chosen the region of the American frontier dominated by a Yankee ethos, the Upper Midwest. Though they overwhelmed this region demographically, rather than changing the culture, they simply accentuated its longstanding features, which were established by Yankees (e.g., social progressivism and communitarianism).

What else is going on? Going to be at ASHG a lot this week.

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