As the highest-stakes U.S. election since 1860 fast approaches, various news outlets have been using American Nations to explain how things got so bad. Most interesting for me is when they use the book to analyze their own backyards, especially when those places are far from where I live.
Two cases in point over the past 48 hours:
The editor-in-chief of Alabama Political Reporter, Bill Britt, wrote this OpEd about the state of his state, using the observations I made about the Deep Southern social and political legacy. “Today, Alabama’s governance framework and, to a lesser degree, its society is much like the Deep South characteristics Woodard describes,” Britt writes. “One Party rule. A dominant religion. A racial caste system. And a willingness to impose regulations on personal behavior while opposing almost every economic restrictions.”
To the north, Chicago Magazine has this feature using American Nations to explain why Illinois — or at least it’s dominant northern tier — votes like New England. “In Lincoln’s day, New England-settled northern Illinois was the most anti-slavery part of the state,” writer Eric McClellan argues. “Today, it’s the reason that Illinois votes more like a coastal state than most of its Midwestern neighbors.”
And, separately, Jeff Daniels gave a shout out to my new book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood in this interview with AV Club. (He previously touted American Nations too.) Thanks, Jeff!