Speaking on Union and the battle to define US nationhood with the German Marshall Fund, Sept. 1

On September 1 at 10:30 Eastern (4:30 CET), I’ll be speaking with the German Marshall Fund’s executive vice president, Derek Chollet about Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood as part of GMF’s ongoing (and, now, virtual) author series.

The event is free and open to the public, but you do need to register.

[Update, 9/17/20: Thanks to all who attended — and there were a lot of you from both sides of the Atlantic! The talk is up on YouTube here.]

Here’s the invite from GMF, who I thank for hosting this event:


Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood

A Book Talk with Colin Woodard


Tuesday, September 1, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EDT | 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. CET 


Colin Woodard

State and National Affairs Writer, Portland Press Herald


Derek Chollet

Executive Vice President, GMF 


Register for Event


The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is pleased to invite you to a virtual book talk with bestselling author, historian, and journalist Colin Woodard. His latest book, Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, describes the 19th century effort to create and propagate a national narrative for the U.S. that could unite its disparate regional cultures, a project that quickly became a battle between civic and ethnic nationalist visions for the young federation. Join Woodard and GMF Executive Vice President Derek Chollet as they discuss how the belief that the United States was or should be an American Anglo-Saxon ethnostate has confounded the country’s efforts to achieve its civic ideals and continues to affect its political landscape and fundamental stability today.

If you have any questions, please contact Itai Barsade at

Please consider supporting independent book sellers by buying a copy at if you are based in the United States.  



The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) strengthens transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan.



Colin Woodard, a New York Times bestselling author and historian, is the state and national affairs writer at the Portland Press Herald, where he received a 2012 George Polk Award and was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. A longtime foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Chronicle, he has reported from more than fifty foreign countries and six continents. 


Derek Chollet is executive vice president and senior advisor for security and defense policy at GMF. Before joining GMF, he served as U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and held a number of senior positions at the White House and U.S. State Department. His forthcoming book is The Middle Way: How Three Presidents Shaped America’s Role in the World.