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.
"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 "[A] superbly ambitious interpretation of American origins....A major book, which cannot be ignored."--Times (London) "A brilliant and formidable achievement, a major American contribution to the international tradition of great historical writing."--Chronicles "Insightful, fresh, interesting, and well-written, this synthesis of traditional and more current historical scholarship provides a model for interpretations of the American character. Subsequent volumes of this promised multivolume work will be eagerly awaited. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "An invaluable contribution to the study of American society."--Choice "Fischer's is a striking and distinctive vision. He has gathered information (and allies--eg., W.D. Burnham) almost promiscuously; he has certainly put his visiting professorships at Oxford to excellent use (much intriguing English manuscript material is cited)."--Journal of American Studies "A book that will benefit any genealogist interested in American history and society--exceptionally readable and academically satisfying. It should have a place in every family history library."--Debra L. Wiley "An extraordinary achievement. Albion's Seed is a book of astonishing depth, power, and feeling, filled with stimulating insights. The brillance of Fischer's analysis lies in the extraordinary erudition he brings to his task, his elegant writings, and his bold thesis."--Journal of American Folklore "Fischer's delineation of thirteen aspects of folklife (or folkways, as he terms them) makes his book as important to folklorists as it so obviously is to historians of the culture of the United States. It is a very important book."--Thomas E. Barden, University of Toledo "A brilliant and beautiful book, rich in insights. Every American should read it."--Jim Jasper, New York University "An amazing compendium of data interwoven with lively interpretation. Quite readable and informative on several levels. I'll use it often."--Kenneth A. Thigpen, Penn. State University
Series: America: a Cultural History
Number Of Pages: 972
Published: 14th March 1991
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88 x 5.08
Weight (kg): 1.34