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Enlightening Framework for American History
by historygeek612of4783 on August 12, 2009Of all the various speculations about what has formed the American character and the "culture wars," David Hackett Fischer's thesis in Albion's Seed should be given primacy. He argues that there were four identifiable groups arriving in the American colonies from Britain in the 17th Century with conflicting values, ideas, and ways of life which have been adopted by immigrants ever since, still shaping the world we know.
The best part about Fischer is that he makes the argument painlessly, letting the accumulation of detail speak for him, such as the way each group looked at time, work, food, and leisure.
As an amateur genealogist, I also found very useful details to explain patterns of settlement of my own ancestors (and found a couple of them in his genealogical tables) and discussions of naming customs to develop clues for earlier generations.
I liked it so well I'm getting a second copy to loan out !
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