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Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America Paperback – Mar 1 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 972 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195069056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195069051
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 4.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #195,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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ON A BLUSTERY MARCH MORNING in the year 1630, a great ship was riding restlessly at anchor in the Solent, near the Isle of Wight. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Alther on June 26 2004
Format: Paperback
What can I say? It's tough reviewing a monumental piece of historical study like this. I consider it the absolute essential reader for anyone intersted in the America and its foundation. Never dull.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Long on June 10 2004
Format: Paperback
For those among us who want to understand America and American culture, look no further. This book is phenominal. This is a profound experience of a book. Personally, I read this book and sensed a true and honest American culture. The four folkways each contributing its influence to American culture, have made this country what it is: A land of freedom and human progress that is possible from that freedom. True, the British transcontinental experiment was founded by people seeking religious freedom, but the essence is that each wanted freedom in its purest sense (The individual sections on "Liberty" are excellent). I am incredibly thankful to Professor Fischer for having an organic perspective to history, he has put together a truly perfect cultural account. Amazing!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great read about the origins of the first waves of British immigration to what became the Untied States of America. Fischer presents a fascinating explanation of how the regional lifeways of people from different parts of Britain were actually transmitted to regions of the United States and how those influences can be seen in American society today.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 28 1996
Format: Paperback
Albion's Seed is the book that should be in every genealogists home library. It has more information on the lifestyles of early immigrants to this country than any book I've read. Mr. Fisher has found the best way in which to tell us how our ancestors lived, from the Puritans of Massachussetts, to the Mountains of North Carolina. His presentation is second to none, in a way that helps us all learn our roots, as well as our history.

This is a MUST have
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By S. Pactor on May 21 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fischer uses the sociological concept of "Folkways" to organize his exploration of the cultures which created the United States. Folkways are the "ways of life" that combine to create a distinct cultures. In turn, those distinct cultures combine to create our society.
Fischer identifies four relevant folkways: the Puritans of New England, the Cavaliers of Virginia, the Quakers of the Delaware Valley and the Borderers (or Scotch Irish) of the back country.
The most extraordinary part of this long, long book was the manner in which Fischer was able to unpack the regional cultures of the British Isles. As Fischer himself remarks, British historians and social scientists have devoted negligible time and attention to regional culture (as supposed to strictly "local" culture, which is often covered in Britain).
Once Fischer links up the regions in England with their counter parts in America, the once obscure has become obvious. This, I believe, is one of the hallmarks of excellent scholarship.
It's almost impossible to critize anything about this book until the last hundred pages, when Fischer blithely asserts that all events for the past three hundred years are eminently explainable in terms of the four folkways of this book.
I was suprised to see him reach so far, especially since this is "volume 1" of a "proposed five volume set". Since this book was published fifteen years ago, I guess we'll have to be patient while we wait for, "The Ebony Tree: African Folkways in America"
, volume two of the set.
Still, this book was near revelatory in both method and analysis.
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Format: Paperback
For those who want to know more about the how the United States developed its cultural, social, and political identity this is the book for you. This in turn leads me focus my recommendation to the two types of readers who will find this book most helpful/useful.
The two types of readers who will benefit/enjoy this book most are those who have a strong interest in the American Social Systems (Sociology/History Majors), followed by those interested how the those early societial values continue to influence American Politics/Values to this day (Politial Science/Religious Studies/Antropology Majors).
The information within this book is so important and yet alas not seen as important by the multitude as other simplistic books such as Laura Ingrams "shut up and sing" or Michael Moore's epic doorstop "dude where's my country"
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Format: Paperback
Freedom's liberty tree is planted in the fertile soil of the many cultural groups who have made our land a "melting pot." In
Fishcer's brilliant work he traces with fascinating detail the transposition from Britain to the American colonies the folkways that have made each region distinctive. The four folk cultures he delineates are:
1. New England-the Puritans came from the East Anglia region of
England. They were pious, hardworking and intoxicated with theology and ordedr.
2. The Middle Colonies-the Quaker influence is profound in this region of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. William Penn and the followers of the Quaker founder George Fox were the most liberal minded of the quartet of folk cultures chronicled by Fischer. The Quaker culture was influential in the southwest and midland counties of Britain. Their belief in religous toleration has added much to American democracy.
3. The tidewider and coastal south was settled by southern English natives who were Cavaliers supportive of the Stuart
dynasty. This society was hierarchial and based on honor and
fueled by chattel slavery.
4. the backcountry region was settled by Englishmen from the northern border region of England, Scotland and Ulster Scotch-Irish. Exemplified by such paragons of this violent and emotional culture were men like Andrew Jackson and James Knox Polk. Composed of Hoosiers and Rednecks, Crackers and doughty pioneers this society believed in individual freedom.
The almost 1000 page book is filled with illustrations, population data and election results of Presidential elections which reflect how political choices are reflected in the four major mass migrations made to America by Britishers.
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