This cultural history explains the European settlement of the United States as voluntary migrations from four English cultural centers. Families of zealous, literate Puritan yeomen and artisans from urbanized East Anglia established a religious community in Massachusetts (1629-40); royalist cavaliers headed by Sir William Berkeley and young, male indentured servants from the south and west of England built a highly stratified agrarian way of life in Virginia (1640-70); egalitarian Quakers of modest social standing from the North Midlands resettled in the Delaware Valley and promoted a social pluralism (1675-1715); and, in by far the largest migration (1717-75), poor borderland families of English, Scots, and Irish fled a violent environment to seek a better life in a similarly uncertain American backcountry. These four cultures, reflected in regional patterns of language, architecture, literacy, dress, sport, social structure, religious beliefs, and familial ways, persisted in the American settlements. The final chapter shows the significance of these regional cultures for American history up to the present. 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 for the general reader and the scholar.
- David Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"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
One of the best book for that historian meeting all my expectations in all possible superlatives!
It is a milestone book in his career. I very highly recommend that book!!!
A great read about the origins of the first waves of British immigration to what became the Untied States of America. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sturdy Shoes
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. Read morePublished on May 17 2004 by V.I Lenin
It's not every day you read a book that's as profound as it is accessible, but this is it; my understanding of American culture- particularly Southern culture- is far more complete... Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by T. A. Kelly
I picked up this book in hopes to gain a better insight into a part of American History that I didn't focus on in College (European History major) or when I have taught US Hist... Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2003 by Rod Fleck
I read this book many many years ago. I had studied folklore before reading it, and found the study of folklore to be more of an education than most anything else I studied in... Read morePublished on June 26 2003 by Jerez
This book is very readable and lengthy. I did not want to put it down as it was well written and full of interesting detail of the four seed British colonies. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2003 by Daphne Mason