I know it's a bit unorthodox to review, critique, and perhaps recommend a book before you finish it. But I'm on my porch with a nice cigar, and needed a break from the Clown World and Doomposting that is justified given where the world stands today.
"American Nations" is a levelheaded book that takes a contrarian approach to American history, that would make Tom Woods blush at certain points. Rather than separating things into "muh Red and Blue teams" or even "North vs. South", it makes reasoned arguments towards loosely defined cultural regions of the US (Tidewater, Deep South, Borderlands AKA Appalachia, El Norte, etc.) which provide a much better lens to view history through.
First of all, some of the specific insights I enjoyed were when it dove into the multitude of secession movements that precluded the Civil War, and in some cases, existed up until Fort Sumter. Even though I learned a fair amount of non-pozzed history, there were ones I had never even heard of. He even fires a justified shot across the bow of Henry Ford, noting that at his eponymous public school, he had people of all races start graduation in their native dress, enter a "melting pot" display, and come out waving American flags.
Woodard has some notable blind spots though. He posits that slavery would have continued unabated in the South (despite labor saving devices theoretically making such a system not feasible or financially sound within 50 years). He also implies the immigration wave dominating the Southern US are people from northern Mexico (which granted are much closer to an American ethos than those from southern Mexico and Latin America), rather than caravans of people from hundreds of miles away.
Looking forward to the rest of the book, because it provides a lot of good talking points for what we talk about here (even if unintentionally). I recommend it for anyone that isn't caught up in the newest wave of manufactured TV series hype.
Above all else though, happy Easter everyone. And a happy Passover to NosebergShekelman.