The Cousins' War

2003-12-02

Herewith is my last report on books recommended by James C. Bennett in his essay the Anglosphere. The subject this time is The Cousins' Wars by Kevin Phillips. As mentioned last time, The Cousins' War picks up where Albion's Seed leaves off, at least with regard to the historical progression of Anglo-American civilization. Phillips argues that there is a common thread to be found in the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War. Each conflict marked a further step in the evolution of Anglo-American culture, which is the dominant culture in the world today but only by dint of the internal pressures and changes wrought by those civil conflicts "between cousins" (he pays special attention to the internecine aspects of the American Revolution, which are often glossed over by American myths about Patriots versus Redcoats). The winner of each war was the more economically dynamic, culturally modern, politically egalitarian, and religiously Protestant population. Which is not to say that the winners were perfect; far from it. But when the tectonic forces of modernization built up enough pressure that an earthquake of armed conflict became irrepressible, Anglo-American society came down on the more open, dynamic, individualistic side of history. And that is to its eternal merit.

For further reading, the following books look interesting to me:

Denver Public Library, here I come...


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