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The Cousins' Wars

The Cousins' Wars by Kevin Phillips, ISBN: 9780465013708
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ISBN: 9780465013708
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: January 2000
Format: Paperback
Links Australian Libraries

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The Cousins' Wars

Political commentator Kevin Phillips (author of the 1991 bestseller The Politics of Rich and Poor) takes a break from analyzing the latest election returns with this sweeping history of Anglo-American exceptionalism. How did the political culture of Anglo-America rise "from a small Tudor kingdom to a global community and world hegemony"? asks Phillips. His answer comes in the course of studying three wars--the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the U.S. Civil War. Phillips does not examine the military history of these conflicts, looking instead at the political, religious, economic, and sectional interests that shaped them. He makes several eye-opening observations, comparing, for instance, a "state-by-state portrait of which counties, towns, districts, or regions were loyal" during the American Revolution to "ethnoreligious maps of the modern-day Balkans." This is a hefty book (over 600 pages, not including appendices and footnotes), and while Phillips's preface is a bit self-absorbed, admirers of David Landes's The Wealth and Poverty of Nations and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel will find much to like between its covers. --John J. Miller

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