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Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics

1 rating: 4.0
2013 nonfiction book by Michael Barone

New York Times bestselling author, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Fox News contributor Michael Barone reveals the power and lasting influence of migrations on American history, economics, politics, and culture over the … see full wiki

Genre: American History
Publisher: Crown Forum
Date Published: October 1, 2013
1 review about Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration...

Michael Barone explains how we got here from there.

  • Aug 3, 2013
  • by
Since the founding of these United States there have been a number of mass migrations that have profoundly impacted our economy, our culture and our politics. Some of the ramifications of these shifts in population were relatively short-lived while a good many others have had long-term implications for our nation. When it comes to American politics no one knows the X's and O's better than Michael Barone. He has synthesized a mountain of facts and figures and other pertinent information into a fascinating and very readable new book he calls "Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics". This ambitious project covers the entire gamut from the Scots-Irish migration at various times during the eighteenth century to the Hispanic migration from Mexico and Central America that we are struggling with today and just about everything in between. Michael Barone leaves no stone unturned in presenting a comprehensive overview of an extremely important and relevant topic.

In "Shaping Our Nation" you will discover that there were usually very logical reasons why people from all over the globe chose to make the move to America when they did. Barone painstakingly presents each piece of this mosaic and weaves it into a coherent narrative that will greatly enhance your understanding of how such migrations have shaped and reshaped our nation for more than 200 years. If you are like me you will be surprised to learn that a number of these major migrations ended rather abruptly and simply never resumed. The author presents some startling new numbers that seem to indicate that the massive Hispanic migration that we have witnessed over the past 30 or so years may have already come to an end. If this is true it could have a huge impact in the ongoing debate over immigration reform in America. Meanwhile, Barone also chronicles a number of significant internal migrations that have taken place over the past 200+ years. Two such surges occured in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Barone writes: "In the North the Yankee diaspora poured out of New England, settled upstate New York and moved rapidly westward. The South saw the expansion of slavery by southern grandees from the Atlantic Coast states. The Yankees and the Southerners came from different and in many ways antagonist cultures, whose distinctness was apparent in colonial years and became even more pronounced in the process of internal migration, which was a sort of colonization of the interior United States. These two migrations changed the nation in the first half of the nineteenth century and the conflict between them produced the bloodiest war in the nation's history". Significant internal population shifts continued to occur in the decades that followed the Civil War. Among the more recent examples are the black migration northward to cities like Chicago, New York and Detroit during the 1940's and 1950's and the mass migration of people from the big cities in the Northeast and Midwest to Florida between 1970 and today. Did you know that Florida's population has more than tripled over the past four decades? History has shown that these kinds of mass migrations have profound social and economic implications for both the areas losing the people and those receiving them.

It seems to be that "Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics" would be a great choice for history buffs, political junkies and general readers alike. You may be surprised to discover that some of the migrations that took place decades ago are still having a profound impact on our politics today. Although the subject matter can be a bit dry at times I found "Shaping Our Nation" to be a meticulously researched and very well-written book. Michael Barone makes his presentation in a logical, scholarly and very thoughtful way. There is a ton of information in this book that I simply have not seen anywhere else. After reading "Shaping Our Nation" I find myself just a tad more hopeful about the future of our nation. Highly recoomended!

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August 04, 2013
Sounds like an important historical rendition!
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Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics
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