A Book to Make You Proud of America

 

If you want historical facts to argue that America was not founded on systemic racism, that it was intended to be a force for good in the world, I want you to get this book. And, of course, I’ll give you a review copy of the audiobook. Just PM me.

The Good Country is the story of the Midwest, arguably the first egalitarian society on the planet. When the Founders were in Philadelphia creating the Constitution, the Continental Congress was in New York, writing the Northwest Ordinance, the law under which the Midwest would be settled. It specifically outlawed slavery in the entire territory. It set up homesteading in a way that discouraged land speculation and encouraged yeoman farmers.

As a result, the Midwest in the 1800s had no dominant political or economic class; it was mostly a society of smallholders the way Jefferson envisioned. The Midwesterners created societies, lodges, the Grange, and other egalitarian institutions intended to improve themselves and manage their politics. They built academies, colleges, and universities; over 90% of the population of Ohio was literate before it even became a state. There was plenty that was wrong with it; the book is The Good Country, not The Perfect Country. But it was as close as we’ve ever come to the Founders’ vision of a country where all are equal before the law and in opportunity.

This book is full of solid history to refute the idea that America is inherently racist and exploitative. There is much here to stir your pride in your country, whether you are a Midwesterner or not. Learning about it, I hope, will encourage those of us who love our country to try to bring back what was right about it and has been lost. This is my 71st audiobook narration, and I have never felt as passionate about a book as this one. Please, if you are even faintly interested, let me give you a review copy and give it a listen. Learning the truth is how we get our country back.

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  1. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    First, I cannot believe Ohioans were ever 90% literate.  Second, all the land was stolen.  Third, lots of industry and innovation came from that area. 

    • #1
  2. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    First, I cannot believe Ohioans were ever 90% literate. 

    At 50%, I’m darned close.

    • #2
  3. BillJackson Coolidge
    BillJackson
    @BillJackson

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    First, I cannot believe Ohioans were ever 90% literate.

    Oh, you’re thinking of Illinois… easy mistake to make. (All of our states except Wisconsin kinda look the same.)

    • #3
  4. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    I’ve read people who write that kids need to be taught to be proud of this country’s  history. I suspect that, of course, they don’t. They only need to know more about it. If they have a better understanding then, without anyone teaching them to be proud of the country’s history, they’ll be less condemning and more appropriately proud, I think. (I say “I think” because, so far, I’ve only gotten more proud of the country’s history as I’ve learned more about it.)

    Looking forward to listening to this book.

    • #4
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    BillJackson (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    First, I cannot believe Ohioans were ever 90% literate.

    Oh, you’re thinking of Illinois… easy mistake to make. (All of our states except Wisconsin kinda look the same.)

    No, Michigan. Boo Michigan!

    • #5
  6. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Douglas Pratt: his is my 71st audiobook narration, and I have never felt as passionate about a book as this one.

    This has me wondering. . . were there books you’ve narrated with which you were, um, ideologically misaligned? Just curious. 

    • #6
  7. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt: his is my 71st audiobook narration, and I have never felt as passionate about a book as this one.

    This has me wondering. . . were there books you’ve narrated with which you were, um, ideologically misaligned? Just curious.

    I am lucky to be able to pick and choose from the publishers I work with. I’m primarily interested in histories and biographies, so I’ve done a lot of work for a publisher that specializes in university presses. If I think what the author has to say is valuable, I’ll do the book even if I sense that they are anti-capitalist, or “yecch! Republicans!” or similar. I won’t do a book that I’ll be ashamed to be associated with.

    One of the reasons I like this book is that the author is not afraid to document the positive impact of Christianity on society. In the Midwest he describes, inclusivity is driven by Christian ideals. Masonic lodges had no problem with Jews, for example. I don’t think that writing positive things about the influence of Christianity is very popular on college campuses today.

    • #7
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