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American Bloods: The Untamed Dynasty That Shaped a Nation

American Bloods: The Untamed Dynasty That Shaped a Nation

Author John Kaag
Publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication Date 2024-05-14
Section New Hardcover - Nonfiction / US History
Type New
Format Hardccover
ISBN 9780374103910

A history of a family spanning centuries and continents—one that unfolds into a new portrait of America.

The Bloods were one of America’s first and most expansive pioneer families. They explored and laid claim to the frontiers—geographic, political, intellectual, and spiritual—that would become the very core of the United States. John Kaag’s American Bloods is the account of a remarkable American family, of its participation in the making of a nation, and of how its members embodied the elusive ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. Kaag follows eight members of this family from the British Civil War in the seventeenth century through the founding of the colonies, the American Revolution, Transcendentalism, the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, and the rise of first-wave feminism, all the way to the beginning of the twentieth century.

The Bloods were active participants in virtually every pivotal moment in American history, coming into contact with everyone from Emerson and Thoreau to John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Victoria Woodhull, and William James. The genealogy of the family tracks the ebb and flow of what Thoreau called “wildness,” an original untamed spirit that would recede in the making of America but would never be extinguished entirely. American Bloods is an enduring reminder of the risks and rewards that were taken in laying claim to the lands that would become the United States, and a composite portrait of America like no other.

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