Matthew Trundle reviews a variety of evidence, including Xenophon's detailed account of how over ten thousand Greeks tried and failed to establish the Persian prince Cyrus on his brother's Imperial throne, the fragments of a fourth century play about the first ever soldier of fortune, and inscriptions prohibiting Athenians from taking service with their neighbours.
The result is a fresh look at the significance of mercenaries in ancient Greek society, economy and politics, and their part in the process that shaped the great Empire of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic world.
North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory.
In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.