Reading the newly submitted stories on Kuro5hin this morning, I came across a fascinating article about the political and cultural divides within the United States. Beyond Red and Blue is primarily concerned with the upcoming 2004 presidential election, but I found the descriptions of the 10 different regions the most interesting. It reminded me of a book I read ages ago, The Nine Nations of North America, by Joel Garreau.
Both the book and this article divvy up the country into disparate regions, The Northeast urban sector, Mexamerica, Ecotopia in the Pacific Northwest, the farmlands of the Breadbasket, the Rust Belt’s aging industrial regions, the changing face of the South, and the unabashed extraction economy of the far west. He nailed it pretty good and the book has actually weather the test of time quite well. It is over 20 years old, but it still rings true.
I am certain Garreau’s ideas were on the mind of Robert David Sullivan as he wrote Beyond Red & Blue, but Sullivan refined the general divisions of the earlier book. The distinct regions are actually broken down by county voting results since 1976. The final analysis is a thoughtful piece of work, indicating where both Democrats and Republicans need to focus their efforts in order to carry the 2004 election.