... stimulating ... Many histories of this important interregnum period have been written, but none emphasizes the fragility of the American experiment as strongly as Taylor’s book does ... Taylor, acutely sensitive to such strains on the national fabric, traces the continuing conflict between competing visions of democracy ... Taylor’s special contribution in American Republics is his capacity for panning out to capture major historical trends. Not only does he cover about five decades in a relatively concise 384 pages of text, but he discusses events and people in various sections of the nation and in Canada and Mexico as well. The result of this broad-spectrum approach is, as Taylor’s subtitle indicates, a truly continental history ... he shows his skill in producing an expansive overview that synthesizes discoveries by historians, including himself ... Whether as a gloss of received historical wisdom or as an overview whose originality lies in its comprehensiveness, American Republics succeeds admirably.
... a refreshing survey of our country’s tumultuous early years ... For Americans used to the comforting myth of an exceptional union boldly leading humanity in a better direction, this account may sting. Taylor doesn’t seek to salve such pain, but neither has he written a polemic. Diligently researched, engagingly written and refreshingly framed, American Republics is an unflinching historical work that shows how far we’ve come toward achieving the ideals in the Declaration—and the deep roots of the opposition to those ideals.
... sweeping, beautifully written, prodigiously researched and myth-busting ... Taylor’s powerful overview explores this fierce struggle between groups and governments as settlers expanded the country westward ... Anyone interested in American history will appreciate this richly rewarding book.