A Biography Of The New American Continent

Book - 2002
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The European conquerors who created New France, New Spain,and New England, thus sowing the seeds of Canada, Mexico, and the United States,shared the old world they all came from. Yet starting at roughly the same timein broadly the same place the three countries that grew up on the North Americancontinent created their own very different versions of a new world. For half amillennium, these three universes existed side by side, sometimes warring witheach other, often times at peace, yet separated by boundaries and prejudices farstronger than any customs stations or border posts could ever be. Then, almostexactly 500 years after Columbus stumbled into the new world, the harsh realityof a rapidly changing economic order, combined with the ineluctable tug of ourown past, began to profoundly transform the relationship among the threeAmerican nations.

As a New York Times correspondent in Mexico and Canadaduring the last turbulent decade--the first ever to report from both ends ofAmerica--Anthony DePalma had a unique perspective from which to observe and todefine the momentous dawning of this uncertain new season in American history.In HERE: A Biography of the New American Continent he combinesvivid, incisive reporting on intracontinental politics from the start of theNorth American Free Trade Agreement in 1993 through the dramatic triple nationalelections in 2000, with illuminating re-examinations of key historical eventsand fascinating stories of individuals to create a completely original,passionately rendered portrait of the new world in the new millennium. How didour three nations--ll nations of immigrants, sharing borders and intertwinedhistories--develop such different world views and senses of ourselves? How dowe--accurately and inaccurately--interpret our shared history, and perceiveeach other? Who are we now, separately and as a continent, and where are wegoing? Why is it that most Americans still tend to view the United States as anisland, and rarely consider that what happens there, means anything Here?

DePalma considers these questions both as a journalist andthrough the lens of his own immigrant family's experiences. "Thisbook," he says, "represents one American's journey across NorthAmerica, one American's pursuit of a northern passage connecting our past witha future taking shape before our eyes. It is the chronicle of the first years ofa new American continent, a biography of a place with special meaning for all400 million Americans who live in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Thisbook is also, in a sense, a biography of a single American--the grandson ofimmigrants who sought out America, son of a longshoreman who carried a piece ofAmerica on his back, husband to an immigrant who also came to look for America,and father to children who know foreign anthems as well as their own and whosomeday will want to know which America is theirs."

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2002.
ISBN: 9780006394235


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