James Webb: Born Fighting How the Scots Irish Shaped America



This book was interesting in parts and reasonably well written It s really a book in two parts one about the history of the Scots Irish beginning in Scotland the Plantation in Ireland through the English civil wars and emigration the second about the Scots Irish in America The first part is revelatory since most histories of Ireland relegate the Ulster Scots to a minor role A history from their perspective is enlightening The second part the Scots Irish experience in America has both good and bad points I had not been familiar with the role of the Scots Irish in the Revolutionary War one that may have turned the tide in Cornwallis march through Georgia In the melting pot that was America most Scots Irish relinuished their identities as a distinct ethnicity and became simply Americans at that point But Webb is right that much of Scottish Celtic tribalism continued to mold the nature of particularly Appalachian Americans individualists even to their own detriment uick to take offense hold grudges and pick a fight dourly Calvinistic and hedonistic at the same time and in eual measureHis incorrect analysis of the American civil war has been made before that the fighting spirit of the Celts kept the Confederacy in the war much longer than it should have My own Scots Irish ancestors however fought eually hard for the Union and the area of Tennessee that my mother grew up in refused to secede The Catholic Irish Celts when drafted made a potent force on the other side However his idea that poor Southerners were merely defending their homes and did not support slavery is not ust wrong but ludicrous They may have been misled by the landed gentry that was their leadership into a war not in their best interests but a hatred of blacks even if they didn t know them was ingrained in these people His analysis of Reconstruction is eually misleading Yes the North was responsible for some Southern misery and poor whites were not much better off economically than blacks but they loved being able to use the white only drinking fountains No doubt they were deceived again by wealthy white elites Still not only complicit in the treatment of freed blacks if anything they were despicable as William Walker s Lanterns on the Levee makes clear The problem with Reconstruction is that it ended too soon and never did mold the minds of poor Southerners Webb takes pride in this attributeEually appalling is his rather sad analysis of Vietnam War this book does indeed become an all encompassing vehicle for spouting his conservative philosophy affirmative action though I agree that Appalachia received undeservedly short shrift in the program the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of racism and the anti war movement Sometimes his discussion of his relationship with his father is poignant and insightful Sometimes it is bathetic So all in all the book is a mixed bag Thankfully I picked it up for a uarter This is a book everyone interested in their Scots Irish heritage should read It is a non fiction piece of work with a structure similar to a novel It validates a lot of what I have always feltbelieved particularly about the generalization of WASP s and how the Scots Irish history and culture is definitely contradictory than this over generalization of white America It also explains a lot about myselfa lot to embraceparticularly my own individualism and willingness to fight for a principled belief and not retreat Fabulous worktaking three decades of the author s research This book confirmed my suspicions that I have in common with those from the hills of North Carolina and Kentucky than I do with flat landers and city dwellers from my own state of Pennsylvania As far as how you grow up live and think being an Appalachian matters a lot than which state you call home I saw a lot of myself and even of my family in Webb s descriptions of the stubborn anti authoritarian self reliant blunt clannish Scots Irish who settled those mountains and largely defined the culture And as the title suggests every generation of males in my family as far back as i can trace has done military service in a handful of wars I m thankful In his first work of nonfiction bestselling novelist James Webb tells the epic story of the Scots Irish a people whose lives and worldview were dictated by resistance conflict and struggle and who in turn profoundly influenced the social political and cultural landscape of America from its beginnings through the present dayMore than 27 million Americans today can trace their lineage to the Scots whose bloodline was stained by centuries of continuous warfare along the border between England and Scotland and later in the bitter settlements of England’s Ulster Plantation in Northern Ireland Between 250000 and 400000 Scots Irish migrated to America in the eighteenth century traveling in groups of families and bringing with them not only long experience as rebels and outcasts but also unparalleled skills as frontiersmen and guerrilla fighters Their cultural identity reflected acute individualism dislike of aristocracy and a military tradition and over time the Scots Irish defined the attitudes and values of the military of working class America and even of the peculiarly populist form of American dem.

Ll be breaking that tradition and I think they might be too This is a self aggrandizing myopic view of Webb s people with an entrenched narrative of long suffering while making excuses for anything negative While I grant that there is a lot of truth contained in this book and Webb does present a fair amount of the complexities of the history he persistently casts everything in the light of how great the Scots Irish are and how they have been unfairly maligned by the liberal Soldier turned Senator turned author Jim Webb has given us a total of ten books of which the best known is probably 2004 s Born Fighting How the Scots Irish Shaped America an analysis of the Scots Irish in history and especially in the USA From William Wallace and Robert the Bruce on to the Battle of Bannockburn and the complicated plight of Ulster the author shows us how the Scots Irish fondness for direct action tribalism and problem solving has its origin in the old country and has endured to this day especially in the Appalachian hills and hollows of western Virginia and Pennsylvania This book is well written and has much to offer It needed maps though Its greatest single strength is probably its measured praise of President Andrew Jackson the first and arguably best of the Scots Irish American Presidents In this era of cancel culture though the fact that Jackson owned some slaves is viewed problematically than even in the recent past The book s greatest thematic strength is probably to show the strength and importance of Scots Irish Americans a group that has been relatively overlooked compared to other immigrants Few other books show the significance of the Scots Irish in America and particularly Appalachia Albion s Seed Four British Folkways in America and American Nations A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America among the few aimed at the general reader All told Born Fighting How the Scots Irish Shaped America is well worth reading While I was growing up in the 70 s I was very envious of my friends who had identifiable ethnicities I wanted to be a hyphenated American but the roots of my family tree were sunk deep in the weeds and lacked the romance of stories of Cold War refugees escaping pogroms or sighting Ellis Island Yet WASP was certainly not fitting and caused my parents to recoil As Born Fighting unfolded the aha moments came thick and fast and I also understood that the lack of identifiable culture I grew up with is actually a mark of Scots Irish culture Sort of like a symptom of schizophrenia can be the denial of any symptoms Since Webb is a politician the last chapters veered off into policy discussions and personal history The first three uarters of the book however were worth it I intend to bring this book to my family reunion and pass it around Dreadful history dishonest on every levelI know that James Webb was a fighting Marine in Vietnam I honor his service But I still think this book is dishonestdistorted and offensive on every level Time and again as I was reading it I Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence) just wanted to throw it again An amazing book by somewhat surprisingly a Democrat chronicling the history of the Ulster Scots AKA the Northern Irish Protestants AKA the Scots Irish into the New World and beyond I have been reading this book for 4 months It is not a slow read but I found myself so facinated with the history of this people that I had to stop after every chapter and read or watch about the events described such as Hadrian s Wall Robert the Bruce William Wallace the Ulster Plantation The Siege of Londonderry the Hatfields and the McCoys Andrew Jackson the Revolutionary and Civil Wars the Reconstruction the Civil Rights Movement and the War in Vietnam and it s aftermath I have much to read and understand but what a tender lesson in how little I knowI also never under I m not a huge fan of ethnic boosterism but this sweet and pugnacious paean to the hillbillies among us is moving and enlightening The Scots Irish are among the few groups in America that it s ok for some reason to despise and Webb s book seems like a necessary corrective I picked this up from BookBub for an obsce. Ocracy itself Born Fighting is the first book to chronicle the fullourney of this remarkable cultural group and the profound but unrecognized role it has played in the shaping of America Written with the storytelling verve that has earned his works such acclaim as “captivating unforgettable” the Wall Street Journal on Lost Soliders Scots Irishman James Webb Vietnam combat veteran and former Naval Secretary traces the history of his people beginning nearly two thousand years ago at Hadrian’s Wall when the nation of Scotland was formed north of the Wall through armed conflict in contrast to England’s formation to the south through commerce and trade Webb recounts the Scots’ odyssey their clashes with the English in Scotland and then in Ulster their retreat from one war ravaged land to another Through engrossing chronicles of the challenges the Scots Irish faced Webb vividly portrays how they developed the ualities that helped settle the American frontier and define the American character Born Fighting shows that the Scots Irish were 40 percent of the Revolutionary War army; they included.

(READ ë Born Fighting How the Scots Irish Shaped America) AUTHOR James Webb – cafe1919.org

Nely low price having had it recommended to me by my friend Keith I m half Irish Potato Irish not Scots Irish but my maternal grandmother came from County Antrim in North Ireland and believe you me she hated the English so there s some commonality but I m getting ahead of myself Mr Webb s thesis is that is that many US citizens are descendants of the Scots Irish which originated in Scotland marked by intense tribal loyalty and a willingness to fight against big government of any sort So to uote Mr Webb The A River of Royal Blood (A River of Royal Blood, journey of the Scots Irishhas been not simply one of hardship or disappointment but of freuent and bitter conflict These conflicts from which they have never in two thousand years of history retreated have followed a historically consistent cycle of among other things a values based combativeness an insistent egalitarianism and a refusal to be dominated from above no matter the cost The history of these people dates back to the times when the Celtic tribes resisted the power of the Roman Empire and eventually centered in Scotland The prominence and importance of William Wallace Braveheart and Robert the Bruce in the development of the Scottish people is certainly given credit Theoining of four intense and bellicose independent tribal peoples to fight the English seems a daunting task but it was accomplished Afghanistan s President Hamid Karzai s attempts to bring the country s fourteen tribal groups together certainly seems apropos in this contextMany of the Scottish people immigrated to Ulster in Northern Ireland where they differentiated themselves from both the potato Irish Catholics and the English Protestants becoming fundamentalist Calvinists and fighting against religious persecution and England s futile and violent attempts to bring this group into the fold Those who left Ireland for America ended up not going to the large commerce centers but instead sought out the primitive and dangerous frontier of the remote Appalachians Many of them made their way to the American South also challenging both the Government and the frontier Daniel Boone among others is set up as an example of such a person of Scotch Irish lineageAgain due to their willingness to fight for individuality Mr Webb indicates that up to 40% of the American militia during the Revolutionary War was made up of Sots Irish Many were also soldiers for the South during the Civil War And considering the recent conflict over the symbolism of the Confederate flag Mr Webb s contention that what is now pejoratively termed Redneck is a continuation of the anti government tribal mentality that made the Scots Irish survive To uote Mr Webb Blamed for slavery although only a minute percentage actually owned slaves they suffered for generations after the Civil War due to the twin calamities of Reconstruction and an ever increasing seclusion of the Appalachian and Allegheny Mountains But it didn t stop there Many Scots Irish have been members of the Military through every armed conflict the US has had And for their motivation well Mr Webb describes it as related to Celtic ties of kinship From the earliest known history of the Celts military service was viewed not simply as an obligation but as a high honor Fighting for and alongside the tribal leader or later the Great Captain or as now one s branch of service brought one into the family Mr Webb spends an entire chapter on Andrew Jackson military man and President as not only an example of the Scots Irish culture but as a person who influenced the populist movements in America Mr Webb uotes historian Walter Russell Mead the Jacksonians believe that the government should do everything in its power to promote the well being political moral economic of the folk community This summary only scratches the surface of the rich and complex history of this hardy people and certainly helps explain Mr Webb s pride in his family history of military service and political service as well as some of his controversial outlooks as a contemporary Presidential candidate I greatly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it heartily no matter your ethnic background or political leanings. The pioneers Daniel Boone Lewis and Clark Davy Crockett and Sam Houston; they were the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain; and they have given America numerous great military leaders including Stonewall Jackson Ulysses S Grant Audie Murphy and George S Patton as well as most of the soldiers of the Confederacy only 5 percent of whom owned slaves and who fought against what they viewed as an invading army It illustrates how the Scots Irish redefined American politics creating the populist movement and giving the country a dozen presidents including Andrew Jackson Teddy Roosevelt Woodrow Wilson Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton And it explores how the Scots Irish culture of isolation hard luck stubbornness and mistrust of the nation’s elite formed and still dominates blue collar America the military services the Bible Belt and country music Both a distinguished work of cultural history and a human drama that speaks straight to the heart of contemporary America Born Fighting reintroduces America to its most powerful patriotic and individualistic cultural group one too often ignored or taken for grant.

James Webb à 1 SUMMARY

James Henry Jim Webb Jr born February 9 1946 is the junior Senator from Virginia He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan He is a member of the Democratic PartyA 1968 graduate of the US Naval Academy Webb served as a Marine Corps infantry officer until 1972 and is a highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran During his four years with th