American Bloods

In a forlorn Fourth of July week, in the pit of an unpresidential, anti-presidential campaign year, 2024, we welcome back John Kaag, who writes history with a philosophical flair, never more colorful than in his new account of American Bloods: The Untamed Dynasty that Shaped a Nation. It’s a family saga in three centuries of frontier settlers and folk characters with the same name: Blood.

John Kaag.

They’ve got two other strong links among them: generation after generation, these Bloods embody in life some of the wilderness, that wild streak in our history, and they grasp it as articulately as the giants of American thinking—notably, Emerson, Thoreau, and William James.


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John Kaag
Professor of philosophy at UMass Lowell.

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