Garreau argues that North America can be divided into nine regions, or "nations", which have distinctive economic and cultural differences. He argues that conventional national and state borders are largely artificial and irrelevant, and that his "nations" provide a more accurate way of understanding the true nature of North American society. Paul Meartz of Mayville State University called it "a classic text on the current regionalization of North America".
According to this man, so called state and international borders are completely irrelevant due to the vast cultural and economic (trade) features. Which one has been the most influential/successful according to you? And do you agree with his breakdown?
Do you think the same regional boundaries can apply today?
* New England
— an expanded version including not only Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut (although omitting the Connecticut suburbs of New York City), but also the Canadian Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Although some have later placed the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec in this extended "New England", Garreau did not. Capital: Boston.
* The Foundry
— the by-then-declining industrial areas of the northeastern United States and Great Lakes region stretching from New York City to Milwaukee, and including Chicago and Philadelphia as well as industrial Southern Ontario centering on Toronto. Capital: Detroit.
— the former Confederate States of America (today the southeastern United States) centered on Atlanta, and including most of eastern Texas. Garreau's "Dixie" also includes Kentucky (which had both Federal and Confederate governments); southern portions of Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana; and the "Little Dixie" region of southeastern Oklahoma. Finally, the region also includes most of Florida, as far south as the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. Capital: Atlanta.
* The Breadbasket
— most of the Great Plains states and part of the Prairie provinces: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, the Dakotas, almost all of Oklahoma, most of western Missouri, western Wisconsin, eastern Colorado, the eastern edge of New Mexico, parts of Illinois and Indiana, and North Texas. Also included are some of Northern Ontario and southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Capital: Kansas City.
* The Islands
— The South Florida metropolitan area, the Everglades and Florida Keys, the Caribbean, and parts of Venezuela. Garreau's original book also placed the area between Fort Myers and Naples in The Islands, but recent migration patterns have made it more distinct from the South Florida metropolitan area. Capital: Miami.
— the southern and Central Valley portions of California as well as southern Arizona, the portion of Texas bordering on the Rio Grande, most of New Mexico and all of Mexico, centered on either Los Angeles or Mexico City (depending on whom you ask), which are significantly Spanish-speaking. Garreau's original book did not place all of Mexico within Mexamerica, but only Northern Mexico and the Baja California peninsula. Capital: Los Angeles.
— the Pacific Northwest coast west of the Cascade Range, stretching from Alaska down through coastal British Columbia, Washington state, Oregon and into California just north of Santa Barbara. Capital: San Francisco.
* The Empty Quarter
— most of Alaska, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Colorado from Denver west, as well as the eastern portions of Oregon, California, Washington, all of Alberta and Northern Canada (including what is now Nunavut), northern Arizona, parts of New Mexico (mainly the area controlled by the Navajo Nation), and British Columbia east of the Coast Ranges. Capital: Denver.
— the primarily French-speaking province of Canada, which held referenda on secession in 1980 and 1995, the latter of which the "separatists" lost narrowly. Capital: Quebec City.
Garreau also discussed several areas that he termed "aberrations":
* Washington, D.C.
and its surrounding area, specifically referring to the area "inside the Beltway".
south of Harlem (he placed Harlem, and by extension the Manhattan neighborhoods to its north, clearly within The Foundry).
, which he considered an Asian aberration as much as a North American aberration.
* Northern Alaska
, despite its categorization on the front cover as part of the Empty Quarter, was listed in the aberrations section of book.