I came relatively late to Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Indeed, I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I knew very little of Webb at all until I watched him from time to time during the 2006 Senatorial campaign in Virginia. From the first time I saw him speak, however, I was hooked. There was something about the gritty, plain spoken demeanor that was comfortably familiar to me.
After hearing me talk about Webb ceaselessly after his election, and after watching me do endless imitations of him, Bonnie threw her hands up and bought me a copy of Born Fighting, hoping, I think, to either get me over my fascination or to not have to listen to me during the times when I was reading. It didn’t work. Each night I read the book and would shout out lines in an almost giddy fashion. For one born and raised in the South, especially close to the highlands in North Carolina, this book did so much to affirm me—perhaps to a fault—that I’ve only gotten louder.