The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society

Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr., Schlesinger, Arthur Meier

Published by W. W. Norton & Company, 1998
ISBN 10: 0393045803 / ISBN 13: 9780393045802
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Synopsis: In this updated and expanded edition, Arthur Schlesinger argues that the image of the American nation as a cultural melting pot in which differences of race, wealth, religion and nationality are submerged in democracy is being replaced by an orthodoxy which celebrates difference and abandons assimilation. He argues for caution in the race to a politics of identity. He examines the international dimension and the lessons learned from other polyglot countries which have been fragmented by cultural divisions: among them, the former Yugoslavia, Nigeria and Canada. Schlesinger finds evidence that efforts to preserve a plurality of cultures in the US threaten to have the same effect.

Review: In this updated version of a modern classic, acclaimed historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. strikes a blow against radical multiculturalism. The rising cult of ethnicity, he argues, threatens a common American identity, imperiling the civic ideals that traditionally have bonded immigrants into a nation. Various chapters criticize bilingual education, Afrocentrism, and the use of history as group therapy for minorities. Schlesinger raised eyebrows when he first published this book in 1992 because of his impeccable liberal credentials as a one-time assistant to President Kennedy and long-standing academic champion of FDR's New Deal. This new version contains all of the original volume's edge, plus a few extras, including an appendix containing "Schlesinger's Syllabus," 13 books "indispensable to an understanding of America." Titles from this eclectic list include The Federalist Papers, Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Mencken's American Language. The Disuniting of America remains an essential book for readers interested in the American character as it enters the 21st century. --John J. Miller

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Title: The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a ...
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Acceptable

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