A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

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9780316831116: A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America
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A dramatic retelling of our nation's past by today's preeminent multiculturalism scholar, Ronald Takaki, this book examines America's history in "a different mirror"-from the perspective of the minority peoples themselves. Beginning with the colonization of the "New World" and ending with the Los Angeles riots of 1992, this book recounts the history of America in the voices of the non-Anglo peoples of the United States-Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others-groups who helped create this country's rich mosaic culture. In this significant work of scholarship, Professor Takaki grapples with the raw truth of American history and examines the ultimate question of what it means to be an American.

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About the Author:

Ronald Takaki is a professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of six books, including Strangers from a Different Shore. He lives in Berkeley, California.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A valuable survey of the American experience of several racial and ethnic minorities: readable popular history in the mode of Takaki's Strangers from a Different Shore (1989). Most multicultural histories focus on a single group and target a special-interest audience, but Takaki (Ethnic Studies/UC at Berkeley) opens the door wider by bringing together the viewpoints of Native Americas, Africans, Mexicans, Irish, Chinese, Japanese, and Jews, along with the changing attitudes of the ``civilized'' colonizing English and, later, WASP establishment. To the author, the ruling class incorrectly conceptualized America for centuries as a white country (``the lovely White,'' in Benjamin Franklin's words), only really confronting American racism after Hitler demonstrated where such ideology could lead. As in his Iron Cages (1979), Takaki avoids looking at groups in isolation: He stresses underlying cultural themes (the repeated debate among whites about whether racial ``inferiority'' is due to nature or nurture; the ruling class's strategy of appealing to race to thwart alliances of ``the giddy multitude'' of laborers and landless poor), as well as intergroup relations and mutual visions, both positive (a Mexican-Japanese labor alliance) and negative (the Irish--whose treatment by the English made them identify strongly with African-Americans--almost immediately adopted attitudes of racial superiority in the US). Along with standard historical sources, Takaki uses folk songs, poetry, and memoir to evoke the words and feelings of ordinary people. Condensing centuries of history into a chapter or two for each group unavoidably leads to oversimplification and occasionally familiar material; still, an excellent jumping-off place, with bibliographic notes pointing the way for further reading. (Photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780316022361: Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America

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ISBN 10: 0316022365 ISBN 13: 9780316022361
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9780316831123: A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

Little..., 1993
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