Synopses & Reviews
The United States is the most culturally diverse nation on earth, a magnet for people from all over the globe. This diversity has always been one of the great engines of our economic growth. It is a source of great pride and much celebration (even on such unlikely occasions as St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, Georgia, where schools close, the local dairy offers mint-flavored milk, and a parade ensues second only to that of New York City). And of course diversity is the cause of much tension and bad feelings, as seen in America's recurrent attacks on minority groups. Now, in Natives and Strangers
, Leonard Dinnerstein, Roger L. Nichols, and David M. Reimers present a wide-ranging historical narrative that illuminates the shifting tides of America's ethnic past and present, from the English colonists of Jamestown to the Asians and Mexicans of the West.
A sweeping, ambitious chronicle of our unique cultural mosaic, spanning over nearly four hundred years, Natives and Strangers surveys America's legacy of assimilation and difference, of poverty and economic advancement, of ethnic conflict and intercultural mingling, expertly weaving together these strands into an engaging and informative whole. The authors consider the changing fortunes of American Indians, slaves, and immigrants, describing how newcomers interacted and often clashed with native-born people, with government and law enforcement, and with one another in crowded tenements or on expansive farmlands. They paint a compelling portrait of the extraordinary range of immigrant experience in America: working conditions and family life, communities of religion and language, political aspirations and social repression. The authors also explore the spectrum of ethnic coalitions that have fought for equal access to scarce resources and the rise of individuals of distinct ethnic lineage to local, state, and national offices. And they discuss the periodic surges of nativism directed at those cultural groups considered at odds with mainstream society, from vitriolic attacks on the "hordes of wild Irishmen" in the early days of the American republic to the torrents of abuse heaped upon Asian immigrants until long after World War II. Finally, the book examines some of the anomalies of immigrant life in America: why, for instance, have the Germans and Scandinavians built strong communities in the Midwest, while Chinese populations have congregated in New York and San Francisco? And how did Japanese immigrants overcome decades of venomous xenophobia to become one of America's most successful, highly educated minority groups, while Puerto Ricans remain near the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder?
Natives and Strangers offers telling insight into the lives and history of immigrants, American Indians, and African Americans, providing readers with the most up-to-date, informative account of this nation's rich multicultural fabric.
Natives and Strangers, now in its third edition, explores the various aspects of minority group history, describing the impact America had on minority cultures and providing some understanding of the different conditions, conflicts, and contradictions that members of American minority groups experienced. This new edition concentrates on the economic growth and development of social attitudes among different ethnic minorities. Opening with the American Indian migration throughout the United States, via Alaska, the book discusses the variety of Indian cultures the Europeans encountered, incorporating the most recent literature on the subject. As with earlier editions, this newly revised book is careful to integrate the experiences of racial, religious, and national minorities, explaining how their histories intertwined with the emergence of modern America. This text also explores the far-reaching implications of recent immigration laws, presenting the controversy over multiculturalism in terms of understanding American history. The authors conclude with reflections on where the nation stands today as an ethnically and racially diverse society.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -358) and index.
About the Author
About the Authors:
Leonard Dinnerstein is Professor of History at the University of Arizona. Roger L. Nichols is Professor of History at the University of Arizona. David M. Reimers is Professor of History at New York University.
Table of Contents
1. Colonial Foundations (1600-1780s)
2. Forging a New Nation: The South (1776-1840s)
3. Forging a New Nation: The North (1776-1840s)
4. Immigrants and Nativists (1840s-1880s)
5. Burgeoning Industrialism and a Massive Movement of Peoples (1880s-1930s)
6. The Process of Adjustment (1800s-1930s)
7. Ethnic Groups and the Development of the West (1840s-1930s)
8. Ethnic Tensions and Conflicts (1880s-1945)
9. Movement, Mobility and Cultural Adaption (1941-1990)
10. New Waves of Immigrants
11. The Struggle for Equality (1945-1995)