Synopses & Reviews
Now in a new edition, Iron Cages provides a unique comparative analysis of white American attitudes toward Asians, blacks, Mexicans, and Native Americans in the 19th century. This pathbreaking work offers a cohesive study of the foundations of race and culture in America. In a new epilogue, Takaki argues that the social health of the United States rests largely on the ability of Americans of all races and cultures to build on an established and positive legacy of cross-cultural cooperation and understanding in the coming 21st century. Observing that by 2050 all Americans will be minorities, Takaki urges us to ask ourselves: Will America fulfill the promise of equality or will America retreat into its "iron cages" and resist diversity, allowing racial conflicts to divide and possibly even destroy America as a nation? Incisive and provocative, Iron Cages is an essential resource for students of ethnic history and important reading for anyone interested in the history of race relations in America.
"Takaki's early work continues to be one of the best demonstrations of how to think and write history. I am using it in a course built around...questions of objectivity in the historical profession."--Sarah Watts, Wake Forest University
"Takaki's treatment of Republicanism is a must for introductory sociology and history courses. The diversity that he brings to the dialog enlightens the study of virtue and purity."--S. Malone-Hawkins, California State University, Fresno
"Introductory readings appropriate for a multicultural education course."--Joe Pizzillo, Rowan College of New Jersey
"This thoroughly researched and clearly written text tells an important part of many stories in philosophy, history, and ethnic studies. Takaki's research in the 19th century develops major themes that are immensely important for those interested in contemporary political theory."--Andrew Light,
University of California, Riverside
"Takaki has laid out the development of ideological and institutional racism in America. Iron Cages is destined to become a classic on race and culture in the 19th century America."--Greg Campbell, University of Montana
"A notable contribution....A well-balanced approach to the formation and perpetuation of racism and the establishment of minority status from a historico-political perspective."--Gregory R. Campbell, University of Montana
"An excellent text that gives a solid introduction to those cultural and religious groups that make up American culture. The added dimension of gender and class gives depth to the subject."--Richard Morales, Rochester Institute of Technology
"A book of breathtaking scope....Spans the period between the American Revolution and the Spanish-American War, synthesizes the most recent secondary literature on American social history, and combs the published and private papers of Presidents and poets. Takaki seeks a single set of
relationships, embedded in the very structure of American political economy and social thought, that will explain Americans' attitudes toward and treatment of blacks, Indians, Chinese, and white workers and women, too."--Chronicle of Higher Education
"Stimulating and provocative."--Journal of American History
"The sort of book one has in mind when saying, 'If Americans really knew their own history'...A stimulating and intelligent approach to the history of capitalistic, expansionist society."--Boston Globe
A pathbreaking work by one of the leading scholars in the field, Iron Cages provides a unique comparative analysis of white attitudes toward Asians, Blacks, Mexicans, and Native Americans in the nineteenth century, offering a cohesive study of the foundations of race and culture in America. With a new epilogue that assesses the prospect for race relations in contemporary American society, Iron Cages is important reading for anyone interested in the history of race relations in America. In his provocative new epilogue, "The Fourth Iron Cage," Takaki focuses on race in contemporary society within the context of America's nuclear arms-oriented ceconomy. He compares the Asian-American "model minority" and the black underclass, and extends his analysis to Native Americans, Chicanos, and Puerto Ricans.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 349-365) and index.
Table of Contents
One -- Republicanism
I. The "Iron Cage" in the New Nation
The Birth of a Virtuous People
Race and Republican Society
II. "Diseases" of the Mind and Sun
The "Lovely White"
III. Within the "Bowels" of the Republic
Head Over Heart
Two -- Enterprise
IV. Beyond Primitive Accumulation
Democracy in America:
The Inner World of the Bourgeoisie
The Market Revolution and Race
V. The Metaphysics of Civilization: "The Red Race on Our Borders"
An Age of Confidence
Jibbenainosay: Indian-Hatin in Fantasy
Jackson: Metaphysician of Indian-Hating
VI. The Metaphysics of Civilization: "The Black Race Within Our Bosom"
The Black Child/Savage: A Jacksonian Persuasion
"Warranteeism": A Vision of a "Marx of the Master Class"
Aesculapius Was a White Man: Race and the Cult of True Womanhood
Three -- Technology
VII. An American Prospero in King Arthur's Court
The New Body
White Technology: Anglo Over Mexican
The Triumph of Mind in Ameica
VIII. The Iron Horse in the West
"Red Gifts" and "White Gifts": The World Custer Lost
The Scientific Management of Indians
IX. Civilization in the "New South"
Machines and Magnolias" Black Labor in an Industrial Order
The "Negro Question": "Higher Life" in the South
X. The "Heathen Chinee" and American Technology
Ah Sin in America
A Yellow Proletariat: Caste and Class in Industrial America
A Vision of Catastrophe: Henry George and the American Tower of Babel
Four -- Empire
XI. The Masculine Thrust Toward Asia
The "Iron Cage" in a Corporate Civilization
The New Empire: American Asceticism and the "New Navy"
XII. Down from the Gardens of Asia