The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture

Lawrence H. Fuchs, Author
Lawrence H. Fuchs, Author Wesleyan University Press $50 (646p) ISBN 978-0-8195-5122-1
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Fuchs contends that Americans of European descent abandoned their quest to maintain a racially exclusive society only within the last three decades. A founder of the Congress of Racial Equality, this Brandeis professor of American civilization paints a vast, richly detailed tapestry of the immigrant experience, as he examines how European settlers and their children kept non-Europeans--Afro-Americans, Amerindians, Mexicans, Asians, etc.--from sharing full economic and political equality. Although various groups now compete for power in America, the mobilization of ethnic interests has enhanced their interaction without giving rise to the internecine conflicts afflicting so much of the world, Fuchs argues. A notable achievement, kaleidoscopic in scope, this engrossing narrative offers guidance to concerned citizens and policymakers grappling with the persistence of bigotry and an ethnic underclass, and with such issues as illegal immigration, affirmative action and bilingual education. (Jan.)
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