The Unmaking of Americans Unmaking of Americans: How Multiculturalism Has Undermined the Assimilation Ethic How Multiculturalism Has Undermined the As

John J. Miller, Author Free Press $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-684-83622-5
Miller, a former fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, is an unabashed critic of the notion that ethnic and racial minorities need to maintain their cultural identity. He argues that multiculturalism is a theory of elite intellectuals who have no feel for what it means to be an American. The result, he maintains, diminishes the values that have made this country great. Between 1880 and 1920, 25 million immigrants arrived here and assimilated by learning English, working hard and adopting the customs of the host country. This model has been replaced, Miller suggests, by government policies that encourage separatism and produce groups more concerned with their private interests than in participating in the American tradition. The author opposes affirmative action, bilingual education in public schools and what he charges is a watered-down process for becoming a citizen. He describes himself as a man of the center--in between the radical proponents of multiculturalism and nativist reactionaries who would bar immigrants completely. When not pursuing his ideology, Miller presents interesting historical data and cogent analysis of government programs, particularly concerning the negative effects of bilingual education on children's facility to master English. The ability to communicate in English, he concludes, is crucial to success in America and to understanding how our democratic system operates. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
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