Unmeltable Ethnics: Politics and Culture in American Life

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Transaction Publishers - 486 pages
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"There is no such thing as one homo Americanus. There is no single culture here." So begins this extraordinary volume on ethnicity in America by Michael Novak. The point of this book, which was originally published as The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics, is to raise consciousness about a crucial part of the American experience. Its aim is to involve each reader in self-inquiry. Who, after all, are you? What history brought you to where you are? Why are you different from others? And have you noticed the ways in which you are distinct? The new text now contains a fourth part, "Ethnicity in the Seventies and Beyond," comprising six new chapters: "The New Ethnicity"; "Pluralism: A Humanistic Perspective"; "Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity"; "How American are You if Your Grandparents Came from Slovakia in 1888?"; "One Species, Many Cultures"; and "The Social World of Individuals." The author has also written a comprehensive new introduction, discussing the changes that have occurred since the book was first written, detailing how ethnicity has become a prominent issue in politics, and adamantly denouncing the current trend known as "multiculturalism," which, Novak notes, has been improperly associated with ethnicity. When the book first appeared, Time said that "Novak has attacked the American Dream in order to open up a possible second chapter for it." Newsweek called it "a tough minded provocative book which could well signal an important change in American politics." Unmeltable Ethnics is of significant interest to sociologists, political theorists, and scholars and students interested in ethnicity, and how it has become part of the mid-1990s debate on American society and its future.
 

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Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
ix
Preface to the Paperback Edition 1973
xxxvii
Preface 1971
xlix
Acknowledgements
lv
ETHNIC ASSERTION
1
YOU CANT GO HOME AGAIN I
59
Inferiority in America
85
Remembrance
137
THE NEW ETHNIC POLITICS
277
The Ethnic Democratic Party
314
The New Ethnicity
345
A Humanistic Perspective
360
Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity
387
How American Are You If Your Grandparents
399
One Species Many Cultures
420
The Social World of Individuals
437

THE INTELLECTUALS AND THE PEOPLE
157
The Concept of the AvantGarde
181
Jewish and Catholic
197
Authentic? Authoritarian?
232
Notes
453
Bibliography
471
Index
481
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