Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Page 3

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Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1980 - 1076 էջ
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From Acadians to Zoroastrians-Asians, American Indians, East Indians, West Indians, Europeans, Latin Americans, Afro-Americans, and Mexican Americans--the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups provides the first comprehensive and systematic review of the many peoples of this country. It should excite all Americans about their nation.

Informative and entertaining, this volume is an indispensable reference work for home, library and office. It establishes a foundation for the burgeoning field of ethnic studies; it will satisfy and stimulate the popular interest in ancestry and heritage. It is a guide to the history, culture, and distinctive characteristics of the more than 100 ethnic groups who live in the United States.

Each ethnic group is described in detail. The origins, history and present situation of the familiar as well as the virtually unknown are presented succinctly and objectively. Not only the immigrants and refugees who came voluntarily but also those already in the New World when the first Europeans arrived, those whose ancestors came involuntarily as slaves, and those who became part of the American population as a result of conquest or purchase and subsequent annexation figure in these pages. The English and the Estonians, the Germans and the Gypsies, the Swedes and the Serbs are interestingly juxtaposed. Even entries about relatively well-known groups offer new material and fresh interpretations. The articles on less well-known groups are the product of intensive research in primary sources; many provide the first scholarly discussion to appear in English. One hundred and twenty American and European contributors have been involved in this effort, writing either on individual groups or on broad themes relating to many.

The group entries are at the heart of the book, but it contains, in addition, a series of thematic essays that illuminate the key facets of ethnicity. Some of these are comparative; some philosophical; some historical; others focus on current policy issues or relate ethnicity to major subjects such as education, religion, and literature. American identity and Americanization, immigration policy and experience, and prejudice and discrimination in U.S. history are discussed at length. Several essays probe the complex interplay between assimilation and pluralism--perhaps the central theme in American history--and the complications of race and religion.

Numerous cross-references and brief identifications will aid the reader with unfamiliar terms and alternative group names. Eighty-seven maps, especially commissioned, show where different groups have originated. Annotated bibliographies contain suggestions for further reading and research. Appendix I, on methods of estimating the size of groups, leads the reader through a maze of conflicting statistics. Appendix II reproduces, in facsimile, hard-to-locate census and immigration materials, beginning with the first published report on the nativities of the population in 1850.

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I bought this at the recommendation of a friend who's an historian, and I've never regretted. It's a volume that should be in the library of every educated American. Read full review

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Հեղինակի մասին (1980)

Stephan Thernstrom is Professor of History, Harvard University, and Director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History.

Ann Orlov is a freelance writer and consultant. From 1968 to 1975 she was Editor for the Behavioral Sciences at Harvard University Press.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Oscar Handlin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he has taught since 1939 and was director of the Center for the Study of the History of Liberty until 1966. From 1979 to 1984, he was director of the university library at Harvard, and, after holding the Charles Warren chair in history for many years, in 1984 he became Charles M. Loeb University Professor. Handlin, who is a consensus historian and a strong advocate of civil rights, has written extensively on urban history and immigration. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952 for The Uprooted (1951), his study of immigrants in the eastern cities of America written from the perspective of the immigrant. The son of immigrant parents himself, he made his special field of study the social history of immigrant groups who came to the United States in the nineteenth century from eastern and southern Europe. In The Americans (1963), as in others of his books, he dispensed with footnotes, bibliography, and identification of quotations in favor of "unobtrusive" learning. Handlin edited Children of the Uprooted (1966), which includes excerpts from various authors on the subject of the "marginality" of immigrants, and collaborated on a number of works with his first wife, Mary, and his second wife, Lillian. On the subject of education, he wrote The American University as an Instrument of Republican Culture (1970) and John Dewey's Challenge to Education: Historical Perspectives on the Cultural Context (1959).

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