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Posted August 7, 2002
Arthur Schlesinger, one of America's foremost historians, asks the penetrating questions that need to be asked about multiculturalism. Most people who posit 'political correctness' and multiculturalism, don't seem to think through the consequences. Schlesinger has the long view, and asks the right questions, and reveals what the true consequences will be. For example, he shows that there is no link between children reading positive things about their 'group' and having their self-esteem boosted (Italian kids don't feel better about themselves after reading that the Romans ruled the world). Multiculturalism, instead of being inclusive, actually shuts minorities out. It wants to enclose us all in our group 'boxes', so that, for example, blacks should read about blacks, whites about whites. This sounds like a white racist agenda, but it often comes from the multiculturalists. The multi-culti agenda often backfires, resulting in more isolation for minorities. Hispanic bilingualism actually tends to shut out Hispanic kids from mainstream life in America. But, as the author shows, English will not go away. In Shakespeare's day, 4 million people spoke English, now it is 1.5 billion. The ultimate question for America is this: are we going to be a nation unified by a single culture, history, and creed, or a Balkanized country of groups. Schlesinger shines much needed light on this often murky issue.
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Useful study of multiculturalism
This is a brilliant essay on multiculturalism. Schlesinger points out that "a common language is a necessary bond of national cohesion." So we should do everything possible to ensure that those who live here in Britain can speak English.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
We need to have a common culture, in our single society, of one nation. We should defend British working class culture, which is the positive aspect of our country's history, while rejecting the bourgeoisie's imperial, reactionary culture. Schlesinger writes, "Belief in one's own culture does not require disdain for other cultures." This is like self-respect - respecting oneself does not mean disrespect for other people.
Posted June 6, 2009
A chance to review where we are at a time of possible historic change
I used this book for my book club.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The meeting was in Febuary 2009.
I had first read it in college.
It was a good starting place for a three hour discussion of the possible sea changes we maybe approaching.
I wish it and I had a little more in depth historical background but it worked great as a kick off point for our discussion.
Posted May 13, 2003
Intellectual Honesty From A Liberal
This is an unblinkered look at multiculturalism for people who want to figure out where the beef is. Schlesinger's answer? What little's there is hiding under a pickle. While he wouldn't say it this way, what Schlesinger gets across is this: Multiculturalism is a misnomer. There's no such thing. Culture is just whatever happens to be. What America has right now is a multi-ethnic culture with two genders. Big surprise. Another big surprise: When people of any ethnicity or either gender assert what multi-culturalists like to call the dominant culture's values -- meaning, when they assert their rights -- it works. Get the idea? Even though we should admit that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence from a position that was insular by comparison with ours...the fact is that the ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence represent all people. The ideas live. They work. They're...dare I say it...RIGHT.
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Posted December 22, 2008
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