Becoming Old Stock: The Paradox of German-American Identity / Edition 1

Becoming Old Stock: The Paradox of German-American Identity / Edition 1

by Russell A. Kazal
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691050155

ISBN-13: 9780691050157

Pub. Date: 07/06/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

More Americans trace their ancestry to Germany than to any other country. Arguably, German Americans form America's largest ethnic group. Yet they have a remarkably low profile today, reflecting a dramatic, twentieth-century retreat from German-American identity. In this age of multiculturalism, why have German Americans gone into ethnic eclipse—and where have

…  See more details below

Overview

More Americans trace their ancestry to Germany than to any other country. Arguably, German Americans form America's largest ethnic group. Yet they have a remarkably low profile today, reflecting a dramatic, twentieth-century retreat from German-American identity. In this age of multiculturalism, why have German Americans gone into ethnic eclipse—and where have they ended up? Becoming Old Stock represents the first in-depth exploration of that question. The book describes how German Philadelphians reinvented themselves in the early twentieth century, especially after World War I brought a nationwide anti-German backlash.

Using quantitative methods, oral history, and a cultural analysis of written sources, the book explores how, by the 1920s, many middle-class and Lutheran residents had redefined themselves in "old-stock" terms—as "American" in opposition to southeastern European "new immigrants." It also examines working-class and Catholic Germans, who came to share a common identity with other European immigrants, but not with newly arrived black Southerners.

Becoming Old Stock sheds light on the way German Americans used race, American nationalism, and mass culture to fashion new identities in place of ethnic ones. It is also an important contribution to the growing literature on racial identity among European Americans. In tracing the fate of one of America's largest ethnic groups, Becoming Old Stock challenges historians to rethink the phenomenon of ethnic assimilation and to explore its complex relationship to American pluralism.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691050157
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/06/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
390
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

Part One: 1900

Chapter One

German Philadelphia: A Social Portrait 17

Chapter Two

Two Neighborhoods 43

Part Two: Confronting Assimilation, 1900-1914

Chapter Three

The Gendered Crisis of the Vereinswesen 79

Chapter Four

Destinations: The Ambiguous Lure of Mass Commercial and Consumer Culture 95

Chapter Five

Destinations: Fractured Whiteness, "American" Identity, and the "Old Stock" Opening 109

Chapter Six

Resisting Assimilation: Middle-Class and Working-Class Approaches 130

Part Three: Storm, 1914-1919

Chapter Seven

European War and Ethnic Mobilization 151

Chapter Eight

Intervention, the Anti-German Panic, and the Fall of Public Germanness 171

Part Four: Reshaping Identities in the 1920s Chapter Nine An Ethnicity Subdued 197

Chapter Ten

Changing Neighborhoods 213

Chapter Eleven

Middle-Class Germans: American Identity and the "Stock" of "Our Forefathers" 232

Chapter Twelve

Workers and Catholics: Toward the "White Ethnic" 246

Conclusion Pluralism, Nationalism, Race, and the Fate of German America 261

Appendix The Neighborhood Census Samples 283

Notes 291

Index 371

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >