Diverse Nations: Explorations in the History of Racial and Ethnic Pluralism

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Overview

One of the world’s leading historians of race relations, George Fredrickson in his newest book probes the history of racial and ethnic diversity in the United States and other parts of the world. Diverse Nations explores recent interpretations of slavery and race relations in the United States and introduces comparative perspectives on Europe, South Africa, and Brazil. Notably, the book features groundbreaking work comparing ethnoracial pluralism in France and the United States. In contrast to the similarities of race relations in the United States and South Africa, which both drew rigid domestic color lines, the United States and France have historically diverged greatly in their approaches to racial difference. Yet both are influenced by a common heritage of revolutionary republicanism, extensive immigration, and cultural pluralism. Fredrickson’s rich comparisons provide stimulating new insights into the continuing impacts of slavery and beliefs about race upon our increasingly pluralistic societies.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With a combination of concision, conceptual clarity, and vast learning, George Fredrickson, working on a broad international platform, clarifies and compares the nature of racial and ethnic experiences and policies—in the United States, South Africa, France, and Brazil, with less extended discussions of several other national experiences. There is no better or more fair-minded guide to these issues; Fredrickson's sharply honed essays are essential reading.”

“In Diverse Nations, George Fredrickson ranges across three centuries and analyzes racial and ethnic division—and the possibilities for racial equality and cultural diversity—in societies as different as those of the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, and France. No one can match the transnational erudition, acuity, and sensitivity that Fredrickson brings to the task. It is a great gift to have so many of Fredrickson’s best essays assembled in one volume, and to be able to encounter the full power and sweep of his historical imagination.”

“For more than a generation, George Fredrickson has been one of the leading historians of America’s racial theory and practice and one of our leading exponents of comparative history. This [book] reveals how much is to be gained by seeing America’s racial history in an international perspective and confirms George Fredrickson’s eminence in both fields.”

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Product Details

Meet the Author

George M. Fredrickson is the Edgar E. Robinson Professor of U. S. History (Emeritus) at Stanford. His many books include the prize-winning White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History and Racism: A Short History, which has been translated into five languages.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. 1 Perspectives on Ethnoracial Diversity in the United States

Ch. 1 Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective 11

Ch. 2 The Historical Construction of Race and Citizenship in the United States 21

Ch. 3 America's Diversity in Comparative Perspective 39

Ch. 4 John Higham's Plural America 56

Pt. 2 Slavery and Racism: Historiographic Interventions

Ch. 5 The Skeleton in the Closet 67

Ch. 6 They'll Take Their Stand: Davis and Genovese 78

Ch. 7 America's Original Sin 87

Ch. 8 The Long Trek to Freedom 96

Ch. 9 Redcoat Liberation 105

Ch. 10 Black Hearts and Monsters of the Mind: Race and Identity in Antebellum America 114

Ch. 11 Still Separate and Unequal: The Strange Career of Affirmative Action 125

Pt. 3 Cross-National Comparisons

Ch. 12 Race and Racism in Historical Perspective: Comparing the United States, South Africa, and Brazil 137

Ch. 13 Beyond Race? Ideological Color-Blindness in the United States, Brazil, and South Africa 159

Ch. 14 Diverse Republics: French and American Responses to Racial Pluralism 170

Ch. 15 Mulattoes and Metis: Attitudes toward Miscegenation in the United States and France since the Seventeenth Century 185

Notes 197

Index 217

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