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

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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

  • ISBN-13: 9781594515743
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2009
  • Series: U.S. History in International Perspective
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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


Part One: Perspectives on Ethnoracial Diversity in the United States

Chapter 1: Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective
Chapter 2: The Historical Construction of Race and Citizenship in the United States
Chapter 3: America’s Diversity in Comparative Perspective
Chapter 4: John Higham’s Plural America

Part Two: Slavery and Racism: Historiographic Interventions

Chapter 5: The Skeleton in the Closet
Chapter 6: They’ll Take Their Stand: Davis and Genovese
Chapter 7: America’s Original Sin
Chapter 8: The Long Trek to Freedom
Chapter 9: Redcoat Liberation
Chapter 10: Black Hearts and Monsters of the Mind: Race and Identity in Antebellum America
Chapter 11: Still Separate and Unequal: The Strange Career of Affirmative Action

Part Three: Cross-National Comparisons

Chapter 12: Race and Racism in Historical Perspective: Comparing the United States, South Africa, and Brazil
Chapter 13: Beyond Race? Ideological Color Blindness in the United States, Brazil, and South Africa
Chapter 14: Diverse Republics: French and American Responses to Racial Pluralism
Chapter 15: Mulattoes and Métis: Attitudes toward Miscegenation in the United States and France since the Seventeenth Century

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