In the nineteenth century Herman Melville wrote, "America was settled by peoples of all nations....You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world. We are not a narrow tribe." At the beginning of the twenty-first century, America is more ethnically diverse than ever before. Will we fear this expanding diversity as the disuniting of America, or will we embrace a more inclusive re-definition of our national identity? As the nation's preeminent scholar of multicultural studies, Ronald Takaki invites us to address this question by "debating diversity." The overarching theme of his new anthology is the clash of perspectives over the master narrative of American history--the powerful but mistaken story that this country was settled by European immigrants and that Americans are white. The collection opens with the lively intellectual exchange between Nathan Glazer and Ronald Takaki on ethnicity versus race; it then turns to the contrasting interpretations of the frontier by Frederick Jackson Turner and Takaki. Other debates include: Samuel P. Huntington and Elizabeth Martinezon the diversity of civilizations; Irving Kristol and William Julius Wilson on inner-city blacks; Robert J. Samuelson and Gregory Defreitas on Mexican immigration; Governor Pete Wilson and Chancellor Chang-lin Tien on affirmative action; and James Q. Wilson and Elliott Currie on crime and punishment. The anthology closes with a debate between Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Takaki on whether we as Americans should pursue a vision of our society as a melting pot or as a multicultural democracy. Embedded in all of the essays is the question: "Originating from different shores, can we become one people of the United States of America?" An ideal text for diversity courses in Ethnic Studies, Political Science, American Studies, History, Sociology, Anthropology, and Education, Debating Diversity will stir students to think critically about who we have been and who we are as Americans.
Experiences that Asian Americans had, during World War II.
It is no small irony, historian Ronald Takaki observes, that the armed struggle for democracy abroad "was accompanied by a disregard for our nation's declaration that 'all men are created equal' in the form of institutional racism of many kinds, from the segregation of African American units to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans and the refusal to grant asylum to Jewish refugees. In "Double Victory", Takaki examines the many contributions of America's minorities to the war effort, celebrating the work of Mexican farm laborers and Anglo women welders, of Navajo code talkers and Filipino foot soldiers, who proclaimed themselves to be "men, not houseboys", of Chinese American combat nurses and Asian Indian gunners. These men and women, Takaki writes, made extraordinary sacrifices in their battle against enemies without and enemies within. Although their efforts were not always appreciated at the time, they helped set in motion the struggle for civil rights that would explode two decades later.
History of how Chinese immigrants transformed American cities.
Written for children ages 9-12, this book describes the experiences that immigrants from southeast Asia have had, adjusting to life in the United States.
The bombing of Hiroshima was one of the pivotal events of the twentieth century, yet this controversial question remains unresolved. At the time, General Dwight Eisenhower, General Douglas MacArthur, and chief of staff Admiral William Leahy all agreed that an atomic attack on Japanese cities was unnecessary. All of them believed that Japan had already been beaten and that the war would soon end. Was the bomb dropped to end the war more quickly? Or did it herald the start of the Cold War? In his probing new study, prizewinning historian Ronald Takaki explores these factors and more. He considers the cultural context of race - the ways in which stereotypes of the Japanese influenced public opinion and policymakers - and also probes the human dimension. Relying on top secret military reports, diaries, and personal letters, Takaki relates international policies to the individuals involved: Los Alamos director J. Robert Oppenheimer, Secretary of State James Byrnes, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, and others... but above all, Harry Truman.
The history of Japanese people in America.
One of the country's premier multi-culturalist scholars, Takaki eschews the angry, jargon-ridden ideological polemics that make up the usual artillery of the curriculum wars, opting instead to let America's diverse peoples speak for themselves in excerpts that are both informative and moving. While a few pieces are by familiar figures such as Frederick Douglass and Black Elk, most are by "ordinary" people -- African, Latino, Native American, Irish, Chinese, Jewish, Japanese, Polish, Mexican, Italian, Caribbean, Indian, Puerto Rican, Korean -- who recount their struggles and aspirations eloquently and with dignity.
In many ways it was the plantation labor experience that makes Hawaii unique in the world. Sugar plantations were very labor-intensive operations and workers were needed wherever they could be obtained.
Discusses the history of Asian plantation workers in Hawaii.
Presents a sweeping overview on the history of Asian Americans, from their first arrival to the present generations.
In "Violence in the Black Imagination", Ronald T. Takaki presents three short novels by major African-American leaders in the nineteenth century: "The Heroic Slave", by Frederick Douglass, the leading black abolitionist; "Blake", by Martin Delany, the father of black nationalism; and "Clotelle", by William Wells Brown, a pioneer of the black novel. The novels are accompanied by substantive essays which provide biographical information on the authors and explore the common theme of their works -- the issue of black revolutionary violence in antebellum America.