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The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society
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The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The classic image of the American nation — a melting pot in which differences of race, wealth, religion, and nationality are submerged in democracy — is being replaced by an orthodoxy that celebrates difference and abandons assimilation. While this upsurge in ethnic awareness has had many healthy consequences in a nation shamed by a history of prejudice, the cult of ethnic ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 17th 1998 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published May 1st 1991)
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A definitive assessment of the state of the Union in the early 1990's, and the unfortunate rise of multiculturalist extremism and "political correctness", a quagmire from which the nation has yet to emerge. Schlesinger pulls no punches and doesn't shy away from sacred cows. You couldn't ask for a better book on the subject.
This book was really interesting. It was not what I expected- I was surprised by the fact that it was not exactly what one would consider politically correct. As I was reading it, I came to find that the author, Arthur Schlesinger is an opponent of minority movements because he views them as separatist extremists. He also acknowledges that the usage of political correctness, the "corruption of history" (by some- especially the "Afro-centrics") and the manipulation of the educational system as th ...more
I absolutely love Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. I believe he was one of the greatest political scientists/historians in our generation. He is a fantastic writer and he is thorough in his research.

This book is probably one of the shortest he has ever written (at least of what I have read thus far) but it is no less important. It is interesting and he really gives his observations of American society and the different cultures that are in it.

I would classify this as a "must read" because it is a quick
well, its important to read things with which i know i won't necessarily agree. Well written and thoughtful and thankfully short. Schles attacks multiculturalism with some decent arguments but im skeptical about his evidence...he sites extreme examples of intellectuals pushing multiculturalism and glosses over american exclusion to its Creed as mere hiccups in the constant march toward progress, that our already well in the rearview mirror.

I did find interesting the time he gives to discuss wha
Brett Williams

Schlesinger served the Kennedy administration, heavily involved in advancing Civil Rights. Any memory of pre-1960s America justifies his passion. Even lynching of African Americans was not illegal until Truman made it so in 1948. Images of fire hose and German Shepard attacks on peaceful black protestors or their white supporters remains a stark American memory. His book, however, is an alert to those of reason regardless of affiliation that the movement has run off its tracks. But th
Paul Brandel
I see that Schlesinger's book is very controversial.Well count me in the the readers who loved this book.AS was btw a liberal,not a conservative or neocon.Nor did he hate black folks.I felt he was spot on about the extremes of multiculturalism.The lack of appreciation of our inherited Western Culture,which is the greatest culture in the world,bar none!
We Americans have become too PC,for example,alot of people have contributed to our nation,Asians,Indians,African-Americans,etc.But make no mistak
Absolute crap. Wrote my undergrad thesis in opposition to everything it had to say about American history and multiculturalism. If I could give it no stars, I would.
Useful as a source on neocon reaction to multiculturalism. AS Jr's central assumption, that American was united until racist/separatist/PC/multiculturalists ruined it, in itself is flawed. While here and there he gestures towards white crimes against persons of color and the importance of diversity, AS offers up yet another white man's retrenchment handbook that misreads history, relies on reductive binaries, and clings to a mythical image of America that never existed in reality. The book's ton ...more
Cooper Cooper
At the height of the “political correctness” mania in the late Eighties the late Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. got all upset about the excesses of “multiculturalists” in the United States and wrote this short but impassioned piece to zap them. It is a bit dated, but still a good book that: marshals the most telling anti-political-correctness arguments, and is (typical of Pulitzer prizewinner Schlesinger) very well written. His basic argument is this: the U.S. constitutes the greatest and most success ...more
Reread this as an adult: the younger me was ready to burn it. Not because of the anti pc credo throughout, I am a fan, but because of the way A.S. cherry-picked the most extreme examples to further his assessment. I cannot tell you how weary I am of the now predictable and pat response to a discussion of slavery: Africans sold each other into slavery long before the Europeans blah blah blah...It really is an inane argument folks. More importantly, the younger me hated this book for the sort of c ...more
This book is a little gem; a must read for anyone interested in one of the major (if not the main) problems presently facing the United States. Let me say this: if you're a liberal then you'll probably poop your pants and give the book a low rating for Schlesinger gives sufficient reason to doubt the doctrine that 'you' tend to so arrogantly advocate: cultural relativism. But, obviously enough (or so I would think), not all cultures are the same in value (as demonstrated by the nature of the ind ...more
It's a short read, much like sitting through a lecture easily digestible. There are many good points raised in it especially against Afrocentrism. Despite the fact being twenty years old it still holds relevancy to today's world.
Chris Radjenovich
There were many time where he contradicted himself. He would say multiculturalism in a postive light, but in the next page say it in a negative one. He talked about the horrors of nationalism creating the past, yet defended another one.

However, it was good to get a liberal and moderate-leftist criticism of multiculturalism. Especially how he said not freedom of speech, but persecuting it on the basis of "hate speech" actually gives way to the right to ban speech they deem "hateful", and they are
This book talks about how Americans are too much insisting on themselves as African-American, Italian-American, Asian-American, etc. without seeing themselves so much as Americans. Any educated person is aware of this type of argument.
I read this for a college class. Wasn't one I would have read out of choice, but it was okay and insightful.
Schlesinger will always be one of my favorite historians of the modern era.
Eli Kalderon
A groundbreaking and genre-setting text in the Americanism of modality.
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Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger, was a Pulitzer Prize recipient and American historian and social critic whose work explored the liberalism of American political leaders including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. He served as special assistant and "court historian" to President Kennedy from 1961 to 1963. He wrote a detailed account of th ...more
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