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Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America
In the 1950s, America was seen as a vast melting pot in which white ethnic affiliations were on the wane and a common American identity was the norm. Yet by the 1970s, these white ethnics mobilized around a new version of the epic tale of plucky immigrants making their way in the New World through the sweat of their brow. Although this turn to ethnicity was for many an ind ...more
Hardcover, 483 pages
Published February 17th 2006 by Harvard University Press
(first published 2006)
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Much too detailed. Jacobson's use of examples to back up his argument may have been laudable from an academic standpoint, but for a college undergrad the prolific references to films and novels from the 70s were dreadfully boring and rather ineffective. I got lost in the lists of names, and often could not figure out the main point he was trying to make. The topic itself is interesting - white ethnic revival and the theme of a "usable past" - but I feel I could learn as much from reading a summa ...more
This is a great concept for book. Jacobson digs into all kinds of expressions of public culture from movies, to music, to politics, and shows how American identity and American culture has been reframed. The book is best read as a series of essays and some are stronger than others. In addition to its strong central thesis, it is full of sparkling tidbits and revelations that you'll desperately want to slide into conversations.