Andre's Reviews > A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki
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's review
May 17, 2012

really liked it
Read in May, 2012

Solid and illuminating history of minority/non-white cultures in the US from pre-independance to ~2006. Much of it really depressing. I know, of course, that everybody was oppressed, but damn! So many ways to oppress people! And basically every non-white group, for 300 years.

It really makes me want to think of the history of the US as an endless vale of tears, rights denied, opportunities barred, and dreams deferred. Americanness(oppression) > Americanness(freedom), in short. Why, again, is anyone proud to be an American?

Sigh. I don't know, is it really bad as all that? Anyway, the book is actually fairly upbeat about the whole thing, which is impressive. Do recommend.

One stylistic peeve: sentences "where" there are "small groups" of words in quotes, "strung" together by words "by the author." I guess this is common in the humanities subset of academia, but I find it looks like shit on the page and raises distracting questions in my mind about what the quoted sentences (paragraphs?) originally looked like.

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