A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

by Ronald Takaki

Paperback(Revised Edition)

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The "brilliant revisionist history of America" ( Publishers Weekly) that dramatically retells our nation's story from the perspective of minorities.

Upon its first publication, A Different Mirror was hailed by critics and academics everywhere as a dramatic new retelling of our nation's past. Beginning with the colonization of the New World, it recounted the history of America in the voice of the non-Anglo peoples of the United States—Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others—groups who helped create this country's rich mosaic culture.

Now, Ronald Takaki has revised his landmark work and made it even more relevant and important. Among the new additions to the book are:

—The role of black soldiers in preserving the Union
—The history of Chinese Americans from 1900-1941
—An investigation into the hot-button issue of "illegal" immigrants from Mexico
—A look at the sudden visibility of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan.

This new edition of A Different Mirror is a remarkable achievement that grapples with the raw truth of American history and examines the ultimate question of what it means to be an American.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316022361
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 12/08/2008
Edition description: Revised Edition
Pages: 529
Sales rank: 54,154
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Ronald Takaki designed and led the Ethnic Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkley until his retirement in 2004. He is the author of six books, including Strangers from a Different Shore. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Table of Contents

1 A Different Mirror: The Making of Multicultural America 3

Part 1 Foundations

Before Columbus: Vinland 23

2 The "Tempest" in the Wilderness: A Tale of Two Frontiers 26

Shakespeare's Dream About America 27

English Over Irish 28

English Over Indian 30

Virginia: To "Root Out" Indians as a People 34

New England: The "Utter Extirpation" of Indians 37

Stolen Lands: A World Turned "Upside Down" 44

3 The Hidden Origins of Slavery 49

A View from the Cabins: Black and White Together 51

"English and Negroes in Armes": Bacon's Rebellion 57

"White Over Black" 62

Part 2 Contradictions

The Rise of the Cotton Kingdom 75

4 Toward "the Stony Mountains": From Removal to Reservation 79

Andrew Jackson: "To...Tread on the Graves of Extinct Nations" 79

The Embittered Human Heart: The Choctaws 83

"The Trail of Tears": The Cherokees 87

"American Progress": "Civilization" Over "Savagery" 91

5 "No More Peck o' Corn": Slavery and Its Discontents 98

"North of Slavery" 99

Was "Sambo" Real? 102

Frederick Douglass: Son of His Master 113

Martin Delany: Father of Black Nationalism 118

"Tell Linkum Dat We Wants Land" 122

6 Fleeing "the Tyrant's Heel": "Exiles" from Ireland 131

Behind the Emigration: "John Bull Must Have the Beef" 132

An "Immortal Irish Brigade" of Workers 137

Irish "Maids" and "Factory Girls" 145

"Green Power": The Irish "Ethnic" Strategy 151

7 "Foreigners in Their Native Land": The War Against Mexico 155

"We Must Be Conquerors or We Are Robbers" 155

Anglo Over Mexican 164

8 Searching for Gold Mountain: Strangers from a Different Shore 177

Pioneersfrom Asia 178

Twice a Minority: Chinese Women in America 191

A Colony of "Bachelors" 195

A Sudden Change in Fortune: The San Francisco Earthquake 200

"Caught in Between": Chinese Born in America 203

Part 3 Transitions

The End of the Frontier: The Emergence of an American Empire 209

9 The "Indian Question": From Reservation to Reorganization 214

The Massacre at Wounded Knee 214

Where the Buffalo No Longer Roam 216

Allotment and Assimilation 220

The Indian "New Deal": What Kind of a "Deal" Was It? 225

10 Pacific Crossings: From Japan to the Land of "Money Trees" 232

Picture Brides in America 233

Tears in the Canefields 237

Transforming California: From Deserts to Farms 252

The Nisei: Americans by Birth 259

11 The Exodus from Russia: Pushed by Pogroms 262

A Shtetl in America 267

In the Sweatshops: An Army of Garment Workers 271

Daughters of the Colony 275

Up from "Greenhorns": Crossing Delancey Street 280

12 El Norte: Up from Mexico 292

Sprinkling the Fields with the Sweat of Their Brows 295

Tortillas and Rotis: Mixed Marriages 300

On the Other Side of the Tracks 302

The Barrio: A Mexican-American World 307

13 To "the Land of Hope": Blacks in the Urban North 311

"The Wind Said North" 312

The Crucible of the City 318

Black Pride in Harlem 325

"But a Few Pegs to Fall": The Great Depression 332

Part 4 Transformations

The Problem of the Color Lines 339

14 World War II: American Dilemmas 341

Japanese Americans: "A Tremendous Hole" in the Constitution 342

African Americans: "Bomb the Color Line" 350

Chinese Americans: To "Silence the Distorted Japanese Propaganda" 359

Mexican Americans: Up from the Barrio 361

Native Americans: "Why Fight the White Man's War?" 367

Jewish Americans: A "Deafening Silence" 371

A Holocaust Called Hiroshima 380

15 Out of the War: Clamors for Change 383

Rising Winds for Social Justice 383

Raisins in the Sun: Dreams Deferred 396

Asian Americans: A "Model Minority" for Blacks? 402

16 Again, the "Tempest-Tost" 405

From a "Teeming Shore": Russia, Ireland, and China 406

Dragon's Teeth of Fire: Vietnam 411

Wars of Terror: Afghanistan 418

Beckoned North: Mexico 426

17 "We Will All Be Minorities" 434

Author's Note: Epistemology and Epiphany 441

Notes 447

Index 519

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A valuable survey of the American experience of several racial and ethnic minorities: readable popular history in the mode of Takaki's Strangers from a Different Shore." —-Kirkus

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A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
LoveIsTheLaw More than 1 year ago
This book should be mandatory reading for adults.  I understand there is a Young People's version, which I look forward to reading with my kids.  I think another reviewer missed the point when they said that this book omitted all of the good things.  The point of this book is to tell the UNtold story and for people to tell it in their own words, about their own experiences.  And yes, that can make some of us uncomfortable, as grim reality often does.
Superwomen More than 1 year ago
This books talks about and exposes all the racial history and tension in America starting from when the first settlers came to America. It talks about a lot of different racial groups that were discriminated against and their fight to achieve to true definition of the American Dream.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first chapter of the book highlights the situation on which people were in.Different cultures existed in America for different reasons;better lifes,escape from oppressions.By them going through the anthinkable,they ended up victorious.The economy of the Americans,them included,grew up.The sense of uniting as a whole nation with diffrent cultures,putting their differences aside,aking the advantage of some was to their better future.
CassandraStrand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Takaki does an absolutely phenomenal job in exploring the history of multicultural America highlighting the often ignored and left out parts of history that showcase just how badly the "white european" treated anyone else. It's a great introduction to real American history not the whitewashed versions heard in grade school. It covers nearly every "race" and ethnicity except the Arabs which is why I can only give it 4 stars. By leaving out Arabs it's left out the immigrants from an entire region of the earth. Otherwise the book covers pretty much everyone. Takaki's writing style is fluid and easy to follow making it easy to read an understand yet contains enough depth that it stimulates thought and discussion.
a211423 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the best books on multi-culturism in America I have read. Mr. Takaki is an excellent writer and uses a comparative approach to understand race and culture through the stories of immigrants.
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CompassionateGrace More than 1 year ago
This is a history of violence in America. While, tragically, the conflict portrayed here is largely accurate, this book is a serious lie of omission. The author has conveniently left out any and all acts of kindness, compassion, or cooperation between races. If your goal is to inspire, validate, or maintain racism, then this is the book for you. If your goal is to understand and heal our country, then stay away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am 14 years old in 8th grade and my teacher is making me read this book. i mean maybe if i were older and actually able to understang and pay attention to what was happening then i would like it. but i definatly do not recoment it for someone my age. it is really stressful.