A Different Mirror, by Ronald Takaki
To hear Ronald Takaki, a professor of ethnic studies at Berkeley, tell it, America’s problems with multiculturalism began, literally, on day one. Minutes after the Vikings landed on a beach in Vinland ten centuries ago, they slaughtered a group of Indians attempting to hide nearby.
From this first encounter until the 1990′s, Takaki sees nothing but a long trail of suffering, discrimination, and violence.
Although ostensibly aiming to affirm America’s racial diversity, what A Different Mirror mostly offers is a history of ethnic persecution, from the federal government’s cheating of Choctaw Indians out of their ancestral homes in Georgia, to the long hours of drudgery endured by Irish domestic servants, to the job losses suffered disproportionately by blacks during the Depression.
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