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 recounts 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. From the role of black soldiers in preserving the Union to the history of Chinese Americans from 1900 to 1941, from an investigation into the issue of "illegal" immigrants from Mexico to a look at the sudden visibility of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Takaki's work 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.
©1993 Carol Takaki (P)2011 Tantor
"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)
This is an excellent book which provides a fascinating account of the many minorities, their attitudes, and the struggles, prejudices, hostilities and as well as acceptances encountered over a wide span of U.S. history. As immigrants to the United States from Mexico and other lands today face increasingly shrill hostility and restrictive laws, "A Different Mirror" is a necessary mirror that reflects a history that has been missed, if not entirely left out of the discussions about immigration and multiculturalism and the conventional historical narrative, or whatever exists thereof. Needless to say, this is a book which is sure to engender humility and compassion. It deserves a large audience. Although at the very start the production sounded a bit tinny, the sound quality and reading turned out to be exceptionally good.
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