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Is America Breaking Apart? Paperback – September 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691090114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691090115
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,151,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Unlike many other countries, America as a republic has been free of outside intervention in charting its future. From the early Colonists shared English backgrounds through the continuing assimilation of immigrant cultures, social conflict and political protest have created a society that asserts the equality (and individuality) of all. The federal government is likely to be maintained and political citizenship widely realized; the country (in general) has enjoyed economic growth and can see no real threats to its leadership position in the capitalist world. Hall (sociology, McGill Univ.) and Lindholm (anthropology, Boston Univ.) present a reasoned polemic, arguing that the United States, while not without self-doubt, the stain of racism, and other internal conflicts and disparities, has emerged as the worlds most powerful and stable society, not likely to break apart soon. Readable and highly recommended for academics and the general public.Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Amid the clamor of multiculturalism and ``difference'' politics, Americans wonder if their country can remain a cohesive whole. Hall (Sociology/McGill Univ., Canada) and Lindholm (Anthropology/Boston Univ.) argue that our concerns are unfounded and not all that new; for better, and sometimes for worse, we will survive. American unity derives from both historically conditioned institutional patterns and shared cultural values. Historically, oppositional forces coalesced within a flexible and stable two-party system quite early on and citizenship rights steadily if selectively expanded. At the same time, threatening social alternativesbe they the antebellum South or late 19th-century socialist radicalismwere, often quite violently, eliminated. What emerged from all this was a society of core homogeneity, but a homogeneity of a peculiar sort. In the authors' words, we have achieved homogenization by the extension of the American values of individual choice.'' While we may all think alike, we think in terms of individual autonomy, uniqueness, and justice. This does make of us the atomized herd described by so many observers of America. We do value community quite strongly, but only as the voluntary cooperation of equals. Therein lies the rub, for free individuals can always withdraw support from a community. And so we worry. Yet, on the other hand, the tolerant and pragmatic nature of American cultural values, the willingness to forego deep-seated ideological beliefs that demand conformity, paradoxically keeps us together. Much of what the authors say is not that unique, but it is their ambivalence that intrigues. Certainly, a stable society is to be preferred to one constantly in turmoil, but at what price stability? Was not the labor struggle of the late 19th century a legitimate social alternative? Does not a culture of equality mask enormous economic as well asp racial inequalities of the US? Still, the authors find hope in the enduring tensions between American ideals and reality. A slim but very thoughtful volume that is well worth reading. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Covert on July 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this almost hopeful discussion of American societal development, Hall and Lindholm draw upon writers such as Durkheim, Baumgartner, and Garnier to show that America is acutally fortified by its diversity. There are plentiful explorations of race and ethnic issues in contemporary society, providing for a wondefully woven portrait of the American cultural landscape. Hall and Lindholm write in a hopeful and easy to read style, yet their discussion lacks statistical depth for such an important issue. A quality text through and through.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. Had to read it for a course. Very informative and inspiring and upbeat about America and its founding fathers and how we have such a strong country with binding ties.
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