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Common Ground: Reimagining American History. Paperback – May 1, 2001

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0691070070 ISBN-10: 0691070075

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Is there an "American" culture or are our supposed common experiences and assumptions merely a social construct largely created by a dominant white European elite? Okihiro, professor of international and public affairs and director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University, examines traditional fissures in American life from an Asian American perspective. Okihiro provocatively suggests that our view of nineteenth-century transcontinental expansion from East to West ignores the role of Asian immigrants moving in the opposite direction. Similarly, his portrait of the 1993 Columbian Exposition suggests it extolled the advance of white civilization, viewed African civilization as barbaric, and virtually ignored the role of East Asian civilizations in forming American "character." Okihiro paints with a broad brush and probably draws unwarranted conclusions from scanty and disputable data. Still, his willingness to think "out of the box" offers an original perspective upon how and why we define ourselves. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"[Common Ground] should take its place . . . as a standard reference. Deftly referencing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Madame Butterfly (Puccini's opera and the modern play,) his own childhood experiences . . . and other richly varied illustrations, Okihiro offers important insights. . . . A must read."--Choice

"Okihiro is a masterly stylist, able to interweave theoretical insight and historical argument in language that is at once sophisticated and colloquial. Individually these essays are fully complete, but read consecutively they assume an added resonance and depth. In this regard, Common Ground is in a class all its own."--Louise M. Newman, Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691070075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691070070
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Y. Okihiro is professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, and is the founding director of Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. He is a past president of the Association for Asian American Studies, and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Studies Association.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Magesage on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Usually I find it very hard to find a captivating history textbook, especially one on American History. When my U.S. History professor required us to read from this text, I definitely had my doubts on being able to sit and focus on reading it. I quickly came to the realization that this book was by far more engaging and imaginative in terms of painting social inequalities than any of the other books I was required to read for the same course. Even though we weren't required to read the entire book, it was written so well that I actually could not put it down! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the connections between assumed dichotomies for 20th Century American History. Even all you non-fiction wary readers should take a look at this book!
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