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Ethnic America: A History Paperback – February 1, 1981

ISBN-13: 978-0465020751 ISBN-10: 0465020755 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Reprint edition (February 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465020755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465020751
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''[This] should be required reading for anyone interested in policy questions involving race and ethnicity . . . The book's extraordinary merit is its application of demographic and economic analysis to historical and social materials.'' --New Republic

''Ethnic America is at once useful as a concise history of major ethnic groups and significant as a quiet but powerful attack on liberal beliefs about minorities, racism, segregation, and affirmative action.'' --New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

More About the Author

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has published in both academic journals in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

Customer Reviews

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See all 35 customer reviews
I was very pleased with the condition of the book and i have had no issues with ordering online.
Stephanie Segura
Expand on learning about ethnic groups in his another excellent book on the subject "Migrations and Cultures", same topic but goes beyond of borders of United States.
bear44
This well-researched and well-documented book should be required reading in America's high schools.
W. O. Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
There are so many biased books/papers/articles/documentaries on this subject which take some pre-defined viewpoint and attempt to make some moral statement. This book is the only source of information I've ever seen which basically looks at why various ethnic groups behave the way they do, without assumptions, without guilt, without dogma, and without political correctness. This is the kind of book someone might write 500 years from now after the emotions have subsided on the subject.
This book will show you a new way of thinking about race and culture in America, with many surprising facts and concepts.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marvin D. Pipher on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This may well be the best book on American history which you will ever read. It doesn't delve into the politics of the times or discuss America's wars or its economics. What it does do is explore and examine the principal ethnic groups which immigrated to America and which now comprise the American scene. Each group is examined in turn and without prejudice starting with the Europeans (Irish, Germans, Jews, & Italians), going through the Asians (Chinese & Japanese) and Africans (Blacks), and concluding with the Latin Americans (Puerto Ricans & Mexicans). The history of each race or nationality is briefly outlined. The author then describes the status of the members of each group when they left for America, when they left, why they left, what their situation was upon their arrival, where they settled and why, and finally if and how they eventually managed to integrate themselves into the American way of life.

This then is the story of an America which the reader has probably never seen before. Through it the reader will likely learn much about America and its people and perhaps something about him/herself. He or she will also learn a myriad of little known facts about this great country we call home.
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52 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Kevin S. Currie on December 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I wish all books could be like this one. To be sure, Sowell does have an ideology of sorts (being a small 'l' libertarian) but the facts are legitimately objective. One gets facts and stats first and only later the concluding opinion.
Nowadays, it is easy to label any 'compartmentalized' ethnic history as racist. After all, we are all equal right? Sowell argues albeit indirectly that equality exists in a legal sense, but that ethnic groups have undeniable differences. Sowell does not present this as a positive or negative. It just is, and as with any generalization, there are numerous exceptions.
I'm Scottish and Irish. I guess if I was a modern liberal, I would've taken offense to his historical observation that the irish are unusually hot-tempered and have not through history put a huge value on education. The problem is that history shows it to be true. The liberal mistake is to think that a generalization of any kind must be taken personally (ie: because the irish through history have been hot-tempered and because I'm irish, Mr. Sowell must be implying that I have a bad temper.) Mr. Sowell means nothing of the kind. The beauty of equality under law is that generalizations do not apply. This is the problem with liberal policy. Affirmitive action and quotas are based on generalizations (something liberals say they avoid). The generalization is that minority group A can not succeed without the quota, or that all people save for minority group A, have a predisposition against minority group A.
So the beauty of this book lies in it's objectivity. Mr. Sowell shows history as it is. No idealism. No opinion on how things ought to be, disguised as fact. Simply a real glimpse at the history of ethnic America. Hooray for America!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
Mr. Sowell's in depth study of immigrant groups to america (Irish, Chinese, German, Italian, Puerto Rican, Black, and others) is as entertaining as it is insightful. Mr. Sowell attributes America's love with athletics to the arrival of waves of Germans in the 19th century- and their fondness of sport. Each immigrant groups succcess is traced as well as their contributions to the defining of what it means to be American. Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are not true immigrants but migrant workers, hence no improvement in their economic station. Blacks in America only moved out their rural condition in the South during World War II, and are making progress commensurate with immigrant groups after a generation. A great read and an enlightening study
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was required reading for my undergraduate degree. It was probably one of the most interesting and informative books I read at the time and I've kept Sowell's book for more than 14 years! I found the journey for many who have immigrated to the USA facinating and I've learned so much more about their cultures from this one book. It has remained a staple on my bookshelf at work but today I noticed that it was missing (someone must have "borrowed" it). I am ordering another copy!
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