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Rediscovering America: The Making of Multicultural America, 1900-2000 Paperback – September 23, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (September 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609807846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609807842
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blank, who lectures on multiculturalism at the University of California, Berkeley, presents "an overview of twentieth-century America that is both interdisciplinary and multicultural, and therefore more truly comprehensive than other sources." Covering innovations in science and the arts, and featuring contributions by women, gays and lesbians, Native Americans and Latinos (among others), the decade-by-decade timeline of the last century represents virtually all groups and disciplines. Blank enhances the timeline with essays by noted scholars and artists, such as Gerald Vizenor's piece on Wounded Knee (in a quick look at the 19th century), and sidebars, such as one by Meredith Monk on her musical explorations in the 1960s. The word "multicultural" in the title is somewhat misleading-Blank's range is wider than that, including the major historical markers (e.g., elections of presidents, etc.). And it's debatable whether Duncan's and Loie Fuller's contributions to dance fall into the "multicultural" category. Still, students of American history will find this a useful and thorough guide to major events of the last 100 years.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

It is often stated that history is written by the winners. History is also written by people who view events through their own prism; inevitably, that leads them to include and exclude particular events, groups, and individuals in their accounts. The stated purpose of this chronology of the twentieth century is to give proper attention to groups and individuals whose accomplishments have been neglected by mainstream historians. Blank is a writer and artist who lectures at the University of California, Berkeley. The Before Columbus Foundation has promoted multicultural education for more than 20 years. It has provided an informative and useful survey of many important contributions of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and political dissidents over the past 100 years. The narrative is presented as a time line, which is enhanced by short essays and more than 100 photographs (unseen by this reviewer). Although the tone of these essays is often strident and far from objective, they do provide interesting and often surprising details, which provide a richer, fuller view of our history. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Foley on July 20, 2004
Format: Paperback



Carla Blank's "Rediscovering America" is a fascinating look at one of the most complex, destructive, creative centuries of human history: the twentieth. Blank cautions us that her book "is not intended to make a case for presenting the twentieth century as the American century."

Blank's book is by no means a dry, historical textbook; nor is it in the usual sense of the phrase a "time line," though the book is arranged chronologically and we are able to follow several historical themes as we move through it. Rather, it is a book of stories, and they are often very interesting, moving stories. Have you heard of Dr. Charles Drew? In an entry for 1941, Blank writes, "Dr. Charles Drew (1904-1950), an African American hematologist, surgeon, scientist, and educator, develops a long- term preservation technique for blood plasma. This innovation becomes especially crucial to saving lives when it is adopted by the U.S. and Britain on World War II battlefields after Dr. Drew founds the first system of blood banks administered under the American Red Cross. He will die after an auto accident, when the nearest ?white' hospital refuses to give him blood to save his."

That Dr. Drew spent his life saving lives makes the circumstance of his death all the more moving and tragic: who was there to save his?

The cover of "Rediscovering America" presents the book as "written and edited by Carla Blank, The Before Columbus Foundation." The comma is important. Blank was the primary author of the book, but the book contains many contributions from others.
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Format: Paperback
Rediscovering America: The Making of Multicultural America, 1900-2000 seeks to make up for the usual omissions, the oversights or the deliberate exclusions, in any number of US cultural histories. In an inspired series of entries -- writing to photography, politics to science, film to dance, and with a due emphasis on the contributions to the national narrative of women, migrants, dissidents and artists of every stripe -- it supplies a necessary reference volume. Appropriate recognition is given to each and all of the voices that make up the US's multicultural tradition, whether white-ethnic, African American, Native Asian American or Latino/a, which are set within an informative and unfolding timeline of both US and world events. The entries, drawn from recognized expertise, come over succinctly and to the point, helped not a little by the user-friendly overall layout.

A. Robert Lee, The Year's Work in English Studies, Vol. 84,

Oxford University Press (2005)
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More About the Author

Carla Blank is an Oakland, California writer, editor, dramaturge and director. Her most recent non-fiction book, "Storming the Old Boys' Citadel: Two Pioneer Women Architects of Nineteenth Century North America," is co-authored with Canadian architectural historian Tania Martin (Baraka Books, 2014). She is author and editor of the 20th century historical reference "Rediscovering America:The Making of Multicultural America, 1900-2000 (Three Rivers Press, 2003)" which carries the imprimatur of Before Columbus Foundation, and is currently researching a companion volume on 18th through 19th century American history. With Ishmael Reed, she co-edited the anthology "Powwow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience, Short Fiction , From Then to Now (Da Capo Books, 2009)," and was contributing editor on three other anthology projects edited by Ishmael Reed: "Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002 (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003)"; "MultiAmerica, Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace (Viking, 1997)"; and "Califia, The California Poetry (Y'Bird Books, 1979)". Her two volume anthology of performing arts techniques and styles, "Live On Stage! (Dale Seymour Publications, a Pearson Education imprint, 1997, 2000)," was co-authored with Jody Roberts. Still in print and widely referenced in U.S. and Canadian school districts, it is based upon forty years of collaborative performance projects with pre-schoolers through aged adults. Her essays on arts and culture have appeared in El Pais, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Green Magazine, Hungry Mind Review, Konch and Counterpunch.