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on October 20, 1999
This terrific book effectively tells the story of oppression inthe United States and subtly connects the interrelatedness ofoppressions by putting the chapters side by side. The information and sidebars are magnificent in their detail and it is nice to have many sides of history that are so rarely shown. I learned more about history from this book than any history textbook I can remember. The stories of racial, religious, ethnic, and gay oppressions become human stories in this book--hopefully stories that we can learn from and choose not to repeat.
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on July 31, 2001
In an age of sanitized history and calls for revisionism that make people feel comfortable, there is a great need for more books like Jim Carnes' history of intolerance in America. With 128 pages of text and 16 concise chapters this book corrects much of the white washing that is taking place in much longer history texts, even at the college level. Religious liberty, Native American exile, freedom from slavery, racial extermination, and ethnic tensions are highlighted with graphic images and easily accessible narratives. The trials of diverse groups such as Mormons, Catholics, Chinese, Native Americans, Jewish immigrants, Mexican Americans, Japanese citizens, and just playing Americans are dramatically highlighted in an unforgettable montage of images and words that give the lie to the "melting pot" that is the United States.
Paintings, etchings, drawings, and photographs illustrate in no uncertain terms would hate has done to this country. More than that the pictures combined with the simple prose personalizes each inequity that is introduced. For example, "A Rose for Charlie" presents photographs of the community disrupted by hate, as well as that community's response to the hate. From photographs of hate speech scrawled on walls to portraits of citizens mourning the victim of a deadly hate crime present a view of America that could not be farther from the Norman Rockwell ideal we all wish this country would be. For those interested, a fictionalized account of this particular crime can be found in "The Drowning of Stephan Jones" by Bette Greene, which chronicles the death of the young man simply because of who he loved.
It should be an essential book for all classrooms.
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on February 27, 2015
From the Chinese in the mines in California in the 1850s to Mormons in Missouri “Us and Them” shows a dark history of racism, prejudice and discrimination in the United States of America. This timely book is an essential read in learning about a different side of America that doesn’t get discussed as much. Immigrants coming to America usually hear about America being the land of opportunity where dreams come true, but for many groups of people throughout history and to this day America has also been an oppressive country limiting the possibilities of many while in the process stigmatizing and dehumanizing them. The Cherokee Indians are an example of this as whites said they were savages in the 1820’s but in return the whites savagely tortured and imprisoned all Cherokee men, women and children. I recommend this book for anybody just coming to this country living here for the first time as a way to understand an unbiased but insightful view of this country from it’s conception and birth.
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VINE VOICEon July 3, 2007
Jim Carnes explores the other side of American history. In his book, US AND THEM: A HISTORY OF INTOLERANCE IN AMERICA, Carnes introduces readers to issues in US history that are briefly expressed in textbooks. However, this book has a textbook format, but it is informative and insightful when examining the history of the United States in terms of religious, racial, and social intolerance. Although the book may be geared towards social studies and history classes, grades 5-12, or libraries, it is an effective learning tool towards setting the stage to discuss intolerance that has occurred within American history.

US AND THEM covers the most pivotal events in American history that have had a drastic affect on its people and communities. Carnes shows a birds-eye view of societal indifferences and injustices that occurred in the seventeenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century. Each of the chapters in the book are succinct and detailed, however, they leave the reader with a better perspective of events, such as the Salem Witch Trials, the debacle between Protestants and Catholics in Philadelphia in 1844, the Ghost Dance at Wounded Knee, and several other events that happened in the 1980s and 1990s pertaining to ethnic and gender issues.

The narrative and first person accounts situated within the side margins of the pages are helpful in providing the historical background of each particular event. Two essential sections, "At issue" and "The context" synthesize the facts between the myths, and the graphic illustrations within the text may invoke strong emotions and open the doors for discussion and critical analysis; undoubtedly, questions will arise on why issues such as gender, race and religion were problematic issues in history and continue to be today.

Indeed, Carnes and the preface by the late Chief Justice Harry A. Blackmun acknowledge the importance of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and the relevance these documents have toward excluding intolerance and ignorance within society during critical periods, times of war or economic hardships. This book reiterates the importance and the understanding of laws and rights, and should be recommended reading for all ages, especially when judgments of the past are being reinterpreted and transformed.
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on October 27, 2009
There does not seem to be much available for the general reader about the treatment of immigrants to this country. We seem to repeat the same patterns with each new group. A good source of information.
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on August 23, 2005
I would like to start by saying that c. page is correct in saying that this is nothing new, and niether was the ignorance in his/her review. There are hardley any new 'isms' in the world, but there are people (usually younger students) who have been brainwashed into believing that racism is something that is gone in our greater American utopia. Not so, and for those students, this book is a great way to balance out the racist ommision of textbook bias.
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on February 26, 2014
This book gives a good educational insight to the history oh prejudice and discrimination. Very good read for educational purposes.
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on May 18, 2014
This is a very cheap textbook, and I bought it for my ESL class of the U. Very nice one!
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on November 8, 2014
It should be on every reading list in every school in the country.
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on November 29, 2014
Great book. Easy to read. Intended for Junior High students.
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