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Americans No More Hardcover – September, 1996

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Well known for her 30 years of journalism, as a columnist for the United Press Syndicate and a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, Georgie Anne Geyer's analysis of the fracturing of American society draws on extensive research and discussions with academics. While she deplores illegal immigration, she is disturbed too by recent trends among legal immigrants toward resisting assimilation, to the extent even of denying the primacy of English in some cases. The result, she argues, is a profound identity crisis in the United States, a nation created by immigrants but now with its established values threatened by a continued inflow of non-Americans.

From Publishers Weekly

"I am a true universalist, appreciating every culture," syndicated columnist Geyer declares in her preface. Not surprisingly, she fears American balkanization, the valuing of group rights over individual rights and national identity, calling it "a mostly nonviolent version of Yugoslavia." Her rambling book argues that our sense of citizenship has declined, from the insipid citizenship test required for immigrants to the new movement to allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections because they pay local taxes. She reprises legitimate criticisms of immigration and refugee policy but lapses into an exaggerated attack on campus multiculturalism and governmental paternalism. Though most critical of the left, Geyer argues that commercialism has also eroded citizenship. The book often reads like a series of disjointed columns, and people she approves of?e.g., opinion-researcher Daniel Yankelovich and Robert Woodson Sr. of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprises?are granted adjectives like "brilliant" or "bright." She says little about America's racial or wealth divide, nor does she find much strength in America's multiethnic reality. While her book does make some important criticisms, Geyer's first-person voice offers as much melodrama as insight.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr; 1st edition (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871136503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871136503
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,113,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book on a whim at the airport discount bookstore for a song. When I started reading this book I was amazed how accurate Ms. Geyer had predicted the future (This book was written in 1996).
One of the most important points of the book is that the weakening and outright destruction of the idea citizenship is the crux of many of America's problems. Not race or religion as some of the other reviews claim (I wonder if they actually read the book).
I highly recommend reading this book for insights on possible ways we can avoid a balkanization of the USA. Bring back the strength of real Citizenship and strengthen this country for all of its citizens.
America needs to be a melting pot with a common thread of freedom and American ideals (read 'real' citizenship), not a collection of groups with loyalties that lie elsewhere that are constantly lobbying for their rights over the good of the individual citizen.
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Format: Hardcover
Georgie Anne Geyer is a veteran foreign correspondent who has also written books such as Buying the Night Flight: The Autobiography of a Woman Foreign Correspondent, Predicting the Unthinkable, Anticipating the Impossible: From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to America in the New Century, Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro, etc.

She wrote in the Preface to this 1996 book, "This is a controversial book, although it deals with questions whose answers were so generally assumed and accepted by the American people for more than two centuries... that many Americans might wonder why they and this volume should be controversial at all. It is a measure of how far we have traveled from a strong sense of our national identity that the old questions that gave form to America---What makes an American citizen? Who belongs to the American polity, and why?---should now need to be posed again."

She notes that noncitizens have already been given the vote in local elections, such as school board elections. (Pg. 59) She points out that 26% of the 76,000 inmates in federal prisons are now aliens. (Pg. 264) She cites statistics that "fully 90 percent of Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles were not citizens; only around 30 percent were fluent in English; and only 20 to 25 percent completed high school." (Pg.
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By A Customer on November 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As someone who lived in southern California for a decade, I see the truth in this book. It may be too late already, but these issues should be seriously addressed. Left-wing hysterics will be sure to hate it, but they can't stop the argument by hurling epithets and making bogus comparisons to Nazi Germany and/or Stalinist Russia
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Format: Hardcover
Here in 2008 this 12 year old book amazes in how it touches so many issues around illegal immigration. Lack of assimilation. Fake IDs. Day Labor Centers. The Ford Foundation. Loyalty to Aztlan. The cheapening of citizenship. And the big one, balkanization of America.

Geyer is first and foremost a journalist. She interviewed X who said this. She visited Y where she saw that. Being a hot-shot in her trade, she does get big names on record and worldwide locations into the picture. She is alarmed, some say without reason. True, in the 12 years since she published there has not been civil war between ethnic groups in the US. We have not, like Canada, become officially bilingual. However, one can hardly say the tensions are less. One cannot say there's no potential for a racist firebrand attempting power by becoming the spokesman for his "Raza". We have made it this far, but Geyer's book is, unfortunately, still relevant.

To call her book "scaremongering" is irresponsible. Reviewers who've called her fascist are ignoring her dislike of corporate-government collusion in the addition of plentiful low-wage labor to the American scene. It is inaccurate to call someone fascist if they are merely patriotic.

Minus two stars for failing to give a clear statement of what American citizenship should mean. Communities of self-actualized positive souls? Willing participants in local civic governance? Everyone washes their hands, even without signs on the mirrors? Absence of bribery? Uniformly polite public behavior? She circles. She hints. But she fails to state.
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Format: Hardcover
American patriots will be forever grateful to Geyer for her ample contribution to reversing the decline of American citizenship. However, I doubt that people can shed their ethnicity as easily as she implies. Nor does she explain why immigrants are needed at all. Americans can give birth to the next generation of citizens, the same as all other nations. And if our citizenship is in need of repair, immigration isn't going to help.
She blames ethnic problems on a few bad men stirring up trouble. That ethnic groups have leaders, tells us nothing about what an ethnic group is and why people feel attached to their ethnic group. Nor does this book. Ethnicity is consistently disparaged as in ANM: "... all the old differences and hatreds that divided men so murderously according to tribe, clan and creed." (p46) For every "ethnic hatred" example, I could give an example of "national hatred" or "country hatred." Please note that two World Wars were carried out by dozens of COUNTRIES not CLANs. What is an ethnic group? It is a group that customarily intermarries. That is simply the social nature of humans. What is evil about that?
What is a nation? Unfortunately, this is not discussed. But I suggest it is one or more CLOSELY related ethnic groups, fully assimilable, that considers itself to be one people, of a right to sovereignty, independence and self government.
The use of the term "hatred" stops discussion and thought processes. At the base of any ethnic conflict are people wanting to survive. People want their families and their ethnic groups to survive because these are the carriers of their genetic and cultural heritage. Land, independence, and security are key elements of survival.
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