The melting pot is a myth, according to Fernandez, who shows that the United States is and always has been a banquet of cultures. As he argues, the best way to deal with the more than 20 million new immigrants since 1965 is to accept, recognize, and eagerly explore the differences among the American people.
Fernandez seeks to forge a positive national consensus based on two building blocks. First, the nation's many ethnic groups can be a powerful source of unprecedented economic, artistic, and scientific creativity. Secondly, the nation's many ethnic groups offer a way to erase the black/white dichotomy which, masks the shared injustices of millions of European, Asian, African, Native, and Latino Americans. This is a provocative analysis of how we arrived at our current ethnic and racial dilemmas and what can be done to move beyond them. Scholars and students of American immigration and social policy as well as concerned citizens will find the book equally rewarding.
Fernandez has eloquently critiqued America's obsession with race, color, and immigrant `dangers'....Fernandez valiantly demands that we genuinely cherish ethnic and cultural difference. All levels.
...informative and interesting.
^IAmerica's Banquet of Cultures^R breaks new and significant ground on ethnicity, race and immigration.
...a provocative blend of observation and policy suggestion....useful in teaching undergraduates, particularly for those instructors who like to use unconventional thinking and opinion to shake students free from the shackles of their everyday assumptions.
The Americas of which the United States is but one, albeit an iconic part, continue to invite deep analysis, insightful commentary, and practical directions towards a future capable of coping creatively with the dilemma of difference. Ronald Fernandez's ^IAmerica's Banquet of Cultures^R is a timely contribution to the continuing discourse on ethnicity, race and the immigration that underlie the textured diversity which is already the hallmark of 21st century life on planet Earth. It is indeed an invaluable and welcome addition to the expanding literature in the still emerging field of Cultural Studies.
^IAmerica's Banquet of Cultures^R breaks new and significant ground on all three of Fernandez's principal emphases: ethnicity, race and immigration. He has again used the Presidential libraries to uncover a considerable amount of neglected or unanalyzed material. I was especially impressed with his overview of a hundred years of undocumented Mexican migration to the United States. He lets U.S. officials speak for themselves in a manner that underlines the hypocrisy and contradictions of Washington's attitudes toward Mexico and its migrants.