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.
About the Author:
RONALD FERNANDEZ is Professor of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University. A widely recognized authority on Caribbean and Hispanic-American issues, his most recent publications include Puerto Rico Past and Present: An Encyclopedia, with Serafín Mendez Mendez and Gail Cueto (Greenwood Press, 1998) and The Disenchanted Island: Puerto Rico and the United States in the Twentieth Century (Praeger, 1996).