A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In A DIFFERENT MIRROR, the late Ronald Takaki--founder of the nation's very first ethnic studies program at UC Berkeley--depicts American history through the lens of race, in much the same way Howard Zinn's A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES focuses on the role of class. Here, the unheard non-Anglo voices of the American narrative are given prominence. The myriad contributions of the various ethnic groups making up the multicultural fabric of our country are put in stark relief, as are the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to claim their rightful places in the tableau. A text of critical importance in understanding the American experience in all its inherent diversity and written with the page-turning immediacy of a novel, A DIFFERENT MIRROR is an indispensible classic.

— Keaton


Upon its first publication, A Different Mirror was hailed by critics and academics everywhere as a dramatic new retelling of our nation's past. Beginning with the colonization of the New World, it recounted the history of America in the voice of the non-Anglo peoples of the United States--Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others--groups who helped create this country's rich mosaic culture.

Now, Ronald Takaki has revised his landmark work and made it even more relevant and important. Among the new additions to the book are:

--The role of black soldiers in preserving the Union
--The history of Chinese Americans from 1900-1941
--An investigation into the hot-button issue of "illegal" immigrants from Mexico
--A look at the sudden visibility of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan.

This new edition of A Different Mirror is a remarkable achievement that grapples with the raw truth of American history and examines the ultimate question of what it means to be an American.

About the Author

Ronald Takaki designed and led the Ethnic Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkley until his retirement in 2004. He is the author of six books, including Strangers from a Different Shore. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316022361
ISBN-10: 0316022365
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: December 1st, 2008
Pages: 529
Language: English