Ethnic America : a history

by Thomas Sowell

Paper Book, 1981




New York : Basic Books, c1981.


One of the greatest dramas in all of modern times involves the peopling of America. In Ethnic America, Thomas Sowell provides a useful and concise record tracing the history of nine ethnic groups: the Irish, the Germans, the Jews, the Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Blacks, the Puerto Ricans, and the Mexicans. Sowell offers perspective-building facts-there are more people of Irish ancestry in the United States than in Ireland and more Jews than in Israel-and explains each ethnic group's varied experiences in adapting to American society.

User reviews

LibraryThing member maryh10000
An analysis of all the major immigrant groups that came to the US and how they faired. Does not throw all non-white populations in the same group. I have refered to this often.
LibraryThing member djaquay
Wonderfully insightful book about the trials and obstacles various ethnic groups have overcome and are overcoming as a part of their migration to America. As usual, reality is a bit more involved than news soundbites lead one to believe, and this book does a nice job exploring a wide range of aspects of immigrant life and progress. (I listened to the audiobook, off eMusic, which was tolerably narrated, albeit nothing to write home about...)… (more)
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
The books is a favorite of mine for its exploration of different ethnic groups and their story in America, their struggles and contributions: the Irish, the Germans, the Jews, the Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Blacks, the Puerto Ricans and the Mexicans. Anglo-Americans are not covered as not being "ethnic"--and neither are Native Americans for similar reasons--since they aren't immigrants but indigenous. It's funny though--one of the bits of information I remember best from this book is a mere footnote about Native Americans--that they remain the poorest group economically. That shocked and saddened me.… (more)
LibraryThing member jwhenderson
Ethnic America is a unique portrait of the great American ethic mosaic. Thomas Sowell relates the history of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and how this history was unique for each group. Within the larger geographic groups he identifies specific ethnic groups that include Irish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Blacks, and others. He analyzes each group providing background context and the results of their success or lack of success in integrating and becoming a part of American culture. His perspective is eye-opening and the results provide both answers and challenges for the interested reader. As a result it has become a favorite of mine for its fascinating exploration of different ethnic groups and their story in America including their struggles and contributions.… (more)



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