Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America
Matthew Frye Jacobson (Yale University)
In the 1950s, America was seen as a vast melting pot in which white ethnic affiliations were on the wane and a common American identity was the norm. Yet by the 1970s, these white ethnics mobilized around a new version of the epic tale of immigration. The language and symbols of hardworking, self-reliant, and ultimately triumphant European immigrants found in literature, film, the visual arts, and scholarship have exerted tremendous force on political movements and public policy debates from affirmative action to contemporary immigration. In order to understand how white primacy in American life survived the withering heat of the Civil Rights movement and multiculturalism, Matthew Frye Jacobson argues in his new book Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America for a full exploration of the meaning of the white ethnic revival and the uneasy relationship between inclusion and exclusion that it has engendered in our conceptions of national belonging.