1st Edition

Diversity in the United States A Cultural History of the Past Century

By Lawrence R. Samuel Copyright 2023
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    Diversity in the United States: A Cultural History of the Past Century is a cultural history of diversity in the United States over the past 100 years. Diversity—defined here as Americans of different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds—is currently very much in the national conversation. The book explores diversity in a historical context, bringing a much-needed perspective on what is a passionate theme in contemporary American society.

    Told chronologically and divided into five 20-year eras, the book sheds new light on the important role that diversity has played in our national identity. The subject is parsed through the voices of intellectuals and journalists who have weighed in on its many different dimensions.

    The primary argument of the work is that the concept of diversity has functioned as a key site of both congruence and division in the United States for the past 100 years, providing a sense of who we are as a people while at the same time exposing inequities based on race, ethnicity, and religion. Both an academic audience and the many readers of nonfiction will find the book to be a valuable and insightful resource.

    Introduction  1: E Pluribus Unum (1920-1939)  2: A Full Partner (1940-1959)  3: Everyone is Ethnic (1960-1979)  Chapter 4: We the Peoples (1980-1999)  5: The Diversity Machine (2000-)  Conclusion  Notes  Bibliography  Index


    Lawrence R. Samuel a Miami-based author and independent scholar. He holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and is the author of many books including Age Friendly: Ending Ageism in America (Routledge, 2022) and The American Middle Class: A Cultural History (Routledge, 2014).

    “This in-depth look at the history and context of current diversity, equity and inclusion trends is an invaluable resource to understanding both the opportunities and challenges of diversity in the United States. Samuel provides a complex but easily digestible analysis of the diversity of American culture from its historical beginnings to today’s fierce debates.”

    Deborah Levine Editor-in-Chief, American Diversity Report

    “Essential reading for students of American culture and anyone interested in the narrative of diversity in America, whether within academic circles or in professional positions.”

    Tracie Jones, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences