A work of serious intent that is certain to arouse controversy.

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WHO ARE WE?

THE CHALLENGES TO AMERICA’S NATIONAL IDENTITY

Scholarly analysis of the American national identity as it has evolved over the centuries, the challenges it now faces, and the choices that lie ahead.

Huntington (History/Harvard; The Clash of Civilizations, 1996, etc.) argues that Anglo-Protestant culture, traditions, and values and the principles of the American Creed—liberty, equality, law, individual rights—have made this country what it is. In recent decades he sees doctrines of multiculturalism and diversity elevating racial, ethnic, and gender over national identity, and an increased tendency of immigrants, especially Hispanics, to maintain dual identities rather than to assimilate. The result is an emerging bilingual, bicultural society fundamentally different from the one of the three previous centuries with its Anglo-Protestant, English-language core. Controversies over racial preferences, immigration, and an official language are, he notes, battles in a single war over national identity, with substantial elements of the country’s elites in academia (himself not included), the professions, and the media on one side and the general public on the other. Huntington bolsters his analysis with impressive statistics, and he assembles persuasive examples to illustrate the changes he sees taking place. To the question of whether a nation lacking a cultural core can define itself by ideology alone—that is, can America be a coherent nation if the American Creed is its sole source of national identity?—his answer is a firm no. A nation’s soul, he states, is determined by a common history, traditions, and culture. As to where we go from here, he sees the world entering a new age of religion, one in which the nation’s ideological war with militant communism has been replaced by a religious and cultural war with militant Islam. He outlines three possible approaches to the country’s role in the world: cosmopolitanism, in which the US welcomes the world, its ideas, its goods, and its people; imperialism, in which the US is the dominant component of a supranational empire reshapes the world; and nationalism, in which the US does not try to eliminate the social, political, and cultural differences between itself and other societies but seeks to preserve and strengthen its own defining qualities. Elites may favor cosmopolitanism or imperialism, but most Americans, Huntington says, are, like him, patriots committed to nationalism.

A work of serious intent that is certain to arouse controversy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-684-87053-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2004

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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