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American Identities: An Introductory Textbook

Lois P. Rudnick (Editor), Judith E. Smith (Editor), Rachel Lee Rubin (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-23431-9
384 pages
October 2005, Wiley-Blackwell
American Identities: An Introductory Textbook (0631234314) cover image
American Identities is a dazzling array of primary documents and critical essays culled from American history, literature, memoir, and popular culture that explore major currents and trends in American history from 1945 to the present.

  • Charts the rich multiplicity of American identities through the different lenses of race, class, and gender, and shaped by common historical social processes such as migration, families, work, and war.
  • Includes editorial introductions for the volume and for each reading, and study questions for each selection.
  • Enables students to engage in the history-making process while developing the skills crucial to interpreting rich and enduring cultural texts.
  • Accompanied by an instructor's guide containing reading, viewing, and listening exercises, interview questions, bibliographies, time-lines, and sample excerpts of students' family histories for course use.
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Alternative Contents by Genre.

Preface: How to Use This Book.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction..

Part I: Identity, Family, and Memory.

Understanding Identity.

1. Identities and Social Locations: Who Am I?.

Who Are My People (Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey).

American Families in Historical Perspective.

2. What We Really Miss About the 1950s (Stephanie Coontz).

Memory and Community.

3. Generational Memory in an American Town (John Bodnar).

4. Growing Up Asian in America (Kesaya E. Noda).

Part II: World War II and the Postwar Era 1940-1960.

World War II and American Families.

5. War Babies (Maria Fleming Tymoczko).

6. From Citizen 13660 (Mine Okubo).

The Cold War and Domestic Politics.

7. Containment at Home: Cold War, Warm Hearth (Elaine Tyler May).

8. The Problem That Has No Name (Betty Friedan).

9. The Civil Rights Revolution, 1945-1960 (William H. Chafe).

10. From Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic's Life (Alice Childress).

Family Migrations Urban and Suburban.

11. Songs of the Chicago Blues.

12. Halfway to Dick and Jane: A Puerto Rican Pilgrimage (Jack Agueros).

13. From Goodbye, Columbus (Philip Roth).

Part III: War and Social Movements, 1960-1975.

The Civil Rights Movement.

14. Letter from Birmingham City Jail (Martin Luther KIng, Jr.).

15. Message to the Grass Roots (Malcolm X).

16. Songs of the Civil Rights Movement..

Student Activism.

17. Port Huron Statement (Students for a Democratic Society).

18. The Port Huron Statement at 40 (Tom Hayden and Richard Flacks).

19. From Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (Christian G. Appy).

20. From Born on the Fourth of July (Ron Kovic).

21. From Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans (Richard J. Ford III).

Black and Puerto Rican Power.

22. Black Power: Its Need and Substance (Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton).

23. "Respect" (Aretha Franklin).

24. "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" (James Brown).

25. 13-Point Program and Platform (Young Lors Party).

Women's Lives, Women's Rights.

26. Sources of the Second Wave: The Rebirth of Feminism (Sara M. Evans)'.

27. NOW Bill of Rights (National Organization for Women).

28. The Liberation of Black Women ( Pauli Murray).

29. Jessie Lopez De La Cruz: The Battle for Farmworkers' Rights (Ellen Cantarow).

The American Indian Movement.

30. This Country Was a Lot Better Off When the Indians Were Running It (Vine Deloria, Jr.).

The Occupation of Alcatraz Island (Indians of All Tribes).

The Gay Liberation Movement.

31. Gay Liberation (John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman).

32. The Fighting Irishman (A Damien Martin).

33. The Drag Queen (Rey "Sylvia Lee' Rivera).

The New American Right.

34. From Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Lisa McGirr).

Part IV: A Postindustrial and Global Society, 1975-2000.

Deindustrilzing America.

35. From the Great U-Turn Corporate Restructuring and the Polarizing of America (Bennett Harrison and Barry Bluestone).

36. From "It Ain't No Sin To Be Glad You're Alive": The Promise of Bruce Springsteen (Eric Alterman).

37. A Musical representation of Work in Postindustrial America.

38. Class in America: Myths and Realities (2000) (Gregory Mantsios).

Marriage and Family : Modern and Postmodern.

39. From Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (Kristin Luker).

40. The Making and Unmaking of Modern Families (Judith Stacey).

Multicultural America.

41. From Jasmine (Bharati Mukherjee).

42. Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural (Claudine Chiawei O'Hearn).

43. From the Business of Fancydancing: Stories and Poems (Sherman Alexie).

The United Stats as Borderlands.

44. Through a Glass Darkly: Toward the Twenty-first Century (Ronald Takaki).

45. "To Live in the Borderlands Means You" (Gloria Anzaldua).

46. From No Logo: taking Ami at the Brand Bullies (Naomi Klein).

Part V: The Future of Us All?.

47. Brave New World: Gray Boys, Funky Axtecs, and Honorary Homegirls (Lynell George).

48. From The Future of Us All (Roger Sanjek).

49. The Society That Unions Can Build (David Reynolds).

Text and Illustration Credits.

Index.

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Lois P. Rudnick is Professor of English and American Studies and Director of the American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Judith E. Smith is Professor of American Studies and Director, Graduate Program in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.


Rachel Lee Rubin is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

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  • Collects critical essays and documents from American history, literature, memoirs, and popular culture that explore major currents and trends from 1945 to the present.

  • Charts the rich multiplicity of American identities through the different lenses of race, class, and gender, and shaped by common historical social processes such as migration, families, work, and war.

  • Includes editorial introductions for the volume and for each reading, and study questions for each selection.

  • Enables students to engage in the history-making process while developing the skills crucial to interpreting rich and enduring cultural texts.

  • Accompanied by an instructor’s guide containing reading, viewing, and listening exercises, interview questions, bibliographies, time-lines, and sample excerpts of students’ family histories for course use.
See More
“This unique collection has what students (and their teachers) will find absorbing, provocative, and useful in that perennial quest to locate ourselves in a world we may not have made but that we can understand and change.” Paul Lauter, Trinity College
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