Schlesinger on Multiculturalism: Right Issue, Wrong Book

Richard W. Nysse

Article Type: Face to Face

Publication Date: 4/1/1993

Paired Article (Face to Face): Schlesinger on Multiculturalism: Complex Question, Simplistic Response

Issue: Literature (Vol. 13, No 2, Spring, 1993)

Arthur M. Schlesinger has written a horrible book on a subject that needs attention. The Disuniting of America protests “the cult of ethnicity,” a cult which according to Schlesinger “abandons historic purposes, replacing assimilation by fragmentation, integration by separatism. It belittles unum and glorifies pluribus” (17). Schlesinger repeatedly asserts, in good liberal fashion, that he favors cultural pluralism but not on the terms set by “multiculturalists.”

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