chapter  1
America’s Ethnic Pattern: “Melting Pot” or “Nation of Nations”? (1953)
Pages 14

The chapter suggests the main lines taken by the assimilation of the various ethnic groups that make up the American population. It draws only from the top-most surface of a sea of material, standard histories of the various groups and the leading accounts of the entire process. This material is in large part ten or twenty years old, for the great debate on the assimilation of the ethnic groups, which reached a peak during and shortly after World War I, now seems to have closed, or come to a temporary halt. That would make things simple if the two concepts of the "melting pot" and the "nation of nations" could be assigned to different periods, if people could believe, as so many do, that the earlier American immigrants (Germans, Irish, Norwegians, Swedes, English) did indeed assimilate rapidly, and that for them the "melting pot" worked.