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.