The Diasporic Imagination of Irish, Polish and Jewish Immigrants in the United States
By (author) Matthew Frye Jacobson
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Special Sorrows by Matthew Frye Jacobson
Book DescriptionConventional wisdom would have us believe that every immigrant to the United States became American, by choice and with deliberate speed. Yet, as Special Sorrows shows us, this is simply untrue. In this compelling revisionist study, Matthew Frye Jacobson reveals tenacious attachments to the Old World and explores the significance of homeland politics for Irish, Polish, and Jewish immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century. Drawing on Yiddish, Polish, and English-language sources, Jacobson discovers the influence of nationalist ideologies in the overt political agendas of such ethnic associations as the Knights of Zion and the Polish Falcons, as well as in newspapers, vernacular theater, popular religion, poetry, fiction, and festivals, both religious and secular. In immigrant communities, he finds that nationalism was a powerful component of popular sensibility. A captivating example of Jacobson's thesis is immigrant reaction to American intervention in Cuba. Masculinist/militarist strains of nationalist culture met with the keen impulse to aid a subjugated people. The three national groups, rich with memories of their own subjugation, found an unlikely outlet in the Caribbean. But when the U.S. war for Cuban liberation was followed by a crusade for Philippine subjugation, immigrants faced a dilemma: some condemned the American empire rich in Old World parallels; others dismissed the Filipinos as racial others and embraced the glories of conquest. In effect, the crucible of American imperialism was vital to many immigrants' Americanization, in the sense of passionate participation in national politics, pro or con. This work answers the call of scholars to recover the full experience of these immigrants. It adds to the tapestry of America's turn-of-the-century political culture and restores an essential transnational dimension to questions of ethnic identity and behavior.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674831858
(235mm x 155mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 6-Mar-1995
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Matthew Frye Jacobson
Roots Too, Paperback (March 2008)
In the 1970s, white ethnics mobilized around a version of the epic tale of plucky immigrants making their way in the New World through the sweat of their brow. This title establishes a broad white social and political consensus arising in response to the political language of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
What Have They Built You to Do?, Paperback (November 2006)
A reassessment of the landmark Cold War film, from Kennedy to Reagan to Halliburton.
Special Sorrows, Paperback (May 2002)
Suitable for readers who are accustomed to the self-congratulatory myth of America as a beacon of liberty to which the 'huddled masses' of the world look with longing.
Whiteness of a Different Color, Paperback (August 1999)» View all books by Matthew Frye Jacobson
Looking at the field of "whiteness studies" and linking it to traditional historical inquiry, Matthew Frye Jacobson shows that in the USA, nation of immigrants, "race" has been at the core of civic assimilation: ethnic minorities in becoming American were reracialized to become Caucasian.
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Author Biography - Matthew Frye Jacobson
Matthew Frye Jacobson is Professor of American Studies at Yale University.
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