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Description - The English-Only Question by Dennis E. Baron

Should the United States declare English its official language? The "English only" question, which has plagued American citizens since the founding of the country, is the focus of heated debate, with an English Language Amendment to the Constitution pending in Congress since 1981. This book provides an historically based discussion of this issue. The author explores the philosophical, legal, political, educational, and sociological implications of the official-English movement, tracing the history of American attitudes toward English and minority languages during the past two centuries. He describes how battles to save English or minority languages have been fought in the press, the schools, the courts, and the legislatures of the country. According to Baron, the impulse to impose English and limit other languages has repeatedly arisen during periods of political or economic ferment, when non-English speakers have been targeted as subversive, unemployable, or otherwise resistant to assimilation. However, says the author, many supporters of the English Language Amendment are not xenophobic but are people who believe in the ideal of one language for one nation and who argue that mastery of English is the only way to succeed in America. He discusses the recent background of the English Language Amendment, explains the arguments on each side, and assesses its future.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780300056600
ISBN-10: 0300056605
Format: Paperback
(209mm x 139mm x mm)
Pages: 248
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 29-Jul-1992
Country of Publication: United States

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