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“You hold in your hand a dangerous book. Because it rejects as it clarifies most of the current wisdom on race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States, The Ethnic Myth has the force of a scholarly bomb.” -from the Introduction by Eric William Lott
In this classic work, sociologist Stephen Steinberg rejects the prevailing view that cultural values and ethnic traits are the primary determinants of the economic destiny of racial and ethnic groups in America. He argues that locality, class conflict, selective migration, and other historical and economic factors play a far larger role not only in producing inequalities but in maintaining them as well, thus providing an insightful explanation into why some groups are successful in their pursuit of the American dream and others are not.
“It is refreshing to read a sociological work that combines elegant prose with a powerful and provocative analysis of a major contemporary problem. . . . The uncovering of the real meaning of . . . differences among American ethnic groups requires a comprehensive historical discussion of the . . . factors that have shaped the ethnic class structure. To launch such a discussion, I cannot think of a better book to recommend than The Ethnic Myth”. -Contemporary Sociology
“The Ethnic Myth is . . . useful for the clarity and persuasiveness with which it integrates existing criticisms of ethnic pluralism, for the competent manner in which it summarizes the economic forces that shaped the development of America’s ethnic groups, and for the robust good sense with which it disentangles and explains the complexities of race, class, and ethnicity.”- The New York Times Book Review