Legacy of Hate: A Short History of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Prejudice in America

Legacy of Hate: A Short History of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Prejudice in America

Legacy of Hate: A Short History of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Prejudice in America

Legacy of Hate: A Short History of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Prejudice in America

Synopsis

"Though America had been rightfully portrayed as born of democratic principles, to no less an extent was it born of undemocratic ones. America is thus a living contradiction of many dimensions -- historical, sociological, and psychological -- that have manifested themselves at every level of society -- individual, communal, and natural".

So writes Philip Perlmutter, whose Legacy of Hate explores this "living contradiction" by tracing the development of American minority group relations, beginning with the arrival of white Europeans and moving through the eighteenth and industrially expanding nineteenth centuries; the explosion of immigration and its attendant problems in the twentieth century; and a final chapter exploring how prejudice (racial, religious, and ethnic) has been institutionalized in the educational systems and laws.

Throughout this provocative book, Perlmutter focuses on where and why various groups encountered prejudice and discrimination and how their experiences have shaped the society,we live in and how we think about one another.

Excerpt

Dwell on the past and you will lose an eye. Forget the past and you will lose both eyes.

--Old Russian Proverb

Preface to Revised Edition

The focus of this revised and updated edition of my earlier book, Divided We Fall: A History of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Prejudice in America, continues to be on ethnic, religious, and racial groups, but with greater attention given to Asians, Hispanics, and women. Also new is a chapter on how to measure progress, or the lack of it, in minority-group relations.

Throughout, I continue to use prejudice, discrimination, and related synonyms somewhat loosely because I feel their behavioral manifestations are more important and obvious in dealing with history and minority-group life. No psychological or sociological words or theories can convey the pain caused. My desire to highlight that pain, as experienced by many groups, led me to drop some of the psychosocial material from the earlier edition.

Of course, I have made many corrections, have added new information, and have rewritten or discarded sentences and paragraphs that, upon rereading, I did not fully understand or could not defend. The result, I hope, is a tighter, more objective, and more helpful book for students, teachers, community relations practitioners, and readers interested in minority-group history.

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