Transnational America: Cultural Pluralist Thought in the Twentieth Century (American Intellectual Culture)
- Publish Date: 2002-08-20
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Everett Helmut Akam
In Transnational America, Everett Akam brilliantly addresses one of the most fundamental issues of our timehow Americans might achieve a sense of racial and ethnic identity while simultaneously retaining the common ground of shared traditions and citizenship. Akam's study transcends the current debates over multiculturalism and cultural pluralism by retrieving the tradition of cultural pluralist thought neglected since the first half of the twentieth century. He argues that thinkers such as Randolph Bourne, John Collier, Horace Kallen, and Alain Locke sought to reconcile diversity and community by challenging the cults of individualism, universal reason, and assimilation typical of their age. Akam goes on to demonstrate how cultural pluralist thought was eclipsed during the second half of the twentieth century by an intellectual mainstream that both discounted pluralists' emphasis on culture and heralded interest-group pluralism as a model for racial and ethnic relations.
Transnational America is an engaging look at the difficulty of achieving the delicate synthesis between identity and community that will be of interest to sociologists, political theorists, and historians alike.