Arthur Schlesinger literature review – Term Paper

“The Disuniting of America” by Arthur Schlesinger


America has faced some riots over the recent years that are directly linked with a unique character of ethnic relations. The relations among various ethnic groups have apparently remained fragile, and there is a high possibility of America losing if the problem is not looked at carefully. However, the book by Arthur Schlesinger “The Disuniting of America” brings some hope to the people of America as it reflects on the components of multicultural society through examining the current criticism and unique nature of each in the society. The Author has taken the risk of putting himself in the midst of an impulsive debate that touches on education as well as ethnic relations in America. The debate does not augur well with the conservatives in America. This paper, therefore, intends to explain where the people of America are deemed to disunite after the Cold War according to the perception of Arthur Schlesinger.

The Disuniting of America

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According to Arthur Schlesinger, the unity of America is at stake after the Cold War due to some reasons. Humanity has encouraged the possibility through basing their ideologies ethnicity and tribalism. America is a diverse nation regarding various tribes and cultures that it holds. However, unity is a problem because people are not bound by one common purpose. People are driven apart by ethnic conflicts and racial discrimination hence a clear indication that such events have replaced the Cold War ideologies that were once dominant in America (Schlesinger 207). Ethnicity is the leading cause of tensions among various nations because states have failed to give ethnically diverse individuals the reason view themselves as part of the country. America is among such nations; no change is likely to be effective unless a positive perception regarding the multicultural, and ethnicity is embraced.

An ethnicity has a severe consequences in America

Furthermore, ethnicity has had severe consequences in America as a country. Unifying visions of people in the society has vanished, and people have been categorized concerning race. America has seized to be a nation of individuals to a nation of groups that are defined by ethnic backgrounds according to Schlesinger (Schlesinger 208). There have been efforts to curb the vice in various institutions across the nation ranging from churches, political arenas among other institution. However, it is surprising how the efforts have not bear any fruits with a big challenge concerning the vice becoming evident in learning institutions over the years. The education sector has also been reluctant to revise history as the bottom line of American history focuses mostly on the Irishman. The curriculum of history, therefore, needs to be changed to encompass people from all ethnicities across America. Ethnic clashes have torn some countries apart hence it is necessary for relevant authorities and Americans citizens accept the fact that America is a multicultural nation that needs to coexist to survive.

Looking America after 2016 election, it is clear that Arthur was right due to the number of events on ethnicity and multiculturalism that have unfolded since then. America is clearly divided into ethnic groups and immigrants. It is important that security of people should come first given that insecurity has been a challenge in the recent years to many countries including America. The government should put in place policies that curb insecurity, however; it should not be done at the expense of ordinary civilians. It is because most policies that have taken centre stage after 2016 election focuses on immigration and deportation of people. The consequences of such policies are likely to be volatile, as affected individuals will rebelliously respond maybe through joining terrorist groups and fight against America. Policies should be considerably being implemented and all inclusive to avoid possible revolution (Schlesinger 209).

American culture and ethnicity


In conclusion, it is clear that despite the diversity regarding culture and ethnicity, America has tried over the years to be intact and together as one nation. However, there some challenges that have derailed the efforts that are propagated by tribalism and division of people into ethnic groups (Sieder 19). For instance, police in America have been reported to use excessive force against African-Americans and other minority communities while conducting routine security operations. It, therefore, seems as if the identity of American society is in jeopardy due to the rate at which multiculturalism and ethnicity as raised racism and hatred at the expense of nationalism. Similarly, some American citizens have decided to take the law into their hands and killed dozens of people with tribalism and ethnicity acting as a driving factor. It is, therefore, an indication that the opinion by Schlesinger is valid as most Americans are divided into the race and ethnic groups. People should learn to live as one and forget their tribal differences to make America a great and a friendly nation.

Works Cited

Schlesinger, Arthur Meier. The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society. WW Norton & Company, 1998.

Sieder, Rachel, ed. Multiculturalism in Latin America: indigenous rights, diversity, and democracy. Springer, 2002