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All the Nations Under Heaven
by Frederick Binder, David Reimers
Publisher: Columbia University Press 1996
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In certain neighborhoods of New York City, an immigrant may live out his or her entire life without even becoming fluent in English. From the Russians of Brooklyn's Brighton Beach to the Dominicans of Manhattan's Washington Heights, New York is arguably the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Yet no wide-ranging ethnic history of the city has ever been attempted. In All the Nations Under Heaven, Frederick Binder and David Reimers trace the shifting tides of New York's ethnic past, from its beginnings as a Dutch trading outpost to the present age where Third World immigration has given the population a truly global character. All the Nations Under Heaven explores the processes of cultural adaptation to life in New York, giving a lively account of immigrants new and old, and of the streets and neighborhoods they claimed and transformed. All the Nations Under Heaven provides a comprehensive look at the unique cultural identities that have wrought changes on the city over nearly four centuries since Europeans first landed on the Atlantic shore. While detailing the various efforts to retain a cultural heritage, the book also looks at how ethnic and racial groups have interacted -and clashed -over the years. From the influx of Irish and Germans in the nineteenth century to the recent arrival of Caribbean and Asian ethnic groups in large numbers, All the Nations Under Heaven explores the social, cultural, political, and economic lives of immigrants as they sought to form their own communities and struggled to define their identities within the grwonig heterogeneity of New York. In this timely, provocative book, Binder and Reimers offer insight into the cultural mosaic of New York at the turn of the millennium, where despite a civic pride that emphasizes the goals of diversity and tolerance, racial and ethnic conflict continue to shatter visions of peaceful coexistence.

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