Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What it Means to Be American.



Tamar Jacoby
Defining Assimilation for the 21st Century
The New Immigrants: A Progress Report


Herbert J. Gans
The American Kaleidoscope, Then and Now
Stephan Thernstrom
Rediscovering the Melting Pot–Still Going Strong
Nathan Glazer
Assimilation Today: Is One Identity Enough?
Roger Waldinger
The 21st Century: An Entirely New Story
Victor Nee, Richard Alba
Toward a New Definition


Peter D. Salins
The Assimilation Contract – Endangered But Still Holding
Douglas S. Massey
The American Side of the Bargain


Gregory Rodriguez
Mexican-Americans and the Mestizo Melting Pot
Min Zhou
Assimilation, the Asian Way
Alejandro Portes
For the Second Generation, One Step at a Time
Pete Hamill
The Alloy of New York


Joel Kotkin
Toward a Post-Ethnic Economy
George J. Borjas
Economic Assimilation: Trouble Ahead
Amitai Etzioni
Assimilation to the American Creed
Peter Skerry
“This Was Our Riot, Too”: Political Assimilation Today


Stephen Steinberg
The Melting Pot and the Color Line
John McWhorter
Getting Over Identity


Michael Barone
New Americans After September 11
Stanley Crouch
Goose-Loose Blues for the Melting Pot
Gary Shteyngart
The New Two-Way Street
Tamar Jacoby
What It Means To Be American in the 21st Century



The New Immigrants and
What It Means To Be American

Basic Books, Paperback Edition, November 2004
Basic Books, Hardcover Edition, February 2004

Edited by Tamar Jacoby
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow


Richard Alba is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York and author of Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America. His most recent book, with Victor Nee, is Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration.

Michael Barone is a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report. He is the co-author of The Almanac of American Politics and author of Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan and of The New Americans: How the Melting Pot Can Work Again. He is a contributor to Fox News Channel.

George J. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the author of several books, including Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy and Heaven's Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy.

Stanley Crouch is the author of three collections of essays: Notes of a Hanging Judge, The All-American Skin Game, or The Decoy of Race and Always in Pursuit. His first novel, Don't The Moon Look Lonesome, was published in 2000. He is a founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Amitai Etzioni is the founder and director of the Communitarian Network and the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at The George Washington University. Among his twenty-two books are My Brother's Keeper, The Monochrome Society, and The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society.

Herbert J. Gans is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. His writing on race and ethnicity has appeared in a wide variety of journals and in several of his books, including The Urban Villagers, People, Plans and Policies, The War Against the Poor and Making Sense of America.

Nathan Glazer is professor of sociology and education emeritus at Harvard University and the former editor of the quarterly of public affairs, The Public Interest. He is the author and editor of many books and articles on ethnicity and race relations, including American Judaism, Beyond the Melting Pot, Affirmative Discrimination, Ethnic Dilemmas, The Limits of Social Policy and We Are All Multiculturalists Now.

Pete Hamill is the author of 15 books, including the novel Snow in August and the memoir A Drinking Life. He has been a columnist for the New York Daily News, the New York Post, New York Newsday, the Village Voice, New York magazine and Esquire, and has served as editor-in-chief of both the Post and the Daily News.

Tamar Jacoby is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration. Formerly with The New York Times and Newsweek, she writes regularly on race, ethnicity and immigration for The Weekly Standard, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Joel Kotkin is a senior fellow at the Davenport Institute for Public Policy at Pepperdine University. He is the author of The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape and Tribes: How Race, Religion and Identity Determine Success In the New Global Economy, among other books.

Douglas S. Massey is professor of sociology and public policy at Princeton University. He is the author of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass and Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration, among other books.

John McWhorter, formerly an associate professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America and the essay collection, Authentically Black, as well as several books on language. He is a contributing editor to The New Republic.

Victor Nee is Goldwin Smith Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, where he also directs the Center for the Study of Economy and Society. He is co-author, with Richard Alba, of Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration and Longtime Californ’: Documentary Study of an American Chinatown, written with Brett DeBary.

Alejandro Portes is Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University. His books include City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami, co-authored with Alex Stepick, and Immigrant America: A Portrait.

Gregory Rodriguez is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Opinion section. He has written widely on issues of ethnicity, race, immigration and assimilation for such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist.

Peter D. Salins is Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the State University of New York, and a professor of political science at SUNY Stony Brook. A senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute, he is the author of Assimilation, American Style, among other books.

Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad, USSR, in 1972, and came to the United States seven years later. He author of the novel, The Russian Debutante's Handbook, and his work has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, GQ, Slate and many other publications.

Peter Skerry is professor of political science at Boston College and non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority and Counting on the Census? Race, Group Identity, and the Evasion of Politics.

Stephen Steinberg is a professor of sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is author of The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America and Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy.

Stephan Thernstrom is Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His many books include Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a 19th-Century City and A History of the American People. He is co-author, with Abigail Thernstrom of No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning and America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible.

Roger Waldinger is professor and chair of the sociology department at UCLA. His most recent books are Strangers at the Gates: New Immigrants in Urban America and, with Michael Lichter, How The Other Half Works: Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor.

Min Zhou is professor of sociology and chair of the Asian American Studies Interdepartmental Degree Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of Chinatown: The Socioeconomic Potential of an Urban Enclave, co-author of Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States and co-editor of Contemporary Asian America.


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Review of Samuel Huntington's "Who Are We?" Washington Post, 5-16-04

Book Info:

Available at
ISBN: 0465036341
320 pages


Lindsay Young Craig
Vice President
Communications & Marketing
Manhattan Institute
212-599-7000 Ext.315

Advance Praise:

“Europe’s failure to assimilate its Muslim minorities, painfully evident in the wake of the September 11 attacks, makes the urgency of this task all the more apparent for the United States. Reinventing the Melting Pot underscores why a common culture is problematic but of critical importance in making the American nation work.”
Francis Fukuyama, author of THE END OF HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN

“Although the debate is too frequently captured by bean-counters and economists, the issue of immigration and assimilation is probably the most important one we face, including terrorism, to which it is linked. We are either going to be a strong, united, proud, patriotic nation, or we will be in trouble and drag the rest of the world into bigger trouble still. Tamar Jacoby has put together a collection that should be read and studied by all those wish America well.”
Ben Wattenberg, American Enterprise Institute

“Nowhere else can one find between two covers so many informed and engaged analyses of recent immigration in relation to social cohesion and political democracy.”
David A. Hollinger, author of POSTETHNIC AMERICA

“America's relentlessly recombinant pool of genes and memes will confound any single ethnic group's attempts to own the mainstream—or to disown it. This lively and lucid book reminds us that being American means always becoming American, and it will help us appreciate the endless newness of our common identity.”
Eric Liu, author of THE ACCIDENTAL ASIAN

Reinventing the Melting Pot brings together many of America's top thinkers and writers to debate an old question that matters as much to our generation as it did to our great-grandparents.”
John J. Miller, author of THE UNMAKING OF AMERICAN

“In recent years, Americans have been intensely looking for themselves, and for the first time in history there is no agreement whether we belong to our ancestral background or to the promises of the foreground that might enable us to become who we want to be. In Tamar Jacoby’s timely and valuable anthology, this profound question is explored by thinkers of all persuasions.”
John Patrick Diggins, Distinguished Professor of History, Graduate Center, CUNY

Manhattan Institute