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Iron Cages

Race and Culture in 19th-Century America

Revised Edition

Ronald Takaki

Publication Date - 09 March 2000

ISBN: 9780195137378

400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Now in a new edition, Iron Cages provides a unique comparative analysis of white American attitudes toward Asians, blacks, Mexicans, and Native Americans in the 19th century. This pathbreaking work offers a cohesive study of the foundations of race and culture in America. In a new epilogue, Takaki argues that the social health of the United States rests largely on the ability of Americans of all races and cultures to build on an established and positive legacy of cross-cultural cooperation and understanding in the coming 21st century. Observing that by 2050 all Americans will be minorities, Takaki urges us to ask ourselves: Will America fulfill the promise of equality or will America retreat into its "iron cages" and resist diversity, allowing racial conflicts to divide and possibly even destroy America as a nation? Incisive and provocative, Iron Cages is an essential resource for students of ethnic history and important reading for anyone interested in the history of race relations in America.

Previous Publication Date(s)

May 1990

Table of Contents

    One -- Republicanism
    I. The "Iron Cage" in the New Nation
    The Birth of a Virtuous People
    Race and Republican Society
    II. "Diseases" of the Mind and Sun
    "Republican Machines"
    The "Lovely White"
    III. Within the "Bowels" of the Republic
    Head Over Heart
    Black Colonization
    Red Lockeans
    Two -- Enterprise
    IV. Beyond Primitive Accumulation
    Democracy in America:
    The Inner World of the Bourgeoisie
    The Market Revolution and Race
    V. The Metaphysics of Civilization: "The Red Race on Our Borders"
    An Age of Confidence
    Jibbenainosay: Indian-Hatin in Fantasy
    Jackson: Metaphysician of Indian-Hating
    VI. The Metaphysics of Civilization: "The Black Race Within Our Bosom"
    The Black Child/Savage: A Jacksonian Persuasion
    "Warranteeism": A Vision of a "Marx of the Master Class"
    Aesculapius Was a White Man: Race and the Cult of True Womanhood
    Three -- Technology
    VII. An American Prospero in King Arthur's Court
    The New Body
    White Technology: Anglo Over Mexican
    The Triumph of Mind in Ameica
    VIII. The Iron Horse in the West
    "Red Gifts" and "White Gifts": The World Custer Lost
    The Scientific Management of Indians
    IX. Civilization in the "New South"
    Machines and Magnolias" Black Labor in an Industrial Order
    The "Negro Question": "Higher Life" in the South
    X. The "Heathen Chinee" and American Technology
    Ah Sin in America
    A Yellow Proletariat: Caste and Class in Industrial America
    A Vision of Catastrophe: Henry George and the American Tower of Babel
    Four -- Empire
    XI. The Masculine Thrust Toward Asia
    The "Iron Cage" in a Corporate Civilization
    The New Empire: American Asceticism and the "New Navy"
    XII. Down from the Gardens of Asia

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