Assimilation American Style eBook cover $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play

(cover by Susan Erony)

Assimilation, American Style by Peter D. Salins (79,000 words)

Peter D. Salins, a child of immigrants and a scholar of urban affairs, makes the case that at a time when the immigrant population of the United States is growing larger and more diverse, the nation must rededicate itself to its historic mission of assimilating immigrants of all ethnic backgrounds. He recounts how successive immigrant populations have become Americanized, despite being considered “alien” in their time and how assimilation continues to work among Hispanics and Asians today. America’s vitality as a nation, Salins argues, depends on its being as successful in assimilating its newest immigrants as it was in integrating earlier immigrant groups.

“Peter D. Salins... anticipates a multicultural America, but the prospect causes him great distress. In his view, the old assimilationist formula served both immigrants and the nation extremely well.... Salins maintains... that the multiculturalist effort to renegotiate America’s traditional assimilationist contract — English as the national language, liberal democratic principles and the Protestant work ethic — is at the root of much contemporary anxiety over immigration.” — Peter Skerry, The New York Times

“Peter Salins’s book... is a labor of love as much as of scholarship... Salins’s whole effort here is to defend the American model of high immigration levels accompanied by unforced but almost irresistible assimilation... [His] diagnosis is powerful and persuasive, and surely the first step is the one he takes: to understand how and why the American model worked so well, and how it is now being threatened.” — Elliot Abrams,
The Public Interest

“A thorough and convincing examination of assimilation in America: how it worked in the past, why it is necessary for the survival of the nation, and what to do about the recent and ominous assault on it... The author is superb in defining what constitutes assimilation... He also deftly explodes several myths about immigration. Past waves of immigrants, for instance, never surrendered their heritage and continued to speak their native tongue in their neighborhoods. Assimilation, he argues, is a gradual process and doesn’t necessitate abandoning one’s ethnic identity at the door... his book is pragmatic and solid, and should convince many of the value and continuing importance of assimilation.” —

“[A]n enlightening... book.” —
Wall Street Journal

“Salins... seeks a middle way between radical multiculturalism and resurgent nativism. That middle way is the ‘immigration contract’ that has long existed between American society and its newcomers. Its terms are a commitment to English as the national language, an acceptance of American values and ideals, and a dedication to the Protestant work ethic. Immigrants who accept these terms are welcomed and allowed to maintain certain elements of their culture, such as food, dress, and holidays. This arrangement, Salins argues, promotes a vibrant ethnicity while protecting against balkanizing ethnocentrism.” — Stephen J. Rockwell,
Wilson Quarterly