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Revisiting America: Readings in race, culture, and conflict


Susan Wyle had collected and organized chronologically readings, which highlight racial and cultural conflicts throughout the history of the United States. The essays speeches and political cartoons compiled into Revisiting American give a well balanced overview of both sides of important conflicts of race, class and gender in the United States. From the early conflicts on the Eastern shore with the Native Americans, the Salem witch trials, the settlement of the wild west up through the Great Depression, Civil Rights movement, Vietnam and the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the reader is given glimpses into the power of language, the shaping of ideas, attitudes and policies and the resulting conflicts.

Revisiting America: Readings in race, culture, and conflict


Revisiting America has been written in a teaching style with directives for finding sources both in written form and via the Internet. Susan Wyle has used her teaching experience in the collection of essays included in the book and how to evaluate the arguments presented in the writings. The chapters are arranged chronologically from the seventeenth century to 2002. Included in these chapters are scholarly articles, personal writings such as diaries, speeches and political cartoons, advertisements and posters. The first chapter, Early Conflicts on the Eastern Shore, includes the Pocahontas myth, the Salem Witch trials, slavery, and the fight for freedom in colonial America (Wyle, 2004, p. 1).


There are total nine chapters each chapter define different themes, in chapter 1 it contains readings that range from a scholarly discussion of the Pocahontas myth to the trial testimonies of the Salem Witch Trials, addressing issues of race, gender, slavery, and freedom in colonial America. Chapter 2 offers to oppose perspectives from Native Americans, U.S. presidents, and scholars about the loss of Indian lands, the assimilation of Native Americans into white "civilization," and the process of Indian relocation under Presidents Jefferson and Jackson. Chapter 3 contains a wide variety of primary and secondary sources dealing with the racial, social, and gender -based conflicts experienced by the men and women who travelled west.

Chapter 4 examines the experiences of slaves and freedmen, soldiers and women, politicians and writers who participated in many different aspects of the Civil War.

Chapter 8, look at the writings and speeches of women, minorities, and civil rights leaders in the 1960s and 1970s also examines the rhetoric of politicians and presidents sending troops to Vietnam and the Gulf War. The final chapter, offer more recent twentieth century and twenty-first century readings that deal with a variety of contemporary issues, including conflicts of gender, race, and immigration, all of which find their roots in issues and events represented in earlier chapters of the text. In addition, this chapter offers written and visual text selections by authors and artists responding to the terrorist attacks of September 11. Ronald Takaki compares the Native American and Irish savagery and English civilization (Wyle, 2004, p. 16) in his writing, The Tempest in the ...
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