Nathan Glazer and Multiculturalism by James Traub

Traub, James. "I Was Wrong: Nathan Glazer comes to terms with multiculturalism." Slate, May 17, 1997.

Nathan Glazer, the Harvard social scientist and core member of the group known as the New York Intellectuals, appears to be haunted by second thoughts. This may be a sign of irresolution. In a review of Glazer’s latest book, We Are All Multiculturalists Now, in the Weekly Standard, Dinesh D’Souza accuses the author of “cowardice,” of mollycoddling the multicultural left in order to make life in Cambridge tolerable. It’s true that Glazer is not the combative soul that, say, Norman Podhoretz or Irving Kristol is. Glazer is a gentleman, always ready to concede, at least rhetorically, the sincerity of his opponent’s feelings. (He wrote a nice review of my book, City on a Hill, in the New Republic.) But Glazer is also too honest to disguise his own misgivings, and his new book, painful and awkward and sometimes confused, is the record of a reality–the reality of race and racial identity–that has resisted the categories he has tried to impose on it throughout his career.