E Pluribus Plures

Glazer, Nathan. "E Pluribus Plures." Review of Patriotic Pluralism by Jeffrey E. Mirel, Education Next, Winter 2011.

Excerpt: Americanization, argues education historian Jeffrey Mirel in Patriotic Pluralism, both the process and the term, has been widely misunderstood and too narrowly interpreted in the literature and scholarship on the assimilation of the American immigrant. The iconic picture is that of the melting pot, literally interpreted, as in the ceremony that capped Americanization education in the Ford Motor Company in the 1920s: immigrants, dressed in traditional costume, lined up to walk into a stage-set melting pot, to emerge on the other side identically dressed. In this view, immigrants were to be stripped of language, customs, national identities, to become like all other Americans, who were assumed to be near-identical. Such a ceremony did take place and it did epitomize one version of Americanization, but that was only one version, and the most extreme.

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