A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Library Media Connection on May 1, 2004
These books each look at life in the old country and reasons for leaving, the ethnic group’s transition to life in America, the descendants’ situation in the U.S. today, and their contributions to American culture. Full-color and black-and-white photos and reproductions are plentiful and well coordinated with the texts. The format is accessible, with interesting facts as occasional sidebars and several full pages that explain pertinent historical events in the home countries. Information is quite sketchy and at times repetitive, with a rather choppy text. The first chapter in Greek Americans is mainly a recitation of how many immigrants came to the States and when-not a very interesting narrative. Klingel mentions the universal military requirement for men as one of the reasons for emigration, implying that the requirement is a thing of the past, when it is still in effect and not much chafed at currently. The choice of words for inclusion in the glossary seems pretty arbitrary (e.g., ‘independence’ is defined but not ‘liberated’; ‘roots’ but not ‘traditions,’ etc). In Korean Americans, a photo caption is repeated in the text word for word. There is very little if anything available on these subjects for this audience, so these pedestrian titles may be useful in some communities.
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