… This book advances three central arguments.
First, the salience of their national identity for Americans has varied through history….
Second, through the centuries Americans have I varying degrees, defined the substance of their identity in terms of race ethnicity, ideology, and culture. Race and ethnicity are now largely eliminated. Americans see their country as a multiethnic, multiracial society…..
Third, Anglo-Protestant culture has been central to American identity for three centuries. It is what Americans have in common and, as countless foreigners have observed, what has distinguished them from other peoples. In the late twentieth century, however, the salience od substance of this culture were challenged by a new wave of immigrants from Latin America and Asia, the popularity in intellectual and political circles of the doctrines of multiculturalism and diversity, the spread of Spanish as a second language and the Hispanization trends in American society, the assertion of group identities based on race, ethnicity, and gender, the impact of diasporas and their homeland governments, and the growing commitment of elites to cosmopolitan and transnational identities…..