Clint Smith, author of How the Word Is Passed, has written a new foreword about reading A Different Mirror in college. This excerpt highlights why we are also fans of Ronald Takaki’s classic history text.
It was as if I had been thirsty my entire life and had finally been given water to drink. Ronald Takaki’s book was providing me with the tools I didn’t know I needed; it gave me a new historical framework with which to understand the landscape of American life.
I had previously read books that outlined the histories of particular ethnic groups, but I had never encountered a book that put the experiences of so many different types of Americans in conversation with one another.
With that said, one of the great strengths of A Different Mirror is that it does not allow comparison to slip into conflation. Takaki is careful as he threads his needle through history.
There is also a young readers’ edition published by Seven Stories Press.