The Public Interest

A new look at the melting pot

Nathan Glazer

Summer 1969

THE major part of Beyond the Melting Pot by myself and Daniel P. Moynihan dates from 1960-61.  It was in those years, at the end of Mayor Wagner’s second term, that the chapters on the five major ethnic groups (Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish) were written. I had formulated the major themes sometime earlier—they were that ethnicity in New York remains important; that it would continue important for politics and culture; that, from the perspective of New York City, Negroes and Puerto Ricans could be seen as the latest of the series of major ethnic groups that had----oddly enough, two by two, beginning with Germans and Irish, going on to Jews and Italians— come as immigrants to make up the population of the city; that helping to make each group different, in its own development and its relation to the rest of the city, were its basic cultural characteristics, and particularly important among these was family structure. 

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