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Jim and Jap CrowA Cultural History of 1940s Interracial America$
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Matthew M. Briones

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691129488

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691129488.001.0001

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An Age of Possibility

An Age of Possibility

(p.1) Introduction An Age of Possibility
Jim and Jap Crow

Matthew M. Briones

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter draws on Charles Kikuchi's diaries in presenting a trail guide for a reconstructive study of why the various schools of American democracy—including Nisei intellectuals at Berkeley, pluralist advocates, Chicago School sociologists, and African American progressives, among other types—ultimately failed in part and, not insignificantly, of how some of their ideas managed to survive the larger society's capitulation to Orwellian, Cold War ideology in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Kikuchi's preservation of the time's key moments and meaning makers allows for a restaging of historical actors and events. Most importantly, through Kikuchi's narrative, historical actors reenact their earnest but fallible efforts at progressively redefining the idea of American democracy on a stage not quite prepared for the glare of klieg lights.

Keywords:   Charles Kikuchi, American democracy, Cold War ideology, Nisei intellectuals, pluralist advocates, African American progressives, Chicago School, sociologists

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