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The Ethnic Press

Shaping the American Dream

Leara D. Rhodes

Millions of people have come to America seeking a different life than the one they had in their home country. The storied lives of these immigrants fill copious volumes of literature, each volume with its own interpretation of history. In documenting the history of immigrants in America through the lens of their newspapers, this groundbreaking book offers a new interpretation, illuminating how ethnic presses in America helped to shape the American Dream. Moreover, the book shows how the ethnic press continues to reshape this dream, as its function has changed from one of acculturation to assimilation to cultural pluralism targeted at the immigrant audience. The similarities between the newspapers, whether they were sojourner, political, religious, or literary in form, provide a fresh perspective on the shaping of the American Dream.


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Part II Missions and Motivations 57


Part II / Missions and Motivations Each newspaper had a targeted audience with a home country language. Though the newspapers fostered language, each had a specific mission for existing and were motivated by their editors as being a sojourner, religious, political, or literary press. Chapter Five / Sojourner Mentality How to Live. A man should live in the world like a true citizen; he may be allowed to have a preference to the particular quarter, or square, or even alley in which he lives; but he should have a generous sympathy for the welfare of the whole; and if, his rambles through this great city, the world, he chances to meet a man of a different habit, language, or complexion, from his own, still he is his fellow creature, a short sojourner, in common with himself; subject to the same wants, infirmities, and necessities; and one who has a brother’s claim on him for his charity, comfort and relief. Norwich Courier (1831) A sojourner is a person who stays in a place for a relatively brief period of time, often used in reference to tourists or short-term visitors or strangers to a country. Sojourners in America are people who temporarily emigrate for economic reasons, who want to practice their political rhetoric, are refugees, or who are em- ployees or students. The people who have followed the money generally have been interested in saving enough to go back home and help the family to start businesses or to build houses. Many...

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