to note, because Sowell’s is a “soft” denterminism) by the social whole of whichnhe is a member, in this case his ethnicngroup. For example, if a man is of Italiannextraction, according to Sowell, it isnlikely that he shares the behavioral characteristicsnof Italians as a group, e.g. henis devoted to his family, a winedrinkernbut not an alcoholic, etc.nCultural determinism allows Sowellnto explain ethnic behavior as the resultnof two forces: first, the cultural heritagen”[Ethnic America ] is fiction without a plot.”nences as well, which Sowell does skillfully,nwith insight and^or the point surely is not to listngleefully the derogatory points of variousnethnic groups, as if in reading Sowell,nwe were being allowed to liberate somendark impulse within ourselves. By placingnindividuating characteristics of ethnicngroups in an historical context, Sowellnis able to explain, as well as point out,nboth the positive and negative character-n— The Nationn”On the whole [Sowell’s] book might have benefited from more moralizing and lessnpragmatism.”n—Newsweekn” ‘Ethnic America’ is a book that uses history to promote a conservative ideology.”n—New York Times Book Reviewnthat ethnic groups bring with them, andnsecond, the new conditions that suchngroups face in America. Thus, he pointsnout that the Jews brought with them annurban heritage which aided them in settlingninto the cities, whereas groups suchnas the Irish, Mexicans and Italians, whosenheritage was agricultural, had a great dealnmore difficulty in being assimilated. Thensame difficulty, according to Sowell,npresently affhcts those blacks who havenmigrated from the farmlands of the Southnto the cities of the North. If the comparisonnis valid, then the progress of ghettonblacks is about the same as that of previousnimmigrants who came from annagricultural background, although they,nof course, came from overseas and notnfrom another part of America. The utilitynof this kind of comparison is that itnhighlights the commonality of the renspouses of various groups to the conditionsnin which they lived in America,nand the commonly negative response thatnthey met with from “native” Americans,noften members of groups who had livednin the same manner and iii the samenslums a generation before. Such comparisonsnallow one to examine differ-nChronicles of Culturenistics of different groups. A good examplencan be found in the political attitudes ofnvarious groups; for purposes of illustrationnwe can take the Jews, the Irish andnthe Italians. The Jews as a group havenlong been known for their attachmentnto left-wing politics, and Sowell quotesnthe scholar who said that while, “…nonly five percent of Jews were radicals,nfifty percent of radicals were Jews. “Nowna great deal of intellectual energy hasnbeen spent trying to avoid or explainnthe fact (and we may take it as a fact)nthat Jews have a higher than averagentendency to participate in liberal ornradical causes. The usual explanation isnthat the messianism and zeal of the Jewishnreligion has been secularized intonpolitical utopianism. What is largelynoverlooked in this account is that thenJewish religion has long since lost itsnmessianism and that a good part of itsnzeal has been transferred to the causenof Israel. Sowell, however, provides usnwith a less-strained explanation, namelynthat during the many centuries that theynlived in Europe and Russia, the Jewishnpeople existed as a persecuted minoritynand were often’used as scapegoats bynnncynical governments. Thus they have,nas a cultural rather than as a strictlynreligious or genetic inheritance, a sympathynfor the underdog based on historicalnfact: a tolerant or liberal centralnauthority has been better for them thannan intolerant or illiberal one. We cannspeculate that, in effect, when a Jewishnradical agitates against a policy of thenU.S. government, he is acting the samenway his grandfather acted toward thenczar.nThe Irish proclivity for machine politics,nreplete with patronage and favoritism,nand based on an exchange of personalnloyalties, is well known. The lastnof the old-time, big-city mayors in thisntradition is barely five years in his grave,nand his power was not only regional butnnational; Republican partisans still accusenRichard Daley of stealing the I960nPresidential election for another Irishman,nJohn Kennedy. Yet once we recognizenthis fact, an explanation of it is notnhard to find, as Sowell points out, in thenthree centuries that Ireland sufferednunder the oppression of the English. Duringnthat time, all the official apparatusnthat ruled Ireland, including the establishednchurch, was that of an alien powernimposed for the advantage of the oppressorsnand against the will of the native population.nLife went on for the Irish onlynunder cover, as it were, for outside thennetwork of formal legitimacy, they hadnto install their own unofficial networknbased not on legally enforceable agreementsnand responsibilities, but on loyaltynto their heritage, the Roman CatholicnChurch and to each other. Politics fornthe Irish in Ireland was personal and explicitlynnonofficial, an attitude whichnthey imported with them to America.nSurely it was not difficult for an Irishmannwho landed in Boston to identify the oldnruling families of that city, who, afternall, were of English descent, with theirnoppressors back home.nUnlike either the Jews or the Irish,nthe Italians in America have not beennprominent in politics, either ideologicallynas have the Jews or pragmatically as haventhe Irish. Italians are known, however.n