By Don Heinrich Tolzmann
Published by Humanity Books, Amherst, New York, 1999, 480 pages,
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to present
this important book about the Germans in America. In the preface,
author Don Heinrich Tolzmann states: "The German-American Experience
aims to provide a basic outline of German-American history together
with a discussion of the major influences German-Americans have
exerted in American history since the seventeenth century. My need
for publishing this work was the need for an up-to-date history
of the German-American experience - for a work that would serve
as a basic introduction, as well as a text."
Representing one-fourth of the population, German-Americans constitute
the nation's largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. census,
with well over 60 million people claiming German heritage. In twenty-six
states, they comprise at least 20 percent of the population, and
in five states they number more than 50 percent--important statistics
in understanding the role played by German-Americans in U.S. History.
The German-American Experience is the most up-to-date and
comprehensive work on German-Americans. Don Heinrich Tolzmann records
the essential facts in the history of this group, from its first
U.S. settlements in the seventeenth century to the present. Beginning
with "The Age of Discovery," this volume explores the earliest contacts
between America and Germany, immigration and settlement patterns
of Germans, foundations of German-American community life, their
major involvement in the American Revolution, and the role German-Americans
played in our Civil War. Both world wars are chronicled, including
anti-German hysteria and sentiment, and the internment of German-Americans.
The revival of German heritage and the renaissance of German-American
ethnicity since the 1970s is surveyed, along with recent events,
including the impact of German unification and the 1990 census.
Tolzmann also analyzes German-American influences on agriculture,
industry, religion, education, music, art and architecture, politics,
military service, journalism, literature, language, and linguistics.
Included is a commentary on prominent German-Americans, German names,
sister cities, historical statistics, and much more. Highly entertaining
and informative, this book is a must for those interested in their
German heritage or American history in general.
The author covers the immigration and experiences of many German
groups including the Germans from Russia on the central and northern
plains. Tolzmann writes of the rural communities, World War I and
World War II, and immigration patterns.
The book includes a bibliography, maps, photographs, a chronology,
German place names in the United States, sister-city relationships,
census data for 1790-1990, and a detailed index.
Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann is an award-winning writer and curator
of the German-Americana Collection and director of the German-American
Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati. He is the recipient
of the Friendship Award of the Federal Republic of Germany as well
as the country's Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz).
Dr. Tolzmann serves as president of the Society of German-American
of the book by Ingeborg W. Smith
of the book by Gert Niers