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America the 'melting pot'

I take strong exception to the statement that the " `melting pot' failed because it advocated the immigrants' assimilation into American culture."

On the contrary, the melting pot was phenomenally successful for more than 200 years. Each immigrant, realizing that America offered a better life than the one he left behind, contributed to the American culture but did not seek to differentiate himself from it.

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Now, however, we are facing the politics of difference - multiculturalism - whereby each group seeks to establish its own identity separate from the culture of the land. This is a recipe for disaster. One has only to look at Yugoslavia, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Republics to see the devastating effects if America allows itself to be fragmented into competing cultures. As Woodrow Wilson stated in 1915, "America does not consist of groups." Ruth Brierley, Gladwyne, Pa.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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