Cover image for Forbidden love : the secret history of mixed-race America
Forbidden love : the secret history of mixed-race America
Nash, Gary B.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt, 1999.
Physical Description:
ix, 214 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Presents accounts of how mainly anonymous Americans have defied the official racial ideology and points out how guardians of the past have written that side of our history out of the record.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 10.3 11.0 34753.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E184.M47 N47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Forbidden Love is a pathbreaking book that only a master historian could write. The first work for younger readers to describe the true history of racial mixing in America, it exposes how desperately some people have fought to guard our racial borderlines.

Gary Nash, a past president of the Organization of American Historians, has been instrumental in rethinking how history should be taught in schools. Now, starting with John Rolfe and Pocahontas, pausing to compare the United States with Canada and Mexico, and ending with his own multiracial classrooms, he shows how racial mixing, and the fear of it, is at the heart of American history.

Author Notes

Gary B. Nash was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 27, 1933. He received a B. A. in 1955 and a Ph.D. in 1964 from Princeton University. He has taught colonial and revolutionary American history at the University of California at Los Angeles since 1966. He won the University of California Distinguished Emeriti Award and the Defense of Academic Freedom Award from the National Council for Social Studies. He is the author of numerous books including Quakers and Politics: Pennsylvania, 1681-1726; Red, White and Black: The Peoples of Early America; The Urban Crucible: Social Change, Political Consciousness, and the Origins of the American Revolution; Forging Freedom: The Black Urban Experience in Philadelphia, 1720-1840; and The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 9^-12. Should there be a mixed-race option on census forms? Teens moved by the contemporary voices in What Are You? (see starred review, p.1697) will find that this history of racially mixed people in the U.S., from colonial times to the present, provides connections and context. The alluring title and cover don't quite fit the scholarly, detailed, sometimes heavy, style, but many readers will want to know more about the long-standing taboos and the fight for tolerance, past and present. In many ways, this is also a history of American racism, a disturbing narrative of resistance to "mestizo America." Nash draws on science, literature, politics, art, and music, and especially on popular culture, with words and period prints that show the vicious stereotypes: from the romantic-savage images of Indians and happy slaves to the snarling insults of hate propaganda. Detailed, unobtrusive chapter notes at the back will help readers who want to find out more. What will hold teens are the many personal stories that are woven into the political struggle: stirring accounts of "interracial renegades" who defied convention and stood up for love. Some were famous, but most, as Nash points out, have been left out of the history books. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Nash writes of mixed-race America from the premise that race has no proven scientific basis. He discusses what race is, noting "...there is more genetic variation within any grouping we call `race' than between any two such groups." He traces the defining concept of "race" across the centuries and the impact of racial designations on the intermingling of immigrants. Vignettes about Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and mixed-race Americans who have lived successful biracial, bicultural lives highlight his discussions. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of pamphlet pages, posters, broadsides, advertisements, and other archival materials illustrate the text. Bibliographical notes reflect extensive research and include historic and contemporary authorities. Nash dispels myths and misconceptions to fight prejudice as he reflects on a difficult subject. An intriguing topic, well handled.-Gail Richmond, San Diego Unified Schools, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.