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Missing Stories
by Leslie Kelen
Utah State University Press, 2000
eISBN: 978-0-87421-301-0 | Paper: 978-0-87421-293-8
Library of Congress Classification F835.A1K45 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 979.2004


Utah's ethnic diversity is often overlooked. In a society sometimes presumed to be homogeneous, there is a danger that the varied experiences of its members will be lost to history. Missing Stories, available here for the first time in paperback, effectively counters such misconceptions and explores the rich history of ethnic and minority groups in the state. Several representatives from each of eight such groups tell in their own voices stories of themselves, their families, and their communities. The groups represented are Utes, African-Americans, Jews, Chinese, Italians, Japanese, Greeks, and Hispanics. In a preface to each section of oral history interviews, a respected historian of the community introduces background and heritage, setting the context for the personal recollections that follow. Also included are striking photographs by Kent Miles and George Janecek that capture much of the personality and character of the interviewees.

These oral histories recount migrations to new homes in Utah or adjustment to white settlement of traditional homelands in the state. They bring to light the struggles of individuals and families to survive and the formation and maintenance of communities in frequently adverse conditions, whether on reservations or farms, in small towns or large cities. The histories are enriched by accounts of challenges met and overcome and enlivened by stories of events and persons who sometimes achieved legendary status within and outside the groups. Missing Stories reveals the many ways that ethnic and minority groups have contributed to Utah's history and fills in missing pieces necessary to a complete portrayal of the state's society and culture.

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