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Canadian-born semanticist S. I. (Samuel Ichiye) “Don” Hayakawa (1906–92) became iconic, wearing a trademark Tam o'Shanter and representing conservative political academia during the late 1960s before serving as a U.S. senator from California. Hayakawa's Language in Thought and Action (1949) delved into the meaning and effects of the “slogans of fear and race hatred” underlying war propaganda, yet his words raised feelings of animosity among minority ethnic groups. He was a bold proponent of assimilation into American society, based on his own life experience of being denied U.S. citizenship until 1954 because authorities perceived him to be Japanese rather than a Canadian of Japanese ancestry.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Hayakawa earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Manitoba in 1927; his master's ...

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