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A Nation of Immigrants

$85.00 (P)

  • Date Published: November 2010
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521517997

$ 85.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Immigration makes America what it is and is formative for what it will become. America was settled by three different models of immigration, all of which persist to the present. The Virginia Colony largely equated immigration with the arrival of laborers, who had few rights. Massachusetts welcomed those who shared the religious views of the founders but excluded those whose beliefs challenged the prevailing orthodoxy. Pennsylvania valued pluralism, becoming the most diverse colony in religion, language, and culture. This book traces the evolution of these three competing models of immigration as they explain the historical roots of current policy debates and options. Arguing that the Pennsylvania model has best served the country, the final chapter makes recommendations for future immigration reform. Given the highly controversial nature of immigration in the United States, this book provides thoughtful, well-reasoned analysis, valuable to both academic and policy audiences for the ways it places today’s trends and policy options into historical perspective.

    • Immigration has always been a controversial public policy issue; this book provides the historical perspective
    • Understanding the evolution of current policies and trends in immigration is essential to formulating sound future policies
    • The author has had key roles in commissions that advised Congress and the President on immigration reform, informing her analysis of the past and prescriptions for the future
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “In this important and compelling study, Susan Martin provides a fresh historical perspective for understanding immigration and its governance in the United States. A Nation of Immigrants demonstrates the persistence of three distinctive models of immigration dating back to the colonial era, revealing the full range of constructive and detrimental legacies that these traditions have yielded over time. In contrast to most previous works, this book also teaches us a great deal about the significant interplay between the immigration policies adopted by officials and the grassroots experiences of immigrants and refugees. In an impressive merging of careful scholarship and rich personal experience in the policy process, Martin gives new meaning to our immigrant past and offers thoughtful recommendations for our way forward on this irrepressibly contentious issue.”
    —Daniel J. Tichenor, University of Oregon

    “It is a truism to say that America is a nation of immigrants. But in this brilliant work Susan Martin shows us how the United States truly was shaped by immigration from colonial times to the present. A magisterial work of political and social history, this book is perfectly timed and will be read by generations to come.”
    —James Hollifield, Southern Methodist University

    “US immigration policy debates obviously are increasingly passionate and stalemated. Alas they also are ill-informed by history. Susan Martin’s book seeks to ‘provide a thoughtful, well-reasoned analysis…by placing today’s trends and policy options into historical perspective.’ This is a great success — a cool breeze of reason and fact to temper the emotions that prevail. Whether or not they agree with Martin’s views, those who actually want to understand the convoluted history, bizarre politics and embarrassing contradictions of US immigration policy should read this book.”
    —Michael Teitelbaum, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

    “Susan Martin uniquely combines scholarly dedication and policy experience. In this book, she has brought both to bear on the resolution of a quandary I cannot state better than she does herself: ‘It is a truism that the United States is a nation of immigrants. . . The phrase, however, hides as much as it illuminates.’ She elegantly resolves the quandary by analyzing successive phases of US immigration in terms of three initial models: Virginia, Pennsylvania, ands Massachusetts.”
    —Aristide Zolberg, The New School for Social Research

    "A Nation of Immigrants is an exemplary synthesis and interpretive history of its urgent subject. It is also a deeply considered and thought-provoking book." -TNR.com

    "Recommended." -Choice

    "...an informative and engaging book." -David M. Reimers, Journal of American History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521517997
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 161 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 4 tables
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. 'Gentlemen, tradesmen, serving-men, libertines'
    3. 'A city upon a hill'
    4. 'The seed of the nation'
    5. Immigration and the formation of the republic
    6. Building a nation:
    1830–1880
    7. The golden door:
    1880–1917
    8. The triumph of restrictionism:
    1882–1924
    9. Turning inward:
    1924–1964
    10. 'A nation of immigrants':
    1965–1994
    11. A nation of refuge
    12. The Pennsylvania model at risk:
    1993–2009
    13. Looking ahead.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • American Encounters
    • Asylum Law
    • Center for Immigrants' Rights/ Asylum & Refugee Law
    • Coming to America: the American Immigrant Experience
    • Ethnology of Immigrant Life
    • Immigrant America
    • Immigrant Child Advocacy Project
    • Immigration Debates in the United States
    • Immigration Law
    • Immigration Law & Policy
    • Immigration Law Clinic
    • Immigration Law Survey Course
    • Immigration and Citizenship
    • Immigration and Ethnicity in U.S. History
    • Immigration and Human Rights
    • Immigration and Nationality Law
    • Introduction to History: Coming to America
    • Refugee and Immigrant Perspectives
    • Transnational Legal Clinic
    • U.S. Immigration History
    • US History to 1865
  • Author

    Susan F. Martin, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    Susan Martin holds the Donald G. Herzberg Chair in International Migration and serves as the Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Dr Martin also directs the university's Program on Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, established by legislation to advise Congress and the president on U.S. immigration and refugee policy. Her publications include Refugee Women; The Uprooted; Beyond the Gateway (ed.); Managing Migration: The Promise of Cooperation; Mexico-US Migration Management (ed.); Women, Migration and Conflict: Breaking a Deadly Cycle (ed.); and numerous monographs and articles on immigration and refugee policy. Dr Martin earned her MA and PhD in the history of American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in history from Douglass College, Rutgers University. She is the immediate past President of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration and serves on the U.S. Comptroller General's Advisory Board, the Academic Advisory Board of the International Organization for Migration, and the Board of the Advocacy Project.

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