Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip [NOOK Book]

Overview

The official companion book to the brand new HBO(r) documentary In the HBO(r) documentary tentatively titled Citizen USA, acclaimed filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi sets out on a road trip across America to attend naturalization ceremonies in all fifty states to meet brand-new citizens and find out why they chose America as their home. What she discovers is that America welcomes them all-the disabled, the cancer patients, homosexuals, Obama- haters, Christian missionaries, Muslim imams, Jewish rabbis, Buddhist monks, ...
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Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip

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Overview

The official companion book to the brand new HBO(r) documentary In the HBO(r) documentary tentatively titled Citizen USA, acclaimed filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi sets out on a road trip across America to attend naturalization ceremonies in all fifty states to meet brand-new citizens and find out why they chose America as their home. What she discovers is that America welcomes them all-the disabled, the cancer patients, homosexuals, Obama- haters, Christian missionaries, Muslim imams, Jewish rabbis, Buddhist monks, scientists with Ph.D.s (trying to find the cure for all the diseases that are plaguing us), tech giants in Silicon Valley, movie directors, race car drivers, and even a wrestler with his own action figure! Whether these new Americans arrived here through online dating, adoption, political asylum, student and work visas, or by swimming the Rio Grande River (and remained long enough to be granted amnesty) they all came here to live the "American Dream." And even though they are no longer visitors, our newest citizens still look at America with an outsider's perspective; they hold up a mirror to show us how we look as a nation-and how much we take for granted. At a time when unemployment is at an all-time high, America's manufacturing base is eroding, the federal deficit is exploding, and the poverty rate is at seventeen percent, immigrants from every other country on earth still flock here because no matter how bad it gets here, it's still a heck of a lot better than most other places on earth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101546154
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 57 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Alexandra Pelosi spent a decade as an NBC News producer. In 2000, she was assigned to cover the Bush campaign, which led to her first Emmy(r) Award- winning HBO(r) documentary Journeys with George, which followed the future president on the campaign trail. Since then she has made five more films for HBO(r): Diary of a Political Tourist, Friends of God, The Trials of Ted Haggard, Right America, and Homeless.

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Read an Excerpt

SEVEN YEARS AGO my husband, Michiel, was just one of the millions of immigrants who came to America legally. He was happy as a permanent resident alien, until the birth of our children. Then he realized he really wanted to belong to our country. So he started down the path to citizenship. On his journey to officially become an American citizen and to get to know his new country, we set out on a road trip across America to attend naturalization ceremonies in all fifty states to meet brand-new citizens to find out why they chose America. We expected to see the cultural melting pot in the big cities, but we didn't expect to see it quite like we did in Tupelo, Mississippi, or Butte, Montana! In every state, we found a diverse collection of new Americans from over one hundred different countries. As we made our way from the Atlantic to the Pacific, we discovered that more and more immigrants are migrating to the suburbs. This confirms the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data that shows immigrant populations rose more than 60 percent in areas of the country where they made up less than 5 percent of the population ten years ago.

America welcomes all types—Buddhist monks, homosexuals, scientists with PhDs, cancer patients, Obama haters, Obama lovers, Muslim imams, Christian missionaries, tech geniuses, movie directors, and a wrestler with his own action figure. The one thing that new citizens seem to agree on is that those who were born in the U.S.A. don't realize how good we have it. Our new fellow countrymen appreciate the freedoms here considerably more than people who have been here for generations— and can help us see all that we take for granted: indoor plumbing, democracy, electricity, religious tolerance, free refills, uncensored Internet access, homeownership, funding for the arts, traffic laws, the option to go into debt, the freedom to have premarital sex, the right to bear arms, select your spouse, wear nail polish, read books, smoke, exercise as much as we like, and have as many children as we want. We can learn a lot from those who became American by choice. Whether they came here via online dating, adoption, political asylum, student and work visas, or by swimming the Rio Grande (and overstaying long enough to CITIZENU.S.A. be granted amnesty), they all came here to live an American dream. Although they have made themselves at home in their new country, our newest citizens still look at America with an outsider's perspective; they hold up a mirror to show us how we look as a nation.

At a time when it appears that this country is beset with problems—unemployment is at an all-time high, America's manufacturing base is eroding, the federal deficit is exploding, the poverty rate is at 17 percent, U.S. students' test scores rank below average in math and science literacy compared to other developed countries— immigrants from every other country on earth still flock here, because no matter how bad it gets here, it's still a heck of a lot better than most other places on earth. In the seven films and two books I have made on the road across America, the one thing that I am still impressed by is how willing people are to welcome us into their homes and let us become a part of their lives. We are grateful to all the new Americans for sharing their stories, and for making this country a more interesting place to live! The best thing about this nation is that we welcome everyone. That diversity makes us great, and if we want to continue to be the greatest country on earth, we have to make sure the welcome mat continues to be out.

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