- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Publishers WeeklyThe companion volume to James Bergquist's Daily Life in Immigrant America, 1820-1870, Alexander's book falls short of expectations. Exhaustive in its coverage and modest in its aims, the book brings together the latest scholarship about this classic period of immigration for general readers. It covers the shift of immigrants from northern, eastern and southern Europe as well as the opening of immigration from Asia, paying close attention to the anxieties and prejudices that their strangeness aroused. Alexander creates a tale of struggle, adaptation and success, but also of pain and loss. While Alexander claims to avoid an interpretive slant, she often portrays resident Americans in bad light, while laying strong and appropriate emphasis on the immigrants' geographic, occupational and economic mobility. Alexander carefully distinguishes between the customs and situations of the many nationalities that flooded the nation. Notably she examines the move to Western farms-a trend among some immigrants of avoiding cities. Although an overlooked aspect of immigrant history, Alexander often generalizes from the few particular stories she provides. However nicely written, the work lacks the color and life that it might otherwise have had.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.