Ethnic Americans: A History of Immigration / Edition 4

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First published in 1977, Ethnic Americans has established itself as the classic study of immigration to the United States in the twentieth century. This updated edition reflects developments of the 1980s and '90s -- a period that has seen the greatest wave of immigration in American history. The burgeoning trend of increasing immigration, mostly from Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean, is expected to continue. But how welcome will all these people be, and what is the history of the melting (sometimes boiling) pot they are pouring into?

In investigating these questions, Ethnic Americans provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of immigration and assimilation of European, Asian, and Latin American peoples from 1607 to the present. The fourth edition has been revised and expanded to incorporate new research on women immigrants, the new refugees, and the continuing asylum crisis of the 1990s. Dinnerstein and Reimers also examine the continuity of nativism and restrictionist sentiment in the United States, as shown in the movements to make English the official language of the nation and in attempts to end bilingual education and ballots.

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Editorial Reviews

Alan Schaffer
Ethnic Americans is brief, concise, and well written. Without using jargon or overloading the reader with statistics, the book manages to tell the story of immigration to the United States down to the present in just 264 pages of text -an impressive achievement.
Elliot Barkan
Dinnerstein and Reimers, two of the foremost scholars of American immigration, have accomplished a most impressive feat by providing a thoughtful, reasonably comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of American immigrant and ethnic experiences. Without sacrificing the scholarly integrity of their materials, they have written a book that not only addresses important historical as well as contemporary issues and trends but also does so in a most readable manner.
Roger Daniels
This fine study of American immigration by two of the top scholars in the field is, far and away, the best brief account of the topic we have.
A survey of immigration to the United States, presented in broad chronological order, beginning with the United States' colonial heritage. Succeeding chapters cover the waves of immigrants from 1789 to the 1890s and from the 1890s to the 1920s; ethnic conflict and restrictions; immigrants after WWII; immigrants from the south; ethnic mobility in modern America; assimilation; and recent immigration debates. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231111898
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Edition description: Fourth Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Dinnerstein is professor of history and director of the Program in Jewish Studies, University of Arizona. He is the author of The Leo Frank Case, America and the Survivors of the Holocaust, and Uneasy at Home, all published by Columbia.

David M. Reimers is professor of history at New York University and the author of Still the Golden Door: The Third World Comes to America and (with Fred Binder) All the Nations Under Heaven: An Ethnic History of New York, both published by Columbia.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Ch. 1 The Colonial Heritage 1
Ch. 2 A Wave of Immigrants, 1789-1890s 17
Ch. 3 A New Wave of Immigrants, 1890s-1920s 49
Ch. 4 Ethnic Conflict and Immigration Restriction 73
Ch. 5 Immigration After World War II, 1945-1998 97
Ch. 6 Newcomers from South of the Border 125
Ch. 7 Pilgrims' Progress: Ethnic Mobility in Modern America 151
Ch. 8 Whither Ethnic America? Assimilation into American Life 179
Epilogue: A New Immigration Debate 201
Bibliographic Essay 207
Appendix 217
Table A.1 Immigration to the United States by Country, for Decades 1820-1995 218
Table A.2 Provisions of the Major United States Immigration Laws and Programs 222
Index 227
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