Who Belongs in America?: Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $27.77
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 30%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $27.77   
  • Used (2) from $27.77   


“How can the immigrant of yesterday be lionized as the very foundation of the nation’s character, while the immigrant of today is often demonized as a threat to the nation’s safety and stability?” ask volume editor Vanessa B. Beasley in her introduction to this timely book.

As the nation’s ceremonial as well as political leader, presidents through their rhetoric help to create the frame for the American public’s understanding of immigration. In an overarching essay and ten case studies, Who Belongs in America? Explores select moments in U.S. immigration history, focusing on the presidential discourse that preceded, address, or otherwise corresponded to events.

These chapters, which originated as presentations at the Texas A&M University Conference on Presidential Rhetoric, share a common interest in how, when and under what circumstances U.S. presidents or their administrations have negotiated the tension that lies at the heart of the immigration issue in the United States. The various authors look at the dual views of immigrants as either scapegoats for cultural fears, especially during trying times. U.S. presidents have had to navigate between these two motifs, and they have chosen different ways to do so. Indeed, as these studies show, their words have sometimes been at odds with their deeds and policies.

Since 9/11, few issues have more public significance than how America views immigrants. The contributors to this volume provide context that will help inform the public debate, as well as the scholarship, for years to come.

Vanessa B. Beasley, an associate professor of communication at the University of Georgia, is the author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric, also published by Texas A&M University Press. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas at Austin.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Steven R. Goldzwig

“A welcome addition to studies of the rhetorical presidency. Not only does this book fill in a major gap in the rhetorical literature on the presidency, it does so with scholarly grace, clarity, and distinction. [The essays] probe important issues and periods, and the analyses they undertake will challenge scholars to pay more attention to a singularly important, but too often overlooked area.”--Steven R. Goldzwig, Marquette University
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Vanessa B. Beasley, an associate professor of communication at the University of Georgia, is the author of You, the People: American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric, also published by Texas A&M University Press. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Texas at Austin.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction : presidential rhetoric and immigration : balancing tensions between hope and fear 3
Ch. 1 President of all the people 19
Ch. 2 The aliens are coming : the Federalist attack on the First Amendment 37
Ch. 3 Presidents and religious diversity in the nineteenth century 61
Ch. 4 Chinese exclusion : causes and consequences, 1882-1943 89
Ch. 5 Hooking the hyphen : Woodrow Wilson's war rhetoric and the Italian American community 107
Ch. 6 Immigration and the red scare 134
Ch. 7 Can the alien speak? : the McCarran-Walter Act and the First Amendment 149
Ch. 8 Questions of race, caste, and citizenship : Hector P. Garcia, Lyndon B. Johnson, and the polemics of the Bracero immigrant labor program 183
Ch. 9 Rhetorical ambivalence : Bush and Clinton address the crisis of Haitian refugees 209
Ch. 10 The class politics of cultural pluralism : presidential campaigns and the Latino vote 247
Afterword : a new hope or a recurring fear? 272
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)