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Defining Moments: The Dream of America: Immigration 1870-1920Kevin Hillstrom
Defining Moments: The Dream of America: Immigration 1870-1920 examines an event in American history whose story is still unfolding today: the experience of immigration as it has helped to define the very core of what America is—and what it will become. From its beginning, and unlike almost any other nation, the United States has grown as quickly as it has predominantly through immigration. This has been a source of immense pride, innovation and power for Americans, but it has also fostered ugliness—as many already-established Americans have looked at these newcomers as threats to the nation’s health, vitality and cultural identity. This book looks at all aspects of the immigration experience in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: from immigration as it was before the American Civil War, to the “Great Wave” that began soon after, to the difficult (and often dangerous) trek to the “New World,” and to the gateway of their new lives: Ellis Island. From there, immigrants settled into what has become known as the “melting pot” of American life—although in the beginning, this often only meant life in cramped and dirty tenements. However, this new influx of humanity eventually made its impact felt on America, as immigrants were willing to work hard, to contribute their widely-varying cultural backgrounds and to call their new nation their new home. This volume also includes sections on the closing of the “golden door” around 1920, a chapter on the state of immigration from that time to the present day, numerous biographies of individuals who were important to these events (such as Jane Addams), and primary sources which shed light on what Americans thought of these events—as they were living through them.
About the Author
Kevin Hillstrom is an independent scholar and author who has written extensively about American history, politics, and environmental issues. He is the author, most recently, of U.S. Environmental Politics and Policy: A Documentary History.
7-¼ x 9-¼; 240 pages, illustrated
Series: Defining Moments
March 2012: $19.95