From Kirkus Reviews
Coan takes readers on an emotional tour of Ellis Island with this elaborate, readable collection of interviews. As he makes clear, from 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island was truly the ``golden door'' to America; later, quotas and legislation made US citizenship much more difficult to obtain. The voices captured in first-person narrations--bemused, feisty, poignant--express enthusiasm for their new country, but most are unafraid to look back. The book is divided into the geographical regions from which the interviewees emigrated: the United Kingdom, Northern, Eastern, and Western Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East. Each interview comes with an introduction revealing where the speaker settled, thus connecting the old stories to the present. A few famous subjects make appearances among the 130+ men and women included: Bob Hope explains how his first sight of the Statue of Liberty is linked to his theme song (``Thanks for the Memories'') and Otto Preminger is frank about his prospects had his film career succeeded in Germany--he would not have been able to escape Hitler. With so many stories, and so many voices, this is a fine collection of primary-source materials. (index, appendix, b&w photos, not seen) (Nonfiction. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
To tell their stories, Peter Morton Coan lets the immigrants speak for themselves...All their stories are compelling because they are true, and all are important because they tell our collective American story -- Continental Airlines Magazine, January, 1998
Well presented and expectedly poignant -- Publishers Weekly, October 6, 1997