This history of the place H. G. Wells
once called "quietly immense" is a fine contribution to our understanding of how central immigrants have been to the American experience. Virginia Yans-McLaughlin and Marjorie Lightman, both historians, track the great historic waves of migration by which America was peopled following the first arrival of settlers from the British Isles; assemble documentary evidence of reaction to these newcomers, both hostile and sympathetic; and provide a set of study guides and questions for the use of high school students.
From School Library Journal
YA?An ideal starting point for a study of the role of immigration in American history and sociology. Don't be misled by the title; this is much more than just a guide to the museum. In addition to chronicling the waves of newcomers to America's shores from the Age of Exploration to the present, the book discusses immigration policy, past and present, and Ellis Island as a relic of that policy. A lengthy section includes historical documents such as letters, visas, the text of speeches delivered in Congress, legal documents, editorials and political cartoons, maps, charts, and graphs, all of which are keyed to the preceding text. These documents add welcome details without weighing down the narrative. One chapter describes ways in which the book can be used as a teaching resource and has a bibliography that includes fiction, autobiography, and nonfiction by and about immigrants arranged by country of origin. The volume concludes with an annotated listing of related films, videos, and filmstrips. There is no index. This is an attractively designed book with lots of photographs from the museum's collection and time lines throughout. It is useful for those planning to visit the museum or for assignments on genealogy or history.?Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library, VA
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