"In this important and compelling study, Susan Martin provides a fresh historical perspective for understanding immigration and its governance in the United States. A Nation of Immigrants demonstrates the persistence of three distinctive models of immigration dating back to the colonial era, revealing the full range of constructive and detrimental legacies that these traditions have yielded over time. In contrast to most previous works, this book also teaches us a great deal about the significant interplay between the immigration policies adopted by officials and the grassroots experiences of immigrants and refugees. In an impressive merging of careful scholarship and rich personal experience in the policy process, Martin gives new meaning to our immigrant past and offers thoughtful recommendations for our way forward on this irrepressibly contentious issue."
-Daniel J. Tichenor, University of Oregon
"It is a truism to say that America is a nation of immigrants. But in this brilliant work Susan Martin shows us how the United States truly was shaped by immigration from colonial times to the present. A magisterial work of political and social history, this book is perfectly timed and will be read by generations to come."
-James Hollifield, Southern Methodist University
"US immigration policy debates obviously are increasingly passionate and stalemated. Alas they also are ill-informed by history. Susan Martin's book seeks to 'provide a thoughtful, well-reasoned analysis...by placing today's trends and policy options into historical perspective.' This is a great success - a cool breeze of reason and fact to temper the emotions that prevail. Whether or not they agree with Martin's views, those who actually want to understand the convoluted history, bizarre politics and embarrassing contradictions of US immigration policy should read this book."
-Michael Teitelbaum, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
"Susan Martin uniquely combines scholarly dedication and policy experience. In this book, she has brought both to bear on the resolution of a quandary I cannot state better than she does herself: 'It is a truism that the United States is a nation of immigrants. . . The phrase, however, hides as much as it illuminates.' She elegantly resolves the quandary by analyzing successive phases of US immigration in terms of three initial models: Virginia, Pennsylvania, ands Massachusetts."
-Aristide Zolberg, The New School for Social Research
"A Nation of Immigrants is an exemplary synthesis and interpretive history of its urgent subject. It is also a deeply considered and thought-provoking book." -TNR.com
"...an informative and engaging book." -David M. Reimers, Journal of American History
This book examines four major waves of immigration from the colonial period to the present, exploring the causes and consequences of these movements. It also traces the historical roots of current immigration policy debates and options. The final chapter makes recommendations for future immigration reform based on the author's experiences with two major federal immigration commissions. Given the highly controversial nature of immigration in the United States, this book provides thoughtful, well-reasoned analysis, valuable to both academic and policy audiences for the ways it places today's trends and policy options into historical perspective.