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Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen Paperback – September 3, 2019

4.6 out of 5 stars 694 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An engaging read, and a deeply moving memoir of coming of age with the odds stacked against you and not only forging a remarkable life for yourself, but becoming a voice for transformation and cultural change.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“The moments when Vargas describes how profoundly alienated he feels from his own family ate the most candid and crushing parts of the book....Dear America is a potent rejoinder to those who tell Vargas he’s supposed to ‘get in line’ for citizenship, as if there were a line instead og a confounding jumble of vague statues and executive orders.” (New York Times)

“In Dear America, we get to know a young Vargas who was constantly told to stay in the shadows but whose tenacity and devotion had other plans for him.” (Los Angeles Magazine)

“Vargas writes with a newspaper reporter’s spare, forceful prose, but he’s searching and highly introspective.” (Mother Jones)

“[Dear America] is the voice of one man balancing between the poles of his identity. No matter one’s status, that’s something everyone can relate to.” (Providence Journal)

“[A] stirring, soulful, and ultimately damning autobiography.” (AV Club)

“A thought-provoking, moving, and highly personal memoir of Vargas’s struggle to belong. Recommended for all readers interested in immigration issues and American identity.” (Library Journal)

“Excruciatingly timely. . . .Vargas’ frank and fearless voice thoughtfully and intentionally challenges readers to confront the call for action at the heart of this book; the urgent need for “a new language around migration and the meaning of citizenship.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A clarion call for humanity in a time of unprecedented focus on the 11 million people living in America without a clear path to citizenship. Vargas writes passionately about the undeniable intersection between race, class, and immigration and traces the bitter history of American immigratin policy.” (BookPage )

“Jose Antonio Vargas’s eloquent and emotional book bears witness to a basic truth: we should not be defined by our legal status, but by who we are...His voice is an important voice that needs to be heard by all Americans, whether they are Americans by birth or by choice.” (Sheryl Sandberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Option B and Lean In)

From the Back Cover

My name is Jose Antonio Vargas. I was born in the Philippines. When I was twelve, my mother sent me to the United States to live with her parents. While applying for a driver’s permit, I found out my papers were fake. More than two decades later, I am still here illegally, with no clear path to American citizenship. To some people, I am the “most famous illegal” in America. In my mind, I am only one of an estimated 11 million human beings whose uncertain fate is under threat in a country I call my home.

This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book—at its core—is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but about the unsettled, unmoored psychological state in which undocumented immigrants like me find ourselves. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about what it means to not have a home.


Product details

  • Publisher : Dey Street Books; Reprint edition (September 3, 2019)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062851349
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062851345
  • Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.13 x 0.64 x 7.63 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 694 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
694 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 19, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Andreea
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely loved the book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2020
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