- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 21, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393078019
- ISBN-13: 978-0393078015
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“Erudite and exciting, Zahra’s book recounts how enormous numbers of eastern Europeans migrated to the Americas between the mid-1800s and the second world war. In a work with obvious resonance for our times, Zahra . . . combines analytical depth with an impressive breadth of personal human stories.”
- Tony Barber, Financial Times
“A perceptive history of migration and eastern Europe.”
“Provocative….[Zahra] has uncovered a narrative that is complex, multifaceted.”
- Julia M. Klein, Chicago Tribune
“Zahra handles this immensely complicated and multidimensional history with remarkable clarity and feeling.”
- Robert Levgold, Foreign Affairs
“A significant work of social history bound to please serious readers and scholars. ”
- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“[An] absorbing and comprehensive history.”
- Library Journal
“In this riveting book, Tara Zahra takes the story of immigration that Americans know so well and weaves it into a larger story of emigration that we have long neglected. Full of hope and promise, of desperation and tragedy, it is perhaps the most important story of the twentieth century. With all the drama of a novel and all the nuance of history writing at its best, The Great Departure is a must-read.”
- Alison Johnson, Harvard University
“In this spare, deeply researched, and unfailingly analytical book, Tara Zahra frees the great migration of Eastern Europeans to the West from romantic myth and dissects all its human and moral complexities.”
- Robert D. Kaplan, of In Europe’s Shadow: A Journey Through Two Cold Wars in Romania and Beyond
About the Author
Tara Zahra is a professor of modern European history at the University of Chicago and a winner of the MacArthur Fellowship. She is the author of two award-winning books, Kidnapped Souls and The Lost Children. Zahra lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
My great-grandparents came to the U.S. from an eastern European country and, fortunately, wrote stories and letters about their lives, which I read long after they were dead. Reading these private accounts, along with two trips to my ancestral homeland and lots of ancestry research, led me to buy and begin reading THE GREAT DEPARTURE.
Unfortunately, the book seems a relentless horror story of human exploitation. There is much description of "misery" experienced by those who came to America, of their "trafficking" by unscrupulous agents, of the supposedly horrific conditions they encountered, of "terror," fear, and abject disappointment. At many points I felt as if I was reading the story of concentration camp victims -- not people who willingly traveled across an ocean to start new lives.
The accounts of my great-grandparents (who were not related, but came separately to America in the early 20th century) are full of fascinating details about their voyages to the U.S., their adjustment to a strange new country, passing through New York and Chicago, and carving out new lives in the upper Midwest. Their stories describe the culture of Americans (or "the English," as my great-grandmother called them), as opposed to that of the Slavs back "home." They describe lots of hard work, many rewards, a steep learning-curve, some humorous incidents, as well as some difficulties. (My great-grandfather wrote of his warm relationship with the local "Indians," who loved his accordion music.) Their stories are really fantastic adventure tales.
While I'm sure my great-grandparents did experience painful times, their lives were not about victimization. I am certain they viewed themselves as fortunate people.
Why is THE GREAT DEPARTURE so relentlessly negative? Why the victimization slant? Is that really the WHOLE story of the "mass migration from Eastern Europe"?
Zahra reveals a plethora of patterns in emigration policies among European and North American states that emerge in the late nineteenth century and continue to this day. The patterns include ideas on mobility and freedom, state control of emigration as a means to achieve political goals, the influence of mercantilist ideas, using ethnic groups as scapegoats, and the adjustment of policies in order to encourage the immigration of preferred migrants. One of the more interesting patterns is the conflicting view between Eastern and Western powers on what freedom is. To Western states, freedom was inextricably tied to mobility, and was increasingly considered a “human right,” whereas Eastern states “sought to protect the ‘freedom’ of citizens by keeping them at home” (55, 246).
Initially, emigration was seen as a major problem for government. Mercantilist philosophies that valued the population as a source of economic and political power, left governments fearful (9). Attempts, such as the trial of Jewish travel agents in 1889, were made to stop the mass exodus of people (23-24). As it became clear that states could not halt emigration entirely, they began to take a more opportunistic approach by utilizing emigration as a means to serve their goals. Zahra points out that “emigration came to be seen as a potential solution to various social and political problems,” which resulted with several European states developing strategies aimed at encouraging or forcing “undesirable” or “surplus” citizens to leave (10). Some states achieved this through the establishment of penal colonies, while others gave in to rising nationalist trends by attempting to homogenize their population. Ironically, this effort at homogeneity had the side-effect of endowing marginalized communities with increased mobility, and therefore, at least in some sense, increased freedoms (10, 17). In summary, Zahra’s The Great Departure is a masterful examination of the patterns of emigration in the modern age.