The years covered by this book were the greatest era for immigration in the United States, and Not Like Us
serves as a reminder that immigrant ships were often not a welcome sight on the horizon. Roger Daniels, a professor of history at the University of Cincinnati, begins the book with the story of the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law which curtailed Chinese immigration and served as a model for later U.S. immigration law. In successive chapters Daniels documents how various immigrant groups came to America, and how anti-immigrant feelings gradually intensified. Eventually the reactionary forces turned not only on recent arrivals, but on African Americans and Native Americans, and the early decades of the 20th century, far from being a halcyon time, were marked by ethnic strife and occasional full-fledged race riots in America. Not Like Us
is a concise, straightforward, and unsentimental history of immigration to America, and it serves as a welcome antidote to some romantic misconceptions about the American past. --Robert McNamara
A readable history of ethnic minorities and immigrants . . . powerful.
(Maxine D. Jones Journal of Southern History
)Lucid and effective . . . Daniels maps out the contradictions and inequities which characterize legislation enacted against the socially defined 'other.'
(Immigrants and Minorities