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Other titles in the Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America series:

Impossible Subjects

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Impossible Subjects Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

"While vernacular discussion of the so-called 'illegal alien' in the United States has generally fixed on the alien side of the equation, Mae Ngai's luminous new book focuses rather on the illegal--the bureaucratic and ideological machinery within legislatures and the courts--that has created a very particular kind of pariah group. Impossible subjects is a beautifully executed and important contribution: judicious yet impassioned, crisply written, eye-opening, and at moments fully devastating. All of which is to say, brilliant. Would that such a story need not be told."--Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University, author of Barbarian Virtues: the United states Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917

"In Impossible Subjects' Mae Ngai has written a stunning history of U.S. immigration policy and practice in that often forgotten period, 1924-1965. Employing rich archival evidence and case studies, Ngai marvelously shows how immigration law was used as a tool to fashion American racial policy particularly toward Asians and Mexicans though the differential employment of concepts such as "illegal aliens," "national origins," and "racial ineligibility to citizenship". For those weaned on the liberal rhetoric of an immigrant America this will be a most eye-opening read."--Ramn A. Gutirrez, author, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1848.

"Impossible Subjects' makes an outstanding contribution to U.S. histories of race and citizenship. Ngai's excellent discussions of the figure of the illegal alien, and laws regarding immigration and citizenship, demonstrate the history of U.S. citizenship as an institution that produces racial differences. This history explains why struggles over race, immigration, and citizenship continue today."--Lisa Lowe, UC San Diego, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

"At the cutting edge of the new interdisciplinary and global immigration history, Ngai unpacks the place of 'illegal aliens' in the construction of modern American society and nationality. Theoretically nuanced, empirically rich, and culturally sensitive, the book offers a powerful vista of how the core meaning of 'American' was shaped by those--Filipinos, Mexicans, Chinese,and Japanese--held in liminal status by the law."--David Abraham, Professor of Law, University of Miami

Synopsis:

"While vernacular discussion of the so-called 'illegal alien' in the United States has generally fixed on the alien side of the equation, Mae Ngai's luminous new book focuses rather on the illegal--the bureaucratic and ideological machinery within legislatures and the courts--that has created a very particular kind of pariah group. Impossible subjects is a beautifully executed and important contribution: judicious yet impassioned, crisply written, eye-opening, and at moments fully devastating. All of which is to say, brilliant. Would that such a story need not be told."--Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University, author of Barbarian Virtues: the United states Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917

"In Impossible Subjects' Mae Ngai has written a stunning history of U.S. immigration policy and practice in that often forgotten period, 1924-1965. Employing rich archival evidence and case studies, Ngai marvelously shows how immigration law was used as a tool to fashion American racial policy particularly toward Asians and Mexicans though the differential employment of concepts such as "illegal aliens," "national origins," and "racial ineligibility to citizenship". For those weaned on the liberal rhetoric of an immigrant America this will be a most eye-opening read."--Ramn A. Gutirrez, author, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1848.

"Impossible Subjects' makes an outstanding contribution to U.S. histories of race and citizenship. Ngai's excellent discussions of the figure of the illegal alien, and laws regarding immigration and citizenship, demonstrate the history of U.S. citizenship as an institution that produces racial differences. This history explains why struggles over race, immigration, and citizenship continue today."--Lisa Lowe, UC San Diego, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

"At the cutting edge of the new interdisciplinary and global immigration history, Ngai unpacks the place of 'illegal aliens' in the construction of modern American society and nationality. Theoretically nuanced, empirically rich, and culturally sensitive, the book offers a powerful vista of how the core meaning of 'American' was shaped by those--Filipinos, Mexicans, Chinese,and Japanese--held in liminal status by the law."--David Abraham, Professor of Law, University of Miami

Synopsis:

This book traces the origins of the "illegal alien" in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy--a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century.

Mae Ngai offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the 1920s--its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects. In well-drawn historical portraits, Ngai peoples her study with the Filipinos, Mexicans, Japanese, and Chinese who comprised, variously, illegal aliens, alien citizens, colonial subjects, and imported contract workers. She shows that immigration restriction, particularly national-origin and numerical quotas, re-mapped the nation both by creating new categories of racial difference and by emphasizing as never before the nation's contiguous land borders and their patrol. This yielded the "illegal alien," a new legal and political subject whose inclusion in the nation was a social reality but a legal impossibility--a subject without rights and excluded from citizenship. Questions of fundamental legal status created new challenges for liberal democratic society and have directly informed the politics of multiculturalism and national belonging in our time.

Ngai's analysis is based on extensive archival research, including previously unstudied records of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Contributing to American history, legal history, and ethnic studies, Impossible Subjects is a major reconsideration of U.S. immigration in the twentieth century.

About the Author

Mae M. Ngai is Associate Professor of U.S. History at the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Illustrations xi

List of Tables xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Note on Language and Terminology xix

Introduction

Illegal Aliens: A Problem of Law and History 1

PART I: THE REGIME OF QUOTAS AND PAPERS 15

One

The Johnson-Reed Act of 1924 and the Reconstruction of Race in Immigration Law 21

Two

Deportation Policy and the Making and Unmaking of Illegal Aliens 56

PART II: MIGRANTS AT THE MARGINS OF LAW AND NATION 91

Three

From Colonial Subject to Undesirable Alien: Filipino Migration in the Invisible Empire 96

Four

Braceros, "Wetbacks," and the National Boundaries of Class 127

PART III: WAR, NATIONALISM, AND ALIEN CITIZENSHIP 167

Five

The World War II Internment of Japanese Americans and the Citizenship Renunciation Cases 175

Six

The Cold War Chinese Immigration Crisis and the Confession Cases 202

PART IV: PLURALISM AND NATIONALISM IN POST-WORLD WAR II IMMIGRATION REFORM 225

Seven

The Liberal Critique and Reform of Immigration Policy 227

Epilogue 265

Appendix 271

Notes 275

Archival and Other Primary Sources 357

Index 369

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691124292
Subtitle:
Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
Editor:
Chafe, William
Editor:
Chafe, William
Editor:
Gerstle, Gary
Author:
Ngai, Mae M.
Author:
Ngai, Mae
Editor:
Gerstle, Gary
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
History
Subject:
Citizenship
Subject:
Emigration & Immigration
Subject:
Constitutional
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
American history
Subject:
Law
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Citizenship -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Emigration and immigration law
Subject:
Ethnic Studies-Immigration
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America
Publication Date:
August 2005
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 halftones. 3 line illus. 6 tables.
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 20 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Law » Constitutional Law
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Immigration
History and Social Science » Politics » General
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History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Impossible Subjects Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$21.00 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691124292 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "While vernacular discussion of the so-called 'illegal alien' in the United States has generally fixed on the alien side of the equation, Mae Ngai's luminous new book focuses rather on the illegal--the bureaucratic and ideological machinery within legislatures and the courts--that has created a very particular kind of pariah group. Impossible subjects is a beautifully executed and important contribution: judicious yet impassioned, crisply written, eye-opening, and at moments fully devastating. All of which is to say, brilliant. Would that such a story need not be told."--Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University, author of Barbarian Virtues: the United states Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917

"In Impossible Subjects' Mae Ngai has written a stunning history of U.S. immigration policy and practice in that often forgotten period, 1924-1965. Employing rich archival evidence and case studies, Ngai marvelously shows how immigration law was used as a tool to fashion American racial policy particularly toward Asians and Mexicans though the differential employment of concepts such as "illegal aliens," "national origins," and "racial ineligibility to citizenship". For those weaned on the liberal rhetoric of an immigrant America this will be a most eye-opening read."--Ramn A. Gutirrez, author, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1848.

"Impossible Subjects' makes an outstanding contribution to U.S. histories of race and citizenship. Ngai's excellent discussions of the figure of the illegal alien, and laws regarding immigration and citizenship, demonstrate the history of U.S. citizenship as an institution that produces racial differences. This history explains why struggles over race, immigration, and citizenship continue today."--Lisa Lowe, UC San Diego, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

"At the cutting edge of the new interdisciplinary and global immigration history, Ngai unpacks the place of 'illegal aliens' in the construction of modern American society and nationality. Theoretically nuanced, empirically rich, and culturally sensitive, the book offers a powerful vista of how the core meaning of 'American' was shaped by those--Filipinos, Mexicans, Chinese,and Japanese--held in liminal status by the law."--David Abraham, Professor of Law, University of Miami

"Synopsis" by , This book traces the origins of the "illegal alien" in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy--a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century.

Mae Ngai offers a close reading of the legal regime of restriction that commenced in the 1920s--its statutory architecture, judicial genealogies, administrative enforcement, differential treatment of European and non-European migrants, and long-term effects. In well-drawn historical portraits, Ngai peoples her study with the Filipinos, Mexicans, Japanese, and Chinese who comprised, variously, illegal aliens, alien citizens, colonial subjects, and imported contract workers. She shows that immigration restriction, particularly national-origin and numerical quotas, re-mapped the nation both by creating new categories of racial difference and by emphasizing as never before the nation's contiguous land borders and their patrol. This yielded the "illegal alien," a new legal and political subject whose inclusion in the nation was a social reality but a legal impossibility--a subject without rights and excluded from citizenship. Questions of fundamental legal status created new challenges for liberal democratic society and have directly informed the politics of multiculturalism and national belonging in our time.

Ngai's analysis is based on extensive archival research, including previously unstudied records of the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Contributing to American history, legal history, and ethnic studies, Impossible Subjects is a major reconsideration of U.S. immigration in the twentieth century.

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