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American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

by

American Passage: The History of Ellis Island Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For most of New York's early history, Ellis Island had been an obscure little island that barely held itself above high tide. Today the small island stands alongside Plymouth Rock in our nation's founding mythology as the place where many of our ancestors first touched American soil. Ellis Island's heyday — from 1892 to 1924 — coincided with one of the greatest mass movements of individuals the world has ever seen, with some twelve million immigrants inspected at its gates.

In American Passage, Vincent J. Cannato masterfully illuminates the story of Ellis Island from the days when it hosted pirate hangings witnessed by thousands of New Yorkers in the nineteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century when massive migrations sparked fierce debate and hopeful new immigrants often encountered corruption, harsh conditions, and political scheming.

American Passage captures a time and a place unparalleled in American immigration and history, and articulates the dramatic and bittersweet accounts of the immigrants, officials, interpreters, and social reformers who all play an important role in Ellis Island's chronicle. Cannato traces the politics, prejudices, and ideologies that surrounded the great immigration debate, to the shift from immigration to detention of aliens during World War II and the Cold War, all the way to the rebirth of the island as a national monument. Long after Ellis Island ceased to be the nation's preeminent immigrant inspection station, the debates that once swirled around it are still relevant to Americans a century later.

In this sweeping, often heart-wrenching epic, Cannato reveals that the history of Ellis Island is ultimately the story of what it means to be an American.

Review:

Ellis Island, through which 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1924, is a museum and tourist attraction now, "a success," according to Vincent J. Cannato, "attracting some 2 million visitors a year." A small patch of land in New York Harbor, known two centuries ago as Gibbet Island because so many pirates were hanged there, it occupies a large but somewhat ambiguous place in American history.... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"This measured book helps to place in perspective discussions — sure to matter to genealogists and those engaged in political discourse — of Ellis Island and the idea of immigration as a privilege rather than a right." Library Journal

Book News Annotation:

Immigration has been a foundation of the development of American culture and character and a significant factor in the country's overall history, and Ellis Island is the American monument to immigration. Cannato (history, U. of Massachusetts) offers sometimes dramatic accounts from immigrants, officials, interpreters, and others to relate the history of the tiny but important island. In doing so, he explores the controversial politics and prejudices, as well as the ideologies, that were a part of the chaotic immigration debate. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"By bringing us the inspiring and sometimes unsettling tales of Ellis Island, Vincent Cannatos American Passage helps us understand who we are as a nation.”
— Walter Isaacson

“Never before has Ellis Island been written about with such scholarly care and historical wisdom. Highly recommended!"
—Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author of The Wilderness Warrior

The remarkable saga of Americas landmark port of entry, from immigration post to deportation center to mythical icon.

About the Author

Vincent J. Cannato teaches history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060742737
Subtitle:
The History of Ellis Island
Author:
Cannato, Vincent J.
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Immigrants
Subject:
History
Subject:
Emigration & Immigration
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
United States - 19th Century/Turn of the Century
Subject:
Ellis Island Immigration Station (N.Y. and N.
Subject:
United States Emigration and immigration.
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090609
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.68 in 10.16 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

American Passage: The History of Ellis Island New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$27.99 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Harper - English 9780060742737 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This measured book helps to place in perspective discussions — sure to matter to genealogists and those engaged in political discourse — of Ellis Island and the idea of immigration as a privilege rather than a right."
"Synopsis" by , "By bringing us the inspiring and sometimes unsettling tales of Ellis Island, Vincent Cannatos American Passage helps us understand who we are as a nation.”
— Walter Isaacson

“Never before has Ellis Island been written about with such scholarly care and historical wisdom. Highly recommended!"
—Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author of The Wilderness Warrior

The remarkable saga of Americas landmark port of entry, from immigration post to deportation center to mythical icon.

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