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American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction

Second Edition

David A. Gerber

25 March 2021

ISBN: 9780197542422

168 pages

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99



A thoughtful look at immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and the motivations and experiences of the migrants themselves, this updated book offers a compact but wide-ranging look at one of America's persistent hot-button issues.

  • Updates work on immigration debates and developments over the past decade.
  • Covers all three major waves of immigration.
  • Brings together white European immigration with Latin American and Asian immigration.
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series— millions of copies sold worldwide.

About the Author(s)

David A. Gerber, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, University at Buffalo, SUNY

David A. Gerber is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University at Buffalo. He is the author of The Making of an American Pluralism and Authors of Their Lives.

Table of Contents

    Preface to the second edition
    List of illustrations
    Introduction: mass immigration, past and present
    Part I The law of immigration and the legal construction of citizenship
    1. Unregulated immigration and its opponents from Colonial America to the mid-nineteenth century
    2. Regulation and exclusion
    3. Removing barriers and debating consequences
    Part II Emigration and immigration from international migrants' perspectives
    4. Mass population movements and resettlement, 1820-1924
    5. Mass population movements and resettlement, 1965 to the present
    Part III The dialogue of ethnicity and assimilation
    6. The widening mainstream
    7. The future of assimilation
    Further reading


"David Gerber has achieved a remarkable feat in synthesizing and interpreting a vast literature on American immigration over the centuries in this short introduction. Sensitive to historical detail but also attuned to broader perspectives, this well-written and engaging book is full of insights about the causes, consequences, and legal context of immigration and reminds us that current immigration debates have a long history." - Nancy Foner, author of From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration

"In this insightful, brief volume, Gerber makes effective use of recent historical scholarship in a cogent and highly accessible analysis of contemporary immigration issues." - Barbara M. Posadas, Northern Illinois University

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