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Guarding the Golden Door American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882

ISBN: 9780809053445 | 0809053446
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Hill and Wang
Pub. Date: 1/12/2005

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"Arguably the most useful for general readers. Clearly written, reasonably lean and on the whole, balanced in its assessments, it is an excellent primer." --Los Angeles Times The federal government's efforts to pick and choose among the multitude of immigrants seeking to enter the United States began with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Conceived in ignorance and falsely presented to the public, it had undreamt of consequences, and this pattern has been rarely deviated from since. As renowned historian Roger Daniels shows in this brilliant new work, America's inconsistent, often illogical, and always cumbersome immigration policy has profoundly affected our recent past. Immigration policy in Daniels' skilled hands shows Americans at their best and worst, from the nativist violence that forced Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 "gentlemen's agreement" with Japan to the generous refugee policies adopted after World War Two and throughout the Cold War. And in a conclusion drawn from today's headlines, Daniels makes clear how far ignorance, partisan politics, and unintended consequences have overtaken immigration policy during the current administration's War on Terror. Irreverent, deeply informed, and authoritative,Guarding the Golden Doorpresents an unforgettable interpretation of modern American history. Roger Daniels, the author ofPrisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War IIand several other books, is a renowned expert on Asian American and immigration history, was a consultant to the commission that recommended redress, and has served on the History Advisory Board for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum since its inception. The federal government's efforts to pick and choose among the multitude of immigrants seeking to enter the United States began with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Conceived in ignorance and falsely presented to the public, it had undreamed-of consequences, and this pattern has been rarely deviated from since. As renowned historian Roger Daniels shows in this brilliant new work, America's inconsistent, often illogical, and always cumbersome immigration policy has profoundly affected our recent past. Immigration policy, in Daniels's skilled hands, shows Americans at their best and worst, from the nativist violence that forced Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 "gentlemen's agreement" with Japan to the generous refugee policies adopted after World War II and throughout the Cold War. And in a conclusion drawn from today's headlines, Daniels makes clear how ignorance, partisan politics, and unintended consequences have overtaken immigration policy during the current administration's War on Terror. Irreverent, deeply informed, and authoritative,Guarding the Golden Doorpresents an unforgettable interpretation of modern American history. "Ambitious . . . Both an introductory survey of immigration policy and a masterful assessment of the state of the field by one of its founders . . . [Daniels] provides a much-needed perspective on both the continuities and changes in the United States' efforts to regulate immigration . . .Guarding the Golden Dooris rich with details, statistics, and the author's own unique viewpoint. The book is exemplary."Erika Lee,Reviews in American History "This useful study introduces readers to the tangled history of immigration policy in the U.S."Walter Russell Mead,Foreign Affairs "Ambitious . . .Guarding the Golden Dooris both an introductory survey of immigration policy and a masterful assessment of the state of the field by one of its founders . . . Daniels chronicles the history of American immigration policy in a way that provides a much-needed perspective on both the continuities and changes in the United States' efforts to regulate immigration . . . [His] attention to the develop


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