Booklist Reviews

Focusing primarily on developments since 1850, this large-format book looks at American immigration practices and the political, economic, and social concerns that have influenced them. The presentation is chronological within each of six thematic chapters that consider "Germans, Irish, and Nativists," "Italians, Jews, and Eastern Europeans," Asians, Latin Americans, refugees, and the period from WWII to 2015. While acknowledging the differing points of view and different forms of discrimination in immigration in various periods, Osborne makes a plea for fairness and compassion as well as recognition of the continuing contributions of immigrants to America. Well researched, clearly written, and informative, the discussion is particularly useful in offering the broad look at immigration over time, showing how similar arguments and legal restrictions have been used against different groups in different periods. Throughout the book, the perspectives of individual immigrants emerge in paragraphs detailing their personal stories and including quotes. Handsomely designed, the book offers many captioned period illustrations, especially photos. A strong introduction to American immigration. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

Covering the full sweep of American immigration, from the English settlers who first came to Jamestown, Virginia, to the immigrants and refugees of today, this excellent history highlights the complex issues and conflicting opinions that the U.S. has always faced. Strong archival and contemporary images; a handsome, clear layout; and extensive quotes throughout the text add value. Timeline. Bib., ind. Copyright 2016 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

As timely as the latest newspaper headline and political debate, Osborne's latest nonfiction volume offers historical context for the issue of immigration. "Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the British, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them." Benjamin Franklin's remark from 1751 sounds eerily familiar over 250 years later, as Americans still grapple with the challenges of immigration. The title, a play on the words of Woody Guthrie's 1940 folk song, implies the issue: "Is it our land, the land of the people who already live here….Or is it our land, including the people who still come here for freedom and opportunity?" Osborne, a great-granddaughter of Italian immigrants, writes with an open-hearted belief in the United States' legacy as a nation of immigrants but doesn't overlook the challenges, past and present. Who should be allowed to enter the United States? How many? Should we build a wall? How do we prevent terrorism? Clear and accessible prose, a colorful design, and numerous quotations keep the volume personal and lively, never textbook-ish. Chapters are divided by waves of immigration, so the parallels among the generations of immigrants become clear. Fascinating reading for both browsers and those seeking a more thorough understanding of immigration. (appendix, timeline, source notes, bibliography, credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Osborne (Miles to Go for Freedom) examines immigration to the United States from the 19th century to the present, and the accompanying reactions from Americans already here—reactions she describes as "startlingly similar and consistent." Opening as non-English Europeans traveled to U.S. shores in greater numbers, Osborne succinctly traces how various communities (Germans, Swedes, Italians, Chinese, and others) were alternately vilified, with xenophobia, nativism, and prejudice coming into play again and again. Numerous quotations from migrants (and, later, refugees) offer humanizing stories of struggle and striving, as if to offset the dehumanizing attitudes toward the groups at large. As Osborne moves into contemporary immigration, readers will have no trouble seeing the numerous parallels between the examples drawn from the nation's history and ongoing conversations that sound very familiar. It's a heartfelt plea to listen to and learn from our past. Ages 13–up. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 6–10—This exceptional work explores the history of American immigration from the early colonization of the continent to the contemporary discussions involving undocumented aliens. The so-called American melting pot has a history of exclusion, discrimination, and strife that has resulted in anti-immigration laws, segregation, and, in the case of the Japanese during World War II, unjustified internment. The author combines comprehensive history with anecdotal case studies to present the human side of the issue. Outstanding archival photographs and illustrations complement the comprehensive text and encourage thoughtful discussion. The author conveys the attitudes toward new waves of immigration. As each new ethnic or national group arrived, it faced exclusion, aversion, and hostility from those who came earlier. The author outlines the motivations for these barriers and the political circumstances behind them. She also distinctly demonstrates the benefits immigrant populations have brought to the growth of this country. An excellent time line and end notes and a thorough bibliography make this an effective research tool. VERDICT Highly recommended for general purchase.—Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY

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