Catalogue


A nation by design : immigration policy in the fashioning of America /
Aristide R. Zolberg.
imprint
New York : Russel Sage Foundation, 2006.
description
viii, 658 p.
ISBN
0674022181 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Russel Sage Foundation, 2006.
isbn
0674022181 (alk. paper)
general note
Published with Harvard University Press.
catalogue key
5851718
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Aristide R. Zolberg is Walter Eberstadt Professor of Political Science at the New School for Social Research
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-10-01:
In this timely and important book, Zolberg (New School) offers a refreshing and penetrating look at immigration policy in the US from the antebellum period to the present. By focusing on the comparative nature of immigration policy and the relationship between the desire to encourage preferred immigrants and restrict the settlement of those considered objectionable, Zolberg shows in great detail how the foundation of immigration policy in the 21st century has deep roots in the nation's early national period. This masterfully researched, finely written book explores the many ways that US policy makers actively engaged in a process of nation building attentive to issues of race, religion, territoriality, language, and national character, even before early-20th-century immigration restrictions and regulations took on a modern form. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All readers and library collections. M. S. Rodriguez University of Notre Dame
Reviews
Review Quotes
inform both the current debate and the ones sure to follow, the debate is bound to be poorer even than it already is.
noncitizens, but its clever use of the fear of foreigners to launch a broader assault on the civil liberties not just of immigrants, but of all Americans.
A brief review cannot highlight the insights and arresting observations peppered throughout every chapter of A Nation by Design...in this hyper-charged political climate Zolberg has provided a singular service. A Nation by Design is both an awesome work of scholarship and an indispensable source for understanding the seamy and complicated ancestry of Americars"s current politics of immigration.
If you want to understand why the politics of immigration take the form they do, read Aristide R. Zolberg's richly informative book immediately...We now have in our hands a book so thoughtful, so extensively researched, and so balanced in its conclusions that if it does not inform both the current debate and the ones sure to follow, the debate is bound to be poorer even than it already is.
A brief review cannot highlight the insights and arresting observations peppered throughout every chapter of A Nation by Design ...in this hyper-charged political climate Zolberg has provided a singular service. A Nation by Design is both an awesome work of scholarship and an indispensable source for understanding the seamy and complicated ancestry of Americas current politics of immigration.
This beautifully realized and intellectually capacious analytical history moves the story of immigration policy from the side to the center of American political development. Deep, learned, and inventive, A Nation by Design profoundly alters what we know and how we think about demography and identity, membership and law, citizenship and belonging as it crosses the boundaries of disciplines, periods, and ideas.
A Nation by Design is a monumental work by one of America's most distinguished and most historically minded social scientists. No other book on immigration possesses its sweep, nor does any other analyze the history of American immigration policy as comprehensively and insightfully as this one does. For at least a generation, A Nation by Design will become the starting point for anyone seeking to delve into this complex and important subject.
A Nation by Design is certain to become a standard reference for immigration scholars and a must-read for graduate students in the disciplines-history, political science, and sociology-that produce the bulk of these scholars. It provides a genuinely new perspective on the creation and centrality of immigration policy, and as befits a new point of view, it sketches a landscape with features that have not been visible before.
A Nation by Design is the first comprehensive account of American immigration policy from the colonial period to the present. One of its great strengths is that it places American developments in a cross-national and comparative perspective. Professor Zolberg's breadth of knowledge and the range of his reading are remarkable. The book abounds in fresh insights and interpretations, comprehensiveness and richness of detail. This is a magnum opus.
This is the book with which all of us working in the sphere will now have to measure up against.
If you want to understand why the politics of immigration take the form they do, read Aristide R. Zolberg's richly informative book immediately...Like Hannah Arendt and other refugee scholars, whose own stateless condition informed their scholarship, Zolberg has personal as well as academic reasons for exploring the dynamics of immigration policy. A Nation by Design may well prove to be the last significant book written by a Jewish World War II refugee trying to explain America to the people who welcomed him...We now have in our hands a book so thoughtful, so extensively researched, and so balanced in its conclusions that if it does not inform both the current debate and the ones sure to follow, the debate is bound to be poorer even than it already is.
Aristide Zolberg's A Nation by Design , offers the most comprehensive treatment of US immigration policy ever undertaken and is a major piece of scholarship that will prove indispensable to researchers for years to come. This achievement is no mean feat given the range of historical, political, economic, and sociological analyses of US immigration. What sets Zolberg's treatment apart is its unique historical depth and its realization of the importance of policies and practices other than those officially enacted by Congress--the focus of most earlier historical work on immigration policy...In many ways, immigration is America's never-ending debate. As Zolberg clearly shows, at every point in the history of the nation, from its inception as a dream among idealistic and free-thinking colonists to the present war on terrorism, immigration has figured prominently in debates about who us an American and what it means to be a citizen and resident of the United States. Over the course of US history, attacks on immigrants have waxed and waned, yet in the long run American society has incorporated an ever-widening array of peoples and nationalities into the national franchise. What distinguishes the current wave of anti-immigrant agitation from its predecessors is not its demonizing of foreigners or its harsh treatment of noncitizens, but its clever use of the fear of foreigners to launch a broader assault on the civil liberties not just of immigrants, but of all Americans.
Aristide Zolberg's A Nation by Design, offers the most comprehensive treatment of US immigration policy ever undertaken and is a major piece of scholarship that will prove indispensable to researchers for years to come. This achievement is no mean feat given the range of historical, political, economic, and sociological analyses of US immigration. What sets Zolberg's treatment apart is its unique historical depth and its realization of the importance of policies and practices other than those officially enacted by Congress--the focus of most earlier historical work on immigration policy...In many ways, immigration is America's never-ending debate. As Zolberg clearly shows, at every point in the history of the nation, from its inception as a dream among idealistic and free-thinking colonists to the present war on terrorism, immigration has figured prominently in debates about who us an American and what it means to be a citizen and resident of the United States. Over the course of US history, attacks on immigrants have waxed and waned, yet in the long run American society has incorporated an ever-widening array of peoples and nationalities into the national franchise. What distinguishes the current wave of anti-immigrant agitation from its predecessors is not its demonizing of foreigners or its harsh treatment of noncitizens, but its clever use of the fear of foreigners to launch a broader assault on the civil liberties not just of immigrants, but of all Americans.
Aristide R. Zolberg's A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America is an extraordinary achievement. In its sweep, erudition, conceptual precision, and analytic acuity, it may be the most important book on the history of immigration policy published in twenty-five years...One can find no better book than his to understand the role of immigration and immigration policy in the making of America.
A brief review cannot highlight the insights and arresting observations peppered throughout every chapter of A Nation by Design ...in this hyper-charged political climate Zolberg has provided a singular service. A Nation by Design is both an awesome work of scholarship and an indispensable source for understanding the seamy and complicated ancestry of America's current politics of immigration.
A brief review cannot highlight the insights and arresting observations peppered throughout every chapter of A Nation by Design ...in this hyper-charged political climate Zolberg has provided a singular service. A Nation by Design is both an awesome work of scholarship and an indispensable source for understanding the seamy and complicated ancestry of America’s current politics of immigration.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
According to the national mythology, the United States has long opened its doors to people from across the globe, providing a port in a storm and opportunity for any who seek it. Yet the history of immigration to the United States is far different. Even before the xenophobic reaction against European and Asian immigrants in the late nineteenth century, social and economic interest groups worked to manipulate immigration policy to serve their needs. In A Nation by Design, Aristide Zolberg explores American immigration policy from the colonial period to the present, discussing how it has been used as a tool of nation building. A Nation by Design argues that the engineering of immigration policy has been prevalent since early American history. However, it has gone largely unnoticed since it took place primarily on the local and state levels, owing to constitutional limits on federal power during the slavery era. Zolberg profiles the vacillating currents of opinion on immigration throughout American history, examining separately the roles played by business interests, labor unions, ethnic lobbies, and nativist ideologues in shaping policy. He then examines how three different types of migration--legal migration, illegal migration to fill low-wage jobs, and asylum-seeking--are shaping contemporary arguments over immigration to the United States. A Nation by Design is a thorough, authoritative account of American immigration history and the political and social factors that brought it about. With rich detail and impeccable scholarship, Zolberg's book shows how America has struggled to shape the immigration process to construct the kind of population it desires.
Main Description
According to the national mythology, the United States has long opened its doors to people from across the globe, providing a port in a storm and opportunity for any who seek it. Yet the history of immigration to the United States is far different. Even before the xenophobic reaction against European and Asian immigrants in the late nineteenth century, social and economic interest groups worked to manipulate immigration policy to serve their needs. In A Nation by Design , Aristide Zolberg explores American immigration policy from the colonial period to the present, discussing how it has been used as a tool of nation building. A Nation by Design argues that the engineering of immigration policy has been prevalent since early American history. However, it has gone largely unnoticed since it took place primarily on the local and state levels, owing to constitutional limits on federal power during the slavery era. Zolberg profiles the vacillating currents of opinion on immigration throughout American history, examining separately the roles played by business interests, labor unions, ethnic lobbies, and nativist ideologues in shaping policy. He then examines how three different types of migration--legal migration, illegal migration to fill low-wage jobs, and asylum-seeking--are shaping contemporary arguments over immigration to the United States. A Nation by Design is a thorough, authoritative account of American immigration history and the political and social factors that brought it about. With rich detail and impeccable scholarship, Zolberg's book shows how America has struggled to shape the immigration process to construct the kind of population it desires.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Themes and Perspectivesp. 1
From Empire to Republicp. 24
An Acquisitive Upstartp. 58
The American Systemp. 99
Tocqueville's Footnotep. 125
Seward's Other Folliesp. 166
"An Intelligent and Effective Restriction"p. 199
A Nation Like the Othersp. 243
The Ambiguities of Reformp. 293
The Elusive Quest for Coherencep. 337
Why the Gates Were Not Shutp. 382
Conclusion: National Design in a Globalizing Worldp. 432
Immigration Graphsp. 461
Abbreviationsp. 475
Notesp. 477
Indexp. 637
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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