Catalogue

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American Latvians : politics of a refugee community /
Ieva Zake.
imprint
New Brunswick, N.J. : Transaction Publishers, c2010.
description
x, 215 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1412814510 (hbk. : alk. paper), 9781412814515 (hbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
New Brunswick, N.J. : Transaction Publishers, c2010.
isbn
1412814510 (hbk. : alk. paper)
9781412814515 (hbk. : alk. paper)
contents note
Into exile -- American Latvians as ethnic anticommunists -- Ghosts from the past -- Surviving the Soviet pressure -- The end of exile.
catalogue key
7292803
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-01-01:
Studies of immigrants and ethnic groups in the US have proliferated in recent decades, but Latvian immigrants have received little scholarly attention. This study of American Latvians, mainly the refugees from post-WW II Europe who fled Latvia in 1944, is a significant contribution to immigrant studies. Following a brief introduction and a descriptive chapter on the arrival of the Latvians who came to the US in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Zake (sociology, Rowan Univ.) focuses on three key aspects of US Latvian politics: anticommunism, which she characterizes as "ethnic"; efforts to deal with accusations of collaboration with German occupying forces in Latvia; and responses to Soviet pressures from Moscow as well as from Soviet Latvia. One chapter focuses on the years following Latvia's reemergence as an independent state. A conclusion seeks to formulate a theoretical approach to immigrant studies. On the basis of studying particular emigre periodical literature, Zake delves extensively into the political issues that divided the immigrants as well as those that lent them cohesion and sustained their cultural and political identities. An excellent study of an atypical and little-known immigrant group in the US. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. R. P. Peters University of Massachusetts at Boston
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Studies of immigrants and ethnic groups in the US have proliferated in recent decades, but Latvian immigrants have received little scholarly attention. This study of American Latvians, mainly the refugees from post-WW II Europe who fled Latvia in 1944, is a significant contribution to immigrant studies….Zake delves extensively into the political issues that divided the immigrants as well as those that lent them cohesion and sustained their cultural and political identities. An excellent study of an atypical and little-known immigrant group in the US. Highly recommended." -R. P. Peters, Choice "A bold attempt to synthesize the Latvian émigré experience in America." -Modris Eksteins, University of Toronto
"Studies of immigrants and ethnic groups in the US have proliferated in recent decades, but Latvian immigrants have received little scholarly attention. This study of American Latvians, mainly the refugees from post-WW II Europe who fled Latvia in 1944, is a significant contribution to immigrant studies....Zake delves extensively into the political issues that divided the immigrants as well as those that lent them cohesion and sustained their cultural and political identities. An excellent study of an atypical and little-known immigrant group in the US. Highly recommended." --R. P. Peters, Choice "A bold attempt to synthesize the Latvian migr experience in America." --Modris Eksteins, University of Toronto
"This book discusses the political experiences of Latvian refugees who fled their homeland in the aftermath of World War II and sought refuge in the United States. Ieva Zake emphasizes the fact that this group defines itself as "American Latvians," as opposed to "Latvian Americans," witha strong emphasis on their ethnic identity... American Latvians will prove useful to students and academic scholars interested in refugee studies, immigration studies, ethnic groups, ex-Soviet communities and especially politicial activism of refugee or immigrant groups in their host societies." -Contemporary Sociology
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2011
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
Bowker Data Service Summary
Ieva Zake analyses the political experience of American Latvians, taking a detailed look at this small community & offering a novel perspective on the Cold War as experienced by certain ethnic groups.
Main Description
This book analyes the political experience of a small and unique American ethnic group American Latvians. This community was constituted by post-World War II political refugees, who fled Communism and arrived in the United States seeking safety and protection. For decades, they insisted on preserving their ethnic identity and therefore did not call themselves Latvian Americans. Instead, they formed a distinctive double identity, that is, they blended into the American society economically and socially, but refused to become assimilated culturally and politically. The book offers a detailed look into the life of this community of political refugees, which also provides a novel perspective on the Cold War as experienced by certain ethnic groups. From a theoretical point of view, the book makes two major contributions. First, it reasserts the need to understand the generalied category of "white Americans" or "white ethnics"with more nuance and attention to differences, and, second, it strengthens the so-called realist claim that refugees are not like other immigrants. In order to achieve these goals, the book provides compelling descriptions and interpretations of the most politically relevant moments in the experience of American Latvians in the period between the 1950s and the 1990s. Concretely, the book deals with topics as the American Latvians' anti-communist activism, the impact of the hunt for Nais on Latvian imigrants, the Soviet Union's anti-imigrant propaganda campaigns and the exiled Latvians' involvement in the politics of national liberation in Latvia. The author strives to reveal the complexity of the refugee experience in the United States during the Cold War and its aftermath. Since such aspects of the life of ethnic groups in the United States have not been sufficiently studied, this book makes a substantial contribution to a fuller understanding of American immigration history and sociology of ethnic groups. It is well written, expertly organied, and will be of interest to a large readership at many levels of academia. Ieva Zake is an associate professor in the Sociology Department at Rowan University. She is author of two books: Anti-Communist Minorities in the US and Nineteenth-Century Nationalism and Twentieth-Century Anti-democratic Ideals: The Case of Latvia, 1840s to 1908s.
Main Description
This book analyzes the political experience of a small and unique American ethnic group American Latvians. This community was constituted by post-World War II political refugees, who fled Communism and arrived in the United States seeking safety and protection. For decades, they insisted on preserving their ethnic identity and therefore did not call themselves Latvian Americans. Instead, they formed a distinctive double identity, that is, they blended into the American society economically and socially, but refused to become assimilated culturally and politically. The book offers a detailed look into the life of this community of political refugees, which also provides a novel perspective on the Cold War as experienced by certain ethnic groups.From a theoretical point of view, the book makes two major contributions. First, it reasserts the need to understand the generalized category of "white Americans" or "white ethnics"with more nuance and attention to differences, and, second, it strengthens the so-called realist claim that refugees are not like other immigrants. In order to achieve these goals, the book provides compelling descriptions and interpretations of the most politically relevant moments in the experience of American Latvians in the period between the 1950s and the 1990s. Concretely, the book deals with topics as the American Latvians’ anti-communist activism, the impact of the hunt for Nazis on Latvian émigrés, the Soviet Union’s anti-émigré propaganda campaigns and the exiled Latvians’ involvement in the politics of national liberation in Latvia.The author strives to reveal the complexity of the refugee experience in the United States during the Cold War and its aftermath. Since such aspects of the life of ethnic groups in the United States have not been sufficiently studied, this book makes a substantial contribution to a fuller understanding of American immigration history and sociology of ethnic groups. It is well written, expertly organized, and will be of interest to a large readership at many levels of academia.
Main Description
This book analyzes the political experience of a small and unique American ethnic group-American Latvians. This community was constituted by post-World War II political refugees, who fled Communism and arrived in the United States seeking safety and protection. For decades, they insisted on preserving their ethnic identity and therefore did not call themselves Latvian Americans. Instead, they formed a distinctive double identity, that is, they blended into the American society economically and socially, but refused to become assimilated culturally and politically. The book offers a detailed look into the life of this community of political refugees, which also provides a novel perspective on the Cold War as experienced by certain ethnic groups. From a theoretical point of view, the book makes two major contributions. First, it reasserts the need to understand the generalized category of "white Americans" or "white ethnics" with more nuance and attention to differences, and, second, it strengthens the so-called realist claim that refugees are not like other immigrants. In order to achieve these goals, the book provides compelling descriptions and interpretations of the most politically relevant moments in the experience of American Latvians in the period between the 1950s and the 1990s. Concretely, the book deals with topics as the American Latvians' anti-communist activism, the impact of the hunt for Nazis on Latvian émigrés, the Soviet Union's anti-émigré propaganda campaigns and the exiled Latvians' involvement in the politics of national liberation in Latvia. The author strives to reveal the complexity of the refugee experience in the United States during the Cold War and its aftermath. Since such aspects of the life of ethnic groups in the United States have not been sufficiently studied, this book makes a substantial contribution to a fuller understanding of American immigration history and sociology of ethnic groups. It is well written, expertly organized, and will be of interest to a large readership at many levels of academia.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Into Exilep. 17
American Latvians as Ethnic Anticommunistsp. 49
Ghosts from the Pastp. 89
Surviving the Soviet Pressurep. 125
The End of Exilep. 161
Conclusionp. 197
Indexp. 211
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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