American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

Paperback | May 4, 2010

byVincent J. Cannato

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"By bringing us the inspiring and sometimes unsettling tales of Ellis Island, Vincent Cannato’s American Passage helps us understand who we are as a nation.”
— Walter Isaacson

“Never before has Ellis Island been written about with such scholarly care and historical wisdom. Highly recommended!"
—Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author of The Wilderness Warrior

The remarkable saga of America’s landmark port of entry, from immigration post to deportation center to mythical icon.

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From the Publisher

"By bringing us the inspiring and sometimes unsettling tales of Ellis Island, Vincent Cannato’s American Passage helps us understand who we are as a nation.” — Walter Isaacson “Never before has Ellis Island been written about with such scholarly care and historical wisdom. Highly recommended!"—Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author of Th...

From the Jacket

For most of New York's early history, Ellis Island had been an obscure little island that barely held itself above high tide. Today the small island stands alongside Plymouth Rock in our nation's founding mythology as the place where many of our ancestors first touched American soil. American Passage captures a time and a place unparal...

Vincent J. Cannato teaches history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author ofThe Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New Yorkand has written forThe New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, andThe Washington Post.

other books by Vincent J. Cannato

Living in the Eighties
Living in the Eighties

Kobo ebook|Oct 22 2009

$17.99

The Ungovernable City
The Ungovernable City

Paperback|May 16 2002

$32.50

Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.82 inPublished:May 4, 2010Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060742747

ISBN - 13:9780060742744

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Customer Reviews of American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting I liked this book a lot. It describes a different world, times long gone but the question on immigration remains. The author writes in details about the political forces behind or against relaxed immigration and the daily routines at Ellis Island. Corruption was a big problem and so also non-scientific methods for judging who should be allowed to enter.
Date published: 2013-10-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Immigration Policy Examined In this book, Vincent J. Cannato explores Ellis Island as the America's famous entry-point during the age of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century. Immigration is crucial to the development of America as a nation, yet the history of public policy and the politics of immigration are a study in contradictions. If the declaration of independence's basic creed that all men are created equal, then why should Ellis Island exist in the first place, why would it be necessary to create "a better sieve" or implement immigration quotas based on race? I really did enjoy reading this book, but I did find that most of the text was more informational rather than Cannato answering his historical question. The best section of the book I found was actually at the end when Cannato analyzes the myth and memory of Ellis Island in the contemporary context. The questions he raises about the concerns both African Americans and Native Americans in that America's "immigration story" has all but written them out of. The book is very well-researched, based on many primary and secondary sources, I just found that it contained a lot of superfluous information. The book could probably have been cut in half with more interpretation rather than explanation. Overall, this is a decent survey into Ellis Island and America's immigration policy in the twentieth century.
Date published: 2009-09-11

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Editorial Reviews

“Cannato resists the temptation to setimentalize Ellis Island. He understands that, now as then, immigration is an issue that leaves Americans uncomfortable and contentious, even as it continues to bring new blood and energy into the country.”