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From Ellis Island to JFK. New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration. By Nancy Foner. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press; and New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000. Pp. x, 334. $29.95

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  • Dunlevy, James A.

Abstract

In this impressive study of American immigration Nancy Foner presents an “interpretive synthesis†that “brings together strands from the mass of literature on past and present immigration†(p. 4). She argues that the historical and contemporary literatures have developed separately and that there is virtue in bringing them together. Here the historical period covers 1880 to 1920, and the contemporary period begins in the mid-1960s. Of necessity, Foner selects a narrow and manageable range of topics to review. Geographically, Foner limits her coverage to New York City, the “quintessential immigrant city.†In terms of immigrant groups, for the earlier period Foner considers only the experiences of Italians and of Russian Jews, who dominated that immigration; for the later period, in which no two national groups are so dominant, she emphasizes the experiences of West Indians, Asian Indians, Chinese, and Korean immigrants. The chapters consider who the immigrants were, where they lived, the work they did (with a separate chapter on immigrant women and their work), the dynamics of race and prejudice, the maintenance of transnational ties, and the role of schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Dunlevy, James A., 2001. "From Ellis Island to JFK. New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration. By Nancy Foner. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press; and New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000. Pp. x, 334. $29.95," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 236-237, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:61:y:2001:i:01:p:236-237_50
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