A unique study in American immigration and assimilation history that also provides a special view of one of the smaller ethnic groups in American society.
Naff focuses on the pre-World War I pioneering generation of Arabic-speaking immigrants, the generation that set the patterns for settlement and assimilation. Unlike many immigrants who were drawn to the United States by dreams of industrial jobs or to escape religious or economic persecution, most of these artisans and owners of small, disconnected plots of land came to America to engage in the enterprise of peddling. Most planned to stay two or three years and return to their homelands.
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