Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Ed. by Kathleen R. Arnold. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood, 2011. 2 vols. acid free $180 (ISBN: 978-0313-37521-7). E-book available (978-0-313-37522-4), call for pricing.

To justly assess Arnold's Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, the reader must first get past the somewhat unusual and unsettling, although not unheard of, use of the negative prefix "anti" as the first word in the title. Then comes the task of determining how the editor defined the term "anti-immigration" and how she was able to establish the scope and parameters of this broad topic. Arnold's lengthy introduction provides an explanation, which is by necessity complex, thereby raising the question: if one needs such extensive background to use this publication, and it requires such effort to place the material in a context, should it be a reference work at all, or would it be more effective as a monograph? That stated, for those seeking a very basic understanding of "anti-immigration ideas, events, policies and figures" (xvii) and the "history of anti-immigration sentiment throughout American history" (xvii) in particular, Anti-Immigration in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia can prove useful, with some caveats. Some of the coverage is uneven. For example, the "Italian Immigrant Experience" entry makes no mention about the internment of this group during World War II, whereas it is noted under the entry for German Americans. Further, because of the negative orientation of this work's title, the authors are prone to identify stereotypes and then substantiate the basis for them, thereby actually perpetuating them, a point Arnold mentions in her introduction. Some contributors handle this problem by balancing out the negative with the positive. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.