Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Contemporary Immigration in America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Contemporary Immigration in America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

Contemporary Immigration in America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia. Edited by Kathleen R. Arnold. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2015. 2 vols. Acid free $189 (ISBN: 978-0-313-39917-6). E-book available (978-0-313-399183), call for pricing.

Contemporary Immigration in America distinguishes itself through its organization by state and its focus on the postwar period. The introduction explains the significance of both of these choices. The case for organizing by state is most compelling, particularly as states have taken on more authority in the arena of immigration policy beginning in the 1990's. Further, it is not difficult to imagine diverse scenarios that would benefit from immigration information for a particular state or states. Limiting the historical period allowed the editor to compile a concise two volume set with short chapters averaging roughly twenty pages. Some authors were more successful than others in keeping within the historical parameters.

Each chapter is separated into four sections: chronology, historical overview, topical essays, and bibliography. The chronologies and historical overviews are particularly useful and cover the entire state history. Topical essays vary in treatment from author to author, making it difficult to create connections from state to state. Bibliographies were also uneven, ranging from concise and helpful to unwieldy and less than authoritative. …

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