This book reconstructs the development of American national policy concerning civil rights and immigration issues over the entire twentieth century. My own expertise concentrates only on the second half of that century, and it emphasizes civil rights more than immigration policy. For the period prior to World War II, I rely chiefly on the secondary literature, and throughout the pages that follow I have limited citations to the main published sources. This includes, where possible, useful web sites on the Internet for many of the organizations in civil society seeking to influence policy outcomes. The bibliography is captured in the footnotes, not listed separately. This lightens the burden and clutter of research citation in the book. But it obscures the contributions to the book's analysis of years of archival research, most of it in the presidential libraries. Uncited in the pages that follow are tens of thousands of documents examined in the presidential libraries in the past twenty years.
My guides in this long, rewarding, and occasionally exhausting process of exploration were the unfailingly helpful archivists at the presidential libraries. For research on civil rights policy, this includes the full run of libraries covering the years 1961–1989—the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon (a presidential papers project in the National Archives, not a presidential library), Ford, Carter, and Reagan libraries. Research in the Carter and Reagan libraries covered immigration as well as civil rights policy. For assistance in this research, I am especially grateful for the assistance of supervising archivists David Alsobrook and Martin I. Elzy at the Carter Library and Dennis Daellenbach at the Reagan Library.
Writing this book was delayed in the late 1990s by illness. The delay provided one advantage by permitting inclusion of the policy controversies surrounding the 2000 census and the substantive findings drawn from the census surveys. For patient support during this period, including generous financial assistance, I am indebted to a number of academic officers at Vanderbilt University. They include, in the College of Arts and Science, deans V. Jacque Voegeli, Madeleine M. Goodman, Ettore F. Infante, and John H. Venable. They also include deans Russell G. Hamilton and Peter