American Passage: The History of Ellis Island

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Harper Collins, Jun 9, 2009 - History - 512 pages
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"By bringing us the inspiring and sometimes unsettling tales of Ellis Island, Vincent Cannato’s American Passage helps us understand who we are as a nation.” — Walter Isaacson

The remarkable saga of America’s landmark port of entry, from immigration post to deportation center to mythical icon.

For most of New York's early history, Ellis Island had been an obscure little island that barely held itself above high tide. Today the small island stands alongside Plymouth Rock in our nation's founding mythology as the place where many of our ancestors first touched American soil.

American Passage captures a time and a place unparalleled in American immigration and history, and articulates the dramatic and bittersweet accounts of the immigrants, officials, interpreters, and social reformers who all played an important role in Ellis Island's chronicle. In this sweeping, often heart-wrenching epic, Vincent J. Cannato reveals that the history of Ellis Island is ultimately the story of what it means to be an American.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

American Passage offers a comprehensive history of Ellis Island from the 1890s to today. Cannato's thesis is that the history of Ellis Island as an immigration inspection station parallels the history ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

Cannato, a descendant of Ellis Island immigrants, takes a look at the history of the island. Although there is information on the early history of the island and on the use of the island after its ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Island
19
Castle Garden
30
A Proper Sieve
57
Peril at the Portals
70
Brahmins
95
Feud
107
Cleaning House
127
PART IV
287
War
289
Revolution
311
Quotas
330
Prison
350
PART V
377
Decline
379
The New Plymouth Rock
391

Fighting Back
149
The Roosevelt Straddle
165
Likely to Become a Public
191
Czar Williams
216
Intelligence
238
Moral Turpitude
260
Epilogue
410
Acknowledgments
421
Notes
424
Index
473
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Vincent J. Cannato teaches history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author of The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

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