Ellis Island

Author(s): Malgorzata Szejnert


A landmark work of history that brings the voices of the past vividly to life, transforming our understanding of the immigrant's experience in America.

Ellis Island. How many stories does this tiny patch of land hold? How many people had joyfully embarked on a new life here -- or known the despair of being turned away? How many were held there against their will?

To tell its manifold stories, Ellis Islanddraws on unpublished testimonies, memoirs and correspondence from many internees and immigrants, including Russians, Italians, Jews, Japanese, Germans, and Poles, along with the commissioners, interpreters, doctors, and nurses who shepherded them -- all of whom knew they were taking part in a significant historical phenomenon.

We see that deportations from Ellis Island were often based on pseudo-scientific ideas about race, gender, and disability. Sometimes, families were broken up, and new arrivals were held in detention at the Island for days, weeks, or months under quarantine. Indeed the island compound has spent longer as an internment camp than as a migration station.

Today, the island is no less political. In popular culture, it is a romantic symbol of the generations of immigrants who reshaped the United States. But its true history reveals that today's fierce immigration debate has deep roots. Now a master storyteller brings its past to life, illustrated with unique archival photographs.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781925849035
  • : Scribe Publications
  • : Scribe Publications
  • : September 2020
  • : 3.16 Centimeters X 15.3 Centimeters X 23.4 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 400
  • : Hardback
  • : Malgorzata Szejnert