The federal government's efforts to pick and choose among the multitude of immigrants seeking to enter the United States began with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Conceived in ignorance and falsely presented to the public, it had undreamt of consequences, and this pattern has been rarely deviated from since.
Immigration policy in Daniels' skilled hands shows Americans at their best and worst, from the nativist violence that forced Theodore Roosevelt's 1907 "gentlemen's agreement" with Japan to the generous refugee policies adopted after World War Two and throughout the Cold War. And in a conclusion drawn from today's headlines, Daniels makes clear how far ignorance, partisan politics, and unintended consequences have overtaken immigration policy during the current administration's War on Terror.
Irreverent, deeply informed, and authoritative, Guarding the Golden Door presents an unforgettable interpretation of modern American history.
The combined vision of editors Roger Daniels, Sandra C. Taylor, and Harry H. L. Kitano in pulling together disparate aspects of the Japanese American experience results in a landmark volume in the wrenching experiment of American democracy.
Daniels� research is impressive and his evidence is solid. In forthright prose, he suggests fresh assessments of the broad patterns of the Asian American experience, illuminating the recurring tensions within our modern multiracial society. His detailed supporting material is woven into a rich historical fabric which also gives personal voice to the tenacious individualism of the immigrant.
The book is organized topically and chronologically, beginning with the emigration of each ethnic group and concluding with an epilogue that looks to the future from the perspective of the last two decades of Chinese and Japanese American history. Included in this survey are discussions of the reasons for emigration; the conditions of emigration; the fate of first generation immigrants; the reception of immigrants by the United States government and its people; the growth of immigrant communities; the effects of discriminatory legislation; the impact of World War II and the succeeding Cold War era on Chinese and Japanese Americans; and the history of Asian Americans during the last twenty years.
This timely and thought-provoking volume will be of value not only to specialists in Asian American history and culture but to students and general historians of American life.