cover image Not Like Us Immigrants and Minorities in America, 1890-1924

Not Like Us Immigrants and Minorities in America, 1890-1924

Roger Daniels. Ivan R. Dee Publisher, $22.5 (194pp) ISBN 978-1-56663-165-5

Although more than 20 million immigrants came to the U.S. from 1890 to 1924, Daniels (Coming to America) argues convincingly here that the period was marked by hostility and violence toward immigrants, African Americans and Native Americans. Drawing on extensive research, the author details the growth of anti-immigrant feeling, or nativism, that began with the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which halted the influx of Chinese laborers and culminated in the National Origins Act of 1924, establishing a rigid immigrant quota system. In this objective and clearly written analysis, Daniels describes government theft of Native American lands and mob violence (e.g., lynchings) against African Americans. He notes that the rise of nativism resulted in literacy laws that further restricted immigration and sparked widespread discrimination against German, Irish, Italian and Asian immigrants. Although he sees improvements in U.S. policy toward minorities and immigrants, he believes many Americans are still prejudiced against these groups. (Sept.)