Cover image for Shapers of the great debate on immigration : a biographical dictionary
Shapers of the great debate on immigration : a biographical dictionary
Brown, Mary Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxv, 322 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): "A right which nature has given to all men" -- Lyman Beecher (1775-1863): The no-popery crusade -- John Joseph Hughes (1797-1864): Definitions of "assimilation" -- Denis Kearney (1847-1907): "The Chinese must go!" -- Booker T. Washington (1856-1915): "Cast down your buckets where you are" -- Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914): How the other half lives -- Jane Addams (1860-1935): Settling in the American city -- Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924): Immigration restriction as national policy -- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919): Race suicide -- Joseph Petrosino (1860-1909): International criminal conspiracies -- Madison Grant (1865-1937): The passing of the great race -- A. Mitchell Palmer (1872-1936): Red scare -- Henry Ford (1863-1947): The protocols of the elders of Zion -- Laura Fermi (1907-1977): Illustrious immigrants -- Patrick Anthony McCarran (1876-1954): Cold War immigration -- Oscar Handlin (1915-): The uprooted and other images of immigration -- Edward M. Kennedy (1932- ): Immigration as a solution to other problems -- Cesar Chavez (1927-1993): Migrant farmworkers -- Alan K. Simpson (1931-): "There can be no perfect immigrant reform bill" -- John Tanton (1934-): Of grass and grassroots.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JV6483 .B77 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Natives and immigrants, men and women, people from all regions, races, religions, and walks of life, have brought varying perspectives to the long-running debate on immigration. Drawing from a large cast of characters--from Thomas Jefferson, Booker T. Washington, and Cesar Chavez to Jane Addams, Henry Ford, and Patrick McCarran--this book introduces students to people who have contributed to U.S. immigration policy from the Revolution to the present. Showing how each person's opinion drew from personal experience and thus added a new dimension to the debate, the book encompasses such issues as immigration and economics, partisan politics, culture, public opinion, and ethics.

Arguments for and against immigration--culture, economics, foreign policy, race--recur repeatedly throughout U.S. history. Individuals assign them priority at specific times. The vignettes in the book put a human face on immigration policy and on abstract concepts such as labor markets. The book shows how individuals made difficult and sometimes contradictory decisions on this controversial issue.

Author Notes

MARY ELIZABETH BROWN is Assistant Professor in the Social Science Division of Marymount Manhattan College and also assists with special projects at the Center for Migration Studies. She has done research on the intersection of U.S. immigration and religious history and is the author of such books as Churches, Communities and Children: Italian Immigrants in the Archdiocese of New York, 1880-1945 (1995).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This first volume of a new series called Shapers of Great American Debates focuses on one of the most controversial issues in American history, immigration. Although everyone who has ever set foot in North America is, in one sense, an immigrant, this topic has been a thorny one since the American Revolution, when the new republic had to decide whom it would let in and whom it would keep out. What makes this volume's approach unique is the concentration on the people who shaped the issues--those who took sides or whose lives illustrate one point or another. Following an overview on immigration history and law, the book contains 20 biographical profiles of individuals who wrote about immigration, framed laws, or made other significant contributions. Arrangement is chronological by date of birth. The earliest individual treated is Thomas Jefferson, and the most contemporary is John Tanton, founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Essays on these and the other men and women covered, among them Jane Addams, Cesar Chavez, Henry Ford, Jacob Riis, and Booker T. Washington, demonstrate changes in thinking, development of laws, and controversial aspects of the issue. Each 10-to-20-page profile contains a picture of the person covered, an overview of the person's life and contributions to the immigration debate, and a fairly extensive bibliography that describes primary and secondary sources. Following the profiles is an appendix with brief biographies of other key figures, from reformer Grace Abbott to writer Israel Zangwill. A selected bibliography in essay form and an index conclude the volume. Although information on most of these individuals is readily available elsewhere, this is an interesting work with a unique approach. It is recommended for high-school, public, and college libraries.

Choice Review

That the US is a nation of immigrants is indisputable, but has this massive immigration been good for the country? That question has been hotly debated in this country since the formation of the American republic. In this incisive and well-written compilation of 20 chapter-length biographical essays and nearly 100 brief biographical entries, Brown introduces some of the men and women who shaped debate on this important public policy issue. Included in the first section of the book are major political leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Edward M. Kennedy, and a number of less well known figures such as Denis Kearney, Joseph Petrosino, and John Tanton. Together, the 20 portraits give human color to a very controversial issue. The set of brief biographies at the end of the book is a handy reference tool for anyone seeking basic information on other key figures in the immigration debate. This will be a useful resource for college and research libraries as well as for public libraries in states with significant immigrant populations. T. Walch Hoover Presidential Library

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. ix
Introduction: Behind U.S. Immigration Lawp. xi
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): "A Right Which Nature Has Given to All Men"p. 1
Lyman Beecher (1775-1863): The No-Popery Crusadep. 15
John Joseph Hughes (1797-1864): Definitions of "Assimilation"p. 31
Denis Kearney (1847-1907): "The Chinese Must Go!"p. 45
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915): "Cast Down Your Buckets Where You Are"p. 59
Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914): How the Other Half Livesp. 71
Jane Addams (1860-1935): Settling in the American Cityp. 87
Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924): Immigration Restriction as National Policyp. 99
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919): Race Suicidep. 113
Joseph Petrosino (1860-1909): International Criminal Conspiraciesp. 125
Madison Grant (1865-1937): The Passing of the Great Racep. 139
A. Mitchell Palmer (1872-1936): Red Scarep. 151
Henry Ford (1863-1947): The Protocols of the Elders of Zionp. 163
Laura Fermi (1907-1977): Illustrious Immigrantsp. 177
Patrick Anthony Mccarran (1876-1954): Cold War Immigrationp. 191
Oscar Handlin (1915-): The Uprooted and Other Images of Immigrationp. 205
Edward M. Kennedy (1932-): Immigration as a Solution to Other Problemsp. 219
Cesar Chavez (1927-1993): Migrant Farmworkersp. 233
Alan K. Simpson (1931-): "There Can Be No Perfect Immigrant Reform Bill"p. 247
John Tanton (1934-): Of Grass and Grassrootsp. 261
Appendix Brief Biographiesp. 275
Selected Bibliographyp. 311
Indexp. 313