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New on the Reference Shelf

Bankston, Carl L. Encyclopedia of American Immigration. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2010. Newberry Call Number: Local History Ref JV 6465 .E53 2010.

This three-volume set covers immigration to America from the Bering Strait migrations through the 21st century. Coverage of the topic includes information about the settlement of each US state, information on particular ethnic and national immigrant groups, political and social histories of immigration, and information on immigration law. Biographical sketches of significant American immigrants are included, as are entries on significant events, documents (the US Federal Census, passports) legal cases, locations, and social movements (Civil Rights, Labor Unions, Women’s Movement). Each signed entry is cross-referenced, and each contains a bibliography, many of which are annotated.

Each of the three volumes contains a table of contents for the volume, and a table of contents for the complete work. Volume one contains a preface and a list of contributors. Volume three contains a biographical dictionary of notable immigrants; a chronology of US Supreme Court rulings on immigration, a chronology of federal laws pertaining to immigration, a filmography, bibliography, and glossary, and a timeline of US immigration history. There are also several indices available in volume three: a categorized list of articles, a court case index, a law and treaty index, a name index, and a subject index.


Any person of Italian American hegaitre who take seriously their history in this country would not make the mistake of considering themselves white. When the first Italian immigrants arrived at Ellis Island they were referred to as WOPS , without papers, our ancestors were undocumented aliens. The largest lynching in U.S. history occurred at the end of the nineteenth century and involved Italian American laborers in New Orleans, who were wrongfully accused of murder and hanged by the neck by a lynch mob when it was intimated that they might be innocent. Famously, Sacco and Vendetti were wrongly accused of the rape and murder of a small child and executed; less famous were the concentration camps for Italian Americans in World War II. Any Italian American who take the white side of the race issue oe the native side of the immigration issue is a sycophant or a fool. And that is the difference between Alito and Sotomayor.

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