Guarding the Golden Door by Roger Daniels
American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882

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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. As renowned historian Roger Daniels shows in this brilliant new work, America's inconsistent, often illogical, and always cumbersome immigration policy has profoundly affected our recent past.

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.


About Roger Daniels

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Roger Daniels, author of Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II, is a renowned expert on immigration, consultant to PBS and the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island, and expert witness on Japanese-American internment.
Published January 12, 2005 by Hill and Wang. 353 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Immigration—perhaps no other subject so contentiously touches on both our collective idealism and our capacity for irrational fear. Nostalgic about past immigrants, we magnify the threat of n

Nov 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Guarding the Golden Door: Ame...

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Daniels, author of several books about the Japanese-American experience, judiciously avoids a sweeping narrative in favor of an immersion in the messy details of legislation and demography, although accurate assessments are elusive.

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