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America for Americans: Book summary and reviews of America for Americans by Erika Lee

America for Americans

A History of Xenophobia in the United States

by Erika Lee

America for Americans by Erika Lee X
America for Americans by Erika Lee
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About this book

Book Summary

An award-winning historian reframes our continuing debate over immigration with a compelling history of xenophobia in the United States and its devastating impact.

The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In America for Americans, Erika Lee shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their "strange and foreign ways." Americans' anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America.

Forcing us to confront this history, America for Americans explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America. It is a necessary corrective and spur to action for any concerned citizen.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A carefully constructed history of wide interest to students of American politics." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[F]ascinating...This clearly organized and lucidly written book should be read by a wide audience." - Publishers Weekly

"As Erika Lee brilliantly shows, xenophobia has forever been an integral part of American racism. Forcing us to confront this history as we confront its present, America for Americans is essential reading for anyone who wants to build a more inclusive society." - Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning

"America for Americans is unflinching and powerful. Through extensive research and crystal clear prose, Erika Lee has masterfully tracked the phenomenon of xenophobia and its devastating effects on this nation's democracy and its people...This is a must-read for all who need and want to understand how the 'leader of the free world' came to ban a religion, violate asylum laws, and lock babies in cages." - Carol Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of White Rage and One Person, No Vote

"Erika Lee's America for Americans is an insightful, thought-provoking book that helps us understand why the United States, a 'nation of immigrants,' could be the home to such longstanding and powerful anti-immigrant movements. Anyone who wants to fully understand why Americans are so divided over border walls, asylum policy, and sanctuary cities must read this outstanding book." - Tyler Anbinder, author of City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York

This information about America for Americans was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Erika Lee

Erika Lee is a Regents Professor, the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and Andrew Carnegie Fellow. The author of The Making of Asian America and other award-winning books, Lee lives in Minneapolis, MN.

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