Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

Book Talk: "A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: U.S. Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965," by Madeline Y. Hsu, University of Texas at Austin (History Faculty New Book Talk)

Tue, April 28, 2020 | GAR 4.100

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Note: Date and time updated to April 28th, at 2-3pm (originally April 22nd, at 3pm).

The History Faculty New Book Series presents:

A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: U.S. Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965
(University of Illinois Press, 2019)
Co-edited by Maddalena Marinari, Madeline Y. Hsu, and María Cristina Garcia

A book talk and discussion with
Madeline Y. Hsu
Professor of History, and 
Faculty Affiliate of Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, and Mexican American and Latina_o Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Scholars, journalists, and policymakers have long argued that the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act dramatically reshaped the demographic composition of the United States. In A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered, leading scholars of immigration explore how the political and ideological struggles of the "age of restriction"--from 1924 to 1965--paved the way for the changes to come. The essays examine how geopolitics, civil rights, perceptions of America's role as a humanitarian sanctuary, and economic priorities led government officials to facilitate the entrance of specific immigrant groups, thereby establishing the legal precedents for future policies. Eye-opening articles discuss Japanese war brides and changing views of miscegenation, the recruitment of former Nazi scientists, a temporary workers program with Japanese immigrants, the emotional separation of Mexican immigrant families, Puerto Rican youth’s efforts to claim an American identity, and the restaurant raids of conscripted Chinese sailors during World War II.

Watch a roundtable discussion with the authors on "Rethinking 1924–1965 in U.S. Immigration History for Today’s World," recorded at the Organization of American Historians annual conference, April 5-7, 2019, and aired on C-SPAN 3, on April 22, 2019.

Contributors: Eiichiro Azuma, David Cook-Martín, David FitzGerald, Monique Laney, Heather Lee, Kathleen López, Laura Madokoro, Ronald L. Mize, Arissa H. Oh, Ana Elizabeth Rosas, Lorrin Thomas, Ruth Ellen Wasem, and Elliott Young.

"This important collection revises our understanding of a relatively understudied period in the historiography of US immigration and citizenship, the years between the institution of national origins quotas in the 1920s and their abrogation in the 1960s. As such, it deserves wide scholarly attention."
--Kunal M. Parker, author of Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600–2000

"Bringing together essays by rising stars and established leaders in US immigration history, this volume opens our understanding of the complexities of the national origins era by highlighting understudied dynamics, advancing new periodizations, and bringing new historical actors to the fore. Taken as a whole, the essays insist on the centrality of racial-nationalist boundary-making—and of struggles to defeat it—within the broader history of the US in the world in the mid-twentieth century."
--Paul A. Kramer, author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines

Please RSVP to to reserve your seat and receive a copy of the reading selection to be discussed. This discussion is part of the IHS' History Faculty New Book Talk Series.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History

Bookmark and Share