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   Immigrant Lives


Covering more than one group; the immigrant experience in America.


Ellis Island interviews : in their own words / Peter M. Coan

973.04 COAN 1997

In Ellis Island Interviews, more than 100 immigrants from all over Europe and the Middle East offer accounts of those difficult steps that carried them to and through Ellis Island's legendary Golden Door. They describe the lives they left behind, explain why they emigrated, and offer moving stories of their often frightening experiences, both while crossing the Atlantic and in gaining entry to the United States. They also tell us how they fared in their new homeland. Some of the adventurous souls who tell their stories here - including Bob Hope, writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, and movie director Otto Preminger - rose to fame and fortune in America. Even the unsung, however, were heroes. This book is a testament to their courage and perseverance (Amazon).

Foreign and female : immigrant women in America, 1840-1930 / Doris Weatherford

973.03182 WEATHER 1986

Spanning the peak immigration years from 1840 to 1930, this engrossing account documents the experiences of a wide range of European women who traveled to America. This critically acclaimed volume, thoughtfully and meticulously researched, explores the courage, intelligence, and persistence women from all over Europe needed in order to begin a new life in the United States. Much of the book is in the actual words of the women themselves, and the author succeeds in giving readers a complete picture of their lives. Original documents and primary source information as well as extraordinary black-and-white photographs provide a fascinating document of the immigrant woman's arrival and experiences in America.

Immigrant voices : twenty-four narratives on becoming an American / Gordon Hutner

973.04 IMMIGRA 1999

Letters from an American farmer / Inquiries of an emigrant / True picture of emigration / Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie / Frontier Mother / Nun of Kenmare / Woman's quest / Story of a pioneer / 
Memoirs of Henry Villard / Making of an American / Promised land / From alien to citizen / Far journey / Americanization of Edward Bok / Up stream / Caste and outcast / Daughter of the Samurai / From immigrant to inventor / Soul of an immigrant / Long way from home /  Chinaman's chance / America is in the heart / Barrio Boy / Quiet odyssey / 

Filled with inspiring stories of immigrants who traveled from Mexico, India, China, Korea, Syria, and beyond, Immigrant Voices reveals—in their own words—how these newcomers were able to persevere and make their mark on the “New World.”


Not fit for our society : nativism and immigration / Peter Schrag

973.04 SCHRAG 2010

Covering the earliest days of the Republic to current events, Schrag sets the modern immigration controversy within the context of three centuries of debate over the same questions about who exactly is fit for citizenship. He finds that nativism has long colored our national history, with the fear - and loathing - of newcomers that provides one of the faultlines of American cultural and political life. Schrag describes the eerie similarities between the race-based arguments for restricting Irish, German, Slav, Italian, Jewish, and Chinese immigrants in the past and the arguments for restricting Latinos and others today. He links the terrible history of eugenic "science" to ideas, individuals, and groups now at the forefront of the fight against rational immigration policies. Not Fit for Our Society makes a powerful case for understanding the complex, often paradoxical history of immigration restriction as we work through the issues that inform, and often distort, the debate over who can become a citizen, who decides, and on what basis."

Small strangers : the experiences of immigrant children in America, 1880-1925 / Melissa R. Klapper

973.04 KLAPPER 2007

Children are the largely neglected players in the great drama of American immigration. In one of history's most remarkable movements of people across national borders, almost twenty-five million immigrants came to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—from Mexico, Japan, and Canada as well as the more common embarkation points of southern and eastern Europe. Many of them were children. Together with the American-born children of immigrants, they made up a significant part of turn-of-the-century U.S. society. Small Strangers recounts and interprets their varied experiences to illustrate how immigration, urbanization, and industrialization—all related processes—molded modern America. Growing up in crowded tenements, insular mill towns, rural ethnic enclaves, or middle-class homes, as they came of age they found themselves increasingly caught between Old World expectations and New World demands. The encounters of these children with ethnic heritage, American values, and mass culture helped shape the twentieth century in a United States still known symbolically around the world as a nation of immigrants.



for ethnography of African immigrants 

for ethnography of African people who did not make the choice to immigrate and came enslaved see the U.S. Southeastern page or if they settled elsewhere look under the geographical region where they lived.



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Asian American dreams : the emergence of an American people / Helen Zia.

973.0495 ZIA 2001

This groundbreaking book is about the transformation of Asian Americans from a few small, disconnected, and largely invisible ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society. It explores the junctures that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness, including the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, by two white autoworkers who believed he was Japanese; the apartheid-like working conditions of Filipinos in the Alaska canneries; the boycott of Korean American greengrocers in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles riots; and the casting of non-Asians in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon.

Asian American experiences in the United States : oral histories of first to fourth generation Americans from China, the Philippines, Japan, India, the Pacific islands, Vietnam, and Cambodia / Joann Faung Jean Lee

973.0495 LEE 1991

These interviews include topics such as becoming Americanized, interracial marriage, losing language, becoming a minority in a new land.

China men / Maxine Hong Kingston.

973.04951 K55c

The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land.

Perfume dreams : reflections on the Vietnamese diaspora / Andrew Lam.

973.049597 LAM 2005

When Americans say Vietnam, they don't mean Vietnam.' In his long-overdue first collection of essays, noted journalist and NPR commentator Andrew Lam explores his lifelong struggle for identity as a Viet Kieu, or a Vietnamese national living abroad. At age eleven, Lam, the son of a South Vietnamese general, came to California on the eve of the fall of Saigon to communist forces. He traded his Vietnamese name for a more American one and immersed himself in the allure of the American dream: something not clearly defined for him or his family. Reflecting on the meanings of the Vietnam War to the Vietnamese people themselves--particularly to those in exile--Lam picks with searing honesty at the roots of his doubleness and his parents' longing for a homeland that no longer exists

A thousand miles of dreams : the journeys of two Chinese sisters / Sasha Su-Ling Welland

979.461 WELLAND 2007

The biography of two intensely rivalrous Chinese sisters, a writer and a doctor, whose eventful lives took very different paths in their quest to be independent women. Daughters of an imperial scholar-official and a concubine, the two sisters followed professional trajectories unimaginable to their parents' generation, one emigrating to America and the other achieving fame in China as a writer, but also leaving China in 1945. They were Chinese modern girls who sought to forge their own way during a period of social revolution that unsettled relations between men and women--and among nations.

Un-American : the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II / Richard Cahan.

940.5317 CAHAN 2016

What life was like -- Bewildering and sorrowful days -- Picked up -- The new inmates -- Vandalism and thievery -- A serious documentary manner -- The closing of the camps -- Sacred ground / photographs by Joan Myers -- Backstory.  In 1942 more than 109,000 Japanese Americans, including 70,000 U.S. citizens, were picked up and sent to incarceration centers, most for the duration of the war. It was the shame of America-- and it was documented on film. Cahan and Williams provide a visual history which includes interviews with many of the people reflecting on their experiences. 


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Boise Basques : dreamers and doers / Gloria P. Totoricaguena (Gloria Pilar)

979.628 TOTORIC 2004

Introduction -- Homeland history and factors of Basque emigration -- Adaptation to life in the new world -- Centro Vaco-Americano sociedad de beneficiencia y recreo -- Earning a living in New York: employment, businesses and professoins of immigrant Basques -- Musicians, dancers, artists and athletes -- Political interest and activism of New York Basques -- Euxko-Etxea of New York: Basque-American Cultural & Benevolent Society, Inc. -- The Society of Basque Studies in America: education our future -- Conclusion: Basques living at the intersection of tradition and modernity. 




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The island at the center of the world : the epic story of Dutch Manhattan and the forgotten colony that shaped America / Russell. Shorto

974.7102 SHORTO 2005

When the British wrested New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664, the truth about its thriving, polyglot society began to disappear into myths about an island purchased for 24 dollars and a cartoonish peg-legged governor. But the story of the Dutch colony of New Netherland was merely lost, not destroyed: 12,000 pages of its records–recently declared a national treasure–are now being translated. Russell Shorto draws on this remarkable archive in The Island at the Center of the World, which has been hailed by The New York Times as “a book that will permanently alter the way we regard our collective past.” 

Loyal but French : the negotiation of identity by French-Canadian descendants in the United States / Mark Paul Richard

971.4014 RICHARD 2008

By focusing on patterns of immigration and acculturation in a small industrial city in the northeastern United States, Mark Paul Richard offers a noteworthy look at the ways in which French-Canadians negotiated their identity in the United States and provides new insights into the ways in which immigrants "Americanize."
     Richard’s work challenges prevailing notions of "assimilation." As he shows, “acculturation” better describes the roundabout process by which some ethnic groups join their host society. He argues that, for more than a century, the French- Canadians in Lewiston, Maine, pursued the twin objectives of ethnic preservation and acculturation. These were not separate goals but rather intertwined processes. 



Hopeful journeys : German immigration, settlement, and political culture in colonial America, 1717-1775 / Aaron Spencer Fogleman.

973.04943 FOGLEMA 1996

Hopeful Journeys traces the German migrant groups from their origins to their places of final settlement in the colonies. The immigrants' Old World customs, beliefs, and connections did not entirely disappear as they adapted to life in the colonies; instead, the Germans' past ways helped shape behavior in the New World. Germans settled in rural, ethnic communities where family, village, and religion helped them succeed in the multi-ethnic, capitalist economy of British North America. This collective strategy carried into the political arena, as the immigrants and their descendants sought to solidify and protect their gains. Fogleman contends that, to a significant degree, the immigrants and their children developed a new ethnic identity: adapting to the strains of migration, settlement, and politicization, they became Americanized without becoming less German. 

Sod and stubble; the story of a Kansas homestead / John Ise

978.1 ISE 1967

"A few years ago, as I listened one night to my mother telling incidents of her life pioneering in the semi-arid region of Western Kansas, it occurred to me that the picture of that early time was worth drawing and preserving for the future, and that, if this were ever to be done, it must be done soon, before all of the old settlers were gone. This book is the result—an effort to picture that life truly and realistically. It is the story of an energetic and capable girl, the child of German immigrant parents, who at the age of seventeen married a young German farmer, and moved to a homestead on the wind-swept plains of Kansas, where she reared eleven of her twelve children, and remembering regretfully her own half-day in school, sent nine of them through college. It is a story of grim and tenacious devotion in the face of hardships and disappointments, devotion that never flagged until the long, hard task of near a lifetime was done." —John Ise (from the preface) 


All things decently and in order and other writing on a Germans from Russia heritage / Edna M. Boardman.

973.049437 BOARDMA 1997

This is a hybrid book, composed of memoir, biographical sketch, and historical data. Three major sections - Religion; Family and Farm Life; and History - are further divided into nineteen separate chapters, most of which were previously published in Heritage Review, the quarterly journal of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society in Bismarck, N.D.

The central Dakota Germans : their history, language, and culture / Shirley Fischer Arends

973.049437 ARENDS 2016

Shirley Fischer Arends Ph.D. is the author of this newly released updated version of "The Central Dakota Germans, Their History, Language, and Culture" (originally published by Georgetown University Press in 1989). Born in North Dakota, Arends grew up in a German speaking home that included her grandmother, a well-known healer and personality who received a constant flow of visitors. She was fascinated by the stories the older pioneers told about their lives and their struggles on the western prairies as homesteaders. The book describes the cultural feat of these Dakota German pioneers who settled the American West, while keeping the identity and unity of their society intact. Dr. Arends presents the history, language, traditions and customs, secured through research and interviews while the culture fully existed. Beginning the project in 1961, it captured her heart and her research continues to this day with further books planned.. The long history of the Dakota Germans is a moving story. This book will delight anyone interested in cultural adaptations to new environments, folk life, religious practices and songs, original pioneer recipes, and folk medicine's role in the struggle for survival. 

Child of the prairie, man of the world : the memoirs of LaVern "Vern" Freeh LaVern A. Freeh (LaVern Adam)

973.049437 FREEH 2005

Memoirs of Vern Freeh, born into a Germans from Russia community in North Dakota in 1926. 

The German-Russians in words and pictures / William Bosch.

973.049437 BOSCH 2015

The Volga River migration and colonies -- The Black Sea migration and colonies -- The migration to and the settlement in the Americas. 
A large percentage of people living in the Dakotas, Kansas, and Nebraska share a German-Russian heritage. The Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, and the states of Washington, Oregon, California and others also have a smattering of German-Russians. They are called German-Russians because their ancestors moved to Russia from German territories in the late 1700s and early 1800s, where they created an agricultural and industrial empire. Then many of them left it all behind and started anew in the Americas in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

There is always room for one more at our dinner table : Volga German stories and recipes / Rebecca Nab Young

973.049437 YOUNG 2011

Author's note: From living on a farm and then a ranch in Wyoming I have a passion for good food and recipes. I also am immersed in the history and personal stories of the Volga Germans. All my grandparents came from Russia, but were of German descent. This places me in a small, but unique group of people within the United States. I would like to introduce you to these wonderful, hardworking people who still cling to their values, tradition, and religion.

The Volga Germans : pioneers of the Northwest / Richard D. Scheuerman

973.049437 SCHEUER 1980

The story of the Germans from Russian migration written by Northwest author and descendant Richard Scheuerman.



Not even my name / Thea Halo.

973.04949 HALO 2000

Not Even My Name is a rare eyewitness account of the horrors of a little-known, often denied genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Armenian and Pontic Greek minorities in Turkey were killed during and after World War I. As told by Sano Halo to her daughter, Thea, this is the story of her survival of the death march at age ten that annihilated her family, and the mother-daughter pilgrimage to Turkey in search of Sano's home seventy years after her exile. Sano, a Pontic Greek from a small village near the Black Sea, also recounts the end of her ancient, pastoral way of life in the Pontic Mountains and her family's ultimate triumph in America.



All Standing: the true story of hunger, rebellion, and survival aboard the Jeanie Johnston / Kathryn Miles.

973.04941 MILES 2013

"All Standing The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, the Legendary Irish Famine Ship recounts the journeys of this famous ship, her heroic crew, and the immigrants who were ferried between Ireland and North America. Spurred by a complex web of motivations--shame, familial obligation, and sometimes even greed--more than a million people attempted to flee the Irish famine. More than one hundred thousand of them would die aboard one of the five thousand aptly named "coffin ships." But in the face of horrific losses, a small ship named the Jeanie Johnston never lost a passenger.

The famine ships : the Irish exodus to America / Edward Laxton.

941.5081 LAXTON 1997

The Famine Ships tells the story of the courage and determination of those who crossed the Atlantic in leaky, overcrowded sailing ships to make new lives for themselves, among them the child Henry Ford and twenty-six-year-old Patrick Kennedy, great-grandfather of John F. Kennedy. Tracing the history of these years, The Famine Ships focuses principally on the poignant individual stories, such as that of a parish priest from Wexford who led eighteen families across the Atlantic and up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to found Wexford, Iowa, where their descendants still live. Edward Laxton conducted five years of research in Ireland and among the immigrants' descendants in the United States and Canada to write this book. Superb color paintings by Rodney Charman, facsimile passenger lists, and reproductions of tickets are among the fascinating memorabilia represented in The Famine Ships.

Irish America : coming into clover : the evolution of a people and a culture / Maureen Dezell.

973.04941 DEZELL 2001

In Irish America, Maureen Dezell takes a new and invigorating look at Americans of Irish Catholic ancestry—who they are, and how they got that way. A welcome antidote to so many standard-issue, sentimental representations of the Irish in the United States, Irish America focuses on popular culture as well as politics; the Irish in the Midwest and West as well as the East; the “new Irish” immigrants; the complicated role of the Church today; and the unheralded heritage of Irish American women. Deftly weaving history, reporting, and the observations of more than 100 men and women of Irish descent on both sides of the Atlantic, Dezell presents an insightful and highly readable portrait of a people and a culture.

The Irish in Philadelphia : ten generations of urban experience Dennis Clark.

974.811 CLARK 1973

"...a serious, solid, widely and deeply researched study that reveals a number of significant and interesting insights into Irish immigrant history in America." --Commonwealth "A fine book about the Irish in Philadelphia that is a combination of social history and a study of ten generations of a transplanted minority struggling initially for survival, then for advancement, affluence, recognition and identity against formidable odds." --Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography "A fund of good stories and some interesting conclusions on the extraordinarily adept transition managed by an essentially rural people into a rough and bustling urban environment in the mid-nineteenth century." --Philadelphia Inquirer

Stalking Irish madness : searching for the roots of my family's schizophrenia / Patrick Austin Tracy

616.898292 TRACEY 2008

The author looks at his family's battle with the scourge of schizophrenia, tracing the origins of the disease through earlier generations of his family against the backdrop of Irish history to reveal Ireland's long link to mental illness. 

Two continents, one culture : the Scotch-Irish in Southern Appalachia / Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman.

973.04941 HIRSCHM 2006

This in-depth analysis examines how and why Southern culture was forever changed when Scotch-Irish immigrants flooded the Appalachian Mountains in the 1700s. Geographical similarities between Southern Appalachia and the Highlands of Scotland and Ireland are discussed, as well as the parallels and differences of the two cultures in four basic areas - music and dance, agricultural practices, fighting and hunting techniques, and technological innovativeness. More than 300 years of the communities' ideology is explored based on data culled from ethnographic observation, interviews at various heritage sites, historic accounts, archived letters, and other textual documentation.



Growing up and growing old in Italian-American families / Colleen Leahy Johnson

973.04945 JOHNSON 1985

The old world and the immigration experience -- Contemporary sources of stability and change -- Relatives: circles of sentiment and support -- Celebrating the family cycle / Patricia Quinn Pirro and Colleen Leahy Johnson -- Cultural ideals and the reality of marriage / Jessica Field Cohen and Colleen Leahy Johnson -- Intermarriage: the other side of the coin -- The elderly and the old-fashioned way -- Adapting to elderly parents -- Socialization to family attachments -- Interdependence: the final adjustments.

The Italian American reader : a collection of outstanding fiction, memoirs, journalism, essays, and poetry / Bill Tonelli.

973.04945 ITALIAN 2003

The Italian American Reader has been seven decades in the making. It could simply and accurately be described as a dazzlingly smart and lively collection of superb works by some of America's most gifted writers. All their surnames happen to end in vowels, true, but that need not affect your enjoyment of this volume one way or the other. America, too, is an Italian name ending in a vowel. Inside, there are nearly seventy excellent things for you to read -- excerpts from novels and memoirs, short stories, essays, and poems -- by the living and the dead, the famous and the obscure. This is a  gathering of voices old and new, some speaking in the accents of another age, some completely contemporary and assured, all together for the first time. To stand with all the other popular media images we represent, now, at last, one exists in written form, the literature of Italian American life the past, present, and future, which is also America's future. 

La storia : five centuries of the Italian American experience / Jerre Gerlando Mangione.

973.04945 MANGION 1993

The core of this gripping, panoramic chronicle is the mass emigration of Italians to the U.S. between 1880 and 1924. Their road to assimilation was marked by hard work, family solidarity, tradition-laden weddings and joyous festivals, but also by poverty, miserable housing, dangerous working conditions and marriages that "often seethed with tensions" despite a public image of unity and warmth. Mangione ( Mussolini's March on Rome ) and Morreale ( A Few Virtuous Men ) trace discrimination against Italian Americans, arguing that politicians and the media fanned prejudice after WW II by resurrecting the Mafia image of the 1890s. They discuss Italian Americans' awareness or denial of their heritage, providing cameos of Sacco and Vanzetti, Fiorello LaGuardia, Frank Sinatra, Don DeLillo, John Ciardi, Francis Coppola and dozens more. Early chapters discuss Italian adventurers (such as Columbus) and Italians who fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War; a later one touches on intermarriage and divorce, which have contributed to the decline of immigrant culture. A magnificent saga that illuminates a century of accomplishment and struggle. 

Precious Cargo : A Collection of Stories from the Italian Immigrants of Matawan, New Jersey / Gloria Bucco

973.04945 BUCCO 2015

Between 1880 and 1914, more than four million Italians left Italy and came to America. Of these, nearly 100 families settled in a small town in Central New Jersey named Matawan. This book contains the true stories of why they came, how they lived and the legacy they left behind. They worked, they loved and they made great sacrifices to start a new life in a strange country with a different language and unfamiliar customs. This book was written to ensure the stories of these courageous people live on and do not disappear into the decades. 



By the lake of sleeping children : the secret life of the Mexican border / Luis Alberto Urrea

325.7387 URREA 1996

By the Lake of Sleeping Children explores the post-NAFTA and Proposition 187 border purgatory of garbage pickers and dump dwellers, gawking tourists and relief workers, fearsome coyotes and their desperate clientele. In sixteen indelible portraits, Urrea illuminates the horrors and the simple joys of people trapped between the two worlds of Mexico and the United States - and ignored by both. The result is a startling and memorable work of first-person reportage. 

Decade of betrayal : Mexican repatriation in the 1930s / Francisco E. Balderrama

973.0468 BALDERR 2006

During the Great Depression, a sense of total despair plagued the United States. Americans sought a convenient scapegoat and found it in the Mexican community. Laws forbidding employment of Mexicans were accompanied by the hue and cry to "get rid of the Mexicans!" The hysteria led pandemic repatriation drives and one million Mexicans and their children were illegally shipped to Mexico.

Despite their horrific treatment and traumatic experiences, the American born children never gave up hope of returning to the United States. Upon attaining legal age, they badgered their parents to let them return home. Repatriation survivors who came back worked diligently to get their lives back together. Due to their sense of shame, few of them ever told their children about their tragic ordeal.

The distance between us : a memoir Reyna. Grande.


The story of a childhood spent torn between two parents and two countries. As her parents cross the Mexican border in pursuit of the American dream, Reyna and her siblings are left behind with their grandmother. Her mother returns to bring Reyna and her siblings to America and a new life in a new country. 

Enrique's journey / Sonia. Nazario.

331.62 NAZARIO 2007

Based on the Los Angeles Times series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, this is a timeless story of families torn apart. When Enrique was five, his mother, too poor to feed her children, left Honduras to work in the United States. The move allowed her to send money back home so Enrique could eat better and go to school past the third grade. She promised she would return quickly, but she struggled in America. Without her, he became lonely and troubled. After eleven years, he decided he would go find her. He set off alone, with little more than a slip of paper bearing his mother's North Carolina telephone number. Without money, he made the dangerous trek up the length of Mexico, clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains. He and other migrants, many of them children, are hunted like animals. To evade bandits and authorities, they must jump onto and off the moving boxcars they call the Train of Death. It is an epic journey, one thousands of children make each year to find their mothers in the United States.

Fields of toil : a migrant family's journey / Isabel Valle.

331.544 VALLE 1994

As a reporter on special assignment for the "Walla Walla Union-Bulletin," Isabel Valle spent an entire year with a migrant family, sharing domestic and other responsibilities. Every Sunday the newspaper published her award-winning, widely acclaimed reports on life with the Raul and Maria Elena Martinez family. As they resided and worked in the Inland Pacific Northwest and South Texas, Valle investigated topics such as the difficulties of asparagus cutting, drug smuggling and illegal aliens, children working in the fields, and Hispanic customs. She also examined cultural acceptance and language barriers. Her invaluable insights refuted stereotypes and replaced misconceptions.

From out of the shadows : Mexican women in twentieth-century America / Vicki. Ruâiz.

305.4886 RUIZ 2008

From Out of the Shadows was the first full study of Mexican-American women in the twentieth century. Beginning with the first wave of Mexican women crossing the border early in the century, historian Vicki L. Ruiz reveals the struggles they have faced and the communities they have built. In a narrative enhanced by interviews and personal stories, she shows how from labor camps, boxcar settlements, and urban barrios, Mexican women nurtured families, worked for wages, built extended networks, and participated in community associations--efforts that helped Mexican Americans find their own place in America. She also narrates the tensions that arose between generations, as the parents tried to rein in young daughters eager to adopt American ways. Finally, the book highlights the various forms of political protest initiated by Mexican-American women, including civil rights activity and protests against the war in Vietnam.

I don't cry, but I remember : a Mexican immigrant's story of endurance / Joyce Lackie.

973.0468 LACKIE 2012

When Viviana Salguero came to the United States in 1946, she spoke very little English, had never learned to read or write, and had no job skills besides housework or field labor. She worked eighteen-hour days and lived outdoors as often as not. And yet she raised twelve children, shielding them from her abusive husband when she dared, and shared in both the tragedies and accomplishments of her family. Through it all, Viviana never lost her love for Mexico or her gratitude to the United States for what would eventually become a better life. Though her story is unique, Viviana Salguero could be the mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother of immigrants anywhere, struggling with barriers of gender, education, language, and poverty.

Just like us : the true story of four Mexican girls coming of age in America / Helen Thorpe.

305.8687 THORPE 2009

Just Like Us tells the story of four high school students whose parents entered this country illegally from Mexico. We meet the girls on the eve of their senior prom in Denver, Colorado. All four of the girls have grown up in the United States, and all four want to live the American dream, but only two have documents. As the girls attempt to make it into college, they discover that only the legal pair sees a clear path forward. Their friendships start to divide along lines of immigration status.

Lives on the line : dispatches from the U.S.-Mexico border / Miriam. Davidson.

325.7387 DAVIDSO 2000

Straddling an international border, the twin cities of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, are in many ways one community. For years the border was less distinct, with Mexicans crossing one way to visit family and friends and tourists crossing the other to roam the curio shops. But as times change, so do places like Nogales. The maquiladora industry has brought jobs, population growth, and environmental degradation to the Mexican side. A crackdown against undocumented immigrants has brought hundreds of Border Patrol agents and a 14-foot-tall steel wall to the U.S. side. Drug smuggling has brought violence to both sides. Neither Nogales will ever be the same.In Lives on the Line, Miriam Davidson tells five true stories from these border cities to show the real-life effects that the maquiladora boom and the law enforcement crackdown have had on the people of "Ambos (Both) Nogales." Readers will meet Yolanda Sánchez, a single mother who came to work in the factories; Jimmy Teyechea, a cancer victim who became an outspoken environmental activist; Dario Miranda Valenzuela, an undocumented immigrant who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent; Cristina, a "tunnel kid" who aspired to flee the gang lifestyle; and Hope Torres and Tom Higgins, maquiladora managers who have made unique contributions to the community.

Mexican voices/American dreams : an oral history of Mexican immigration to the United States / Marilyn P. Davis.

973.037 DAVIS 1990

In Mexican Voices / American Dreams, the roots of the Mexican-American people are revealed. The real motivations, the struggle, the survival, and the success of their immigrant saga that embraces the full spectrum of human experience and is an important chapter in the cultural legacy of North Amerca. This oral history gathers the voices of the migrants, their families, friends, employers and descendants to recreate their own rich and memorable story.

Mexicanos : a history of Mexicans in the United States / Manuel G. Gonzales.

973.0468 GONZALE 1999

Mexicanos tells the rich and vibrant story of Mexicans in the United States. Emerging from the ruins of Aztec civilization and from centuries of Spanish contact with indigenous people, Mexican culture followed the Spanish colonial frontier northward and put its distinctive mark on what became the southwestern United States. Shaped by their Indian and Spanish ancestors, deeply influenced by Catholicism, and tempered by an often difficult existence, Mexicans continue to play an important role in U.S. society, even as the dominant Anglo culture strives to assimilate them. Thorough and balanced, this book makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the Mexican population of the United States, a growing minority who will be a vital presence in 21st-century America.

Once upon a quinceañera : coming of age in the USA / Julia. Alvarez.

305.235 ALVAREZ 2007

The quinceañera, the fifteenth birthday celebration for a Latina girl, is quickly becoming an American event. This legendary party is a sight to behold: lavish ball gowns, extravagant catered meals, DJs, limousines, and multi-tiered cakes. The must-haves for a "quince" are becoming as numerous and costly as a prom or wedding. And yet, this elaborate ritual also hearkens back to traditions from native countries and communities, offering young Latinas a chance to connect with their heritage. Writer Alvarez explores this celebration that brings a Latina girl into womanhood, attending the quince of a young woman in Queens, and weaving in interviews with other quince girls, her own memories of coming of age as an immigrant, and the history of the custom itself.

Transborder lives : indigenous Oaxacans in Mexico, California, and Oregon / Stephen Lynn.

301.29721 STEPHEN 2007

Lynn Stephen’s innovative ethnography follows indigenous Mexicans from two towns in the state of Oaxaca—the Mixtec community of San Agustín Atenango and the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle—who periodically leave their homes in Mexico for extended periods of work in California and Oregon. Demonstrating that the line separating Mexico and the United States is only one among the many borders that these migrants repeatedly cross (including national, regional, cultural, ethnic, and class borders and divisions), Stephen advocates an ethnographic framework focused on transborder, rather than transnational, lives. Yet she does not disregard the state: She assesses the impact migration has had on local systems of government in both Mexico and the United States as well as the abilities of states to police and affect transborder communities.

Tunnel kids / Lawrence J. Taylor.

325.738792 HICKEY 2001

Beneath the streets of the U.S.-Mexico border, children are coming of age. They have come from all over Mexico to find shelter and adventure in the drainage tunnels that connect the twin cities of Nogales, Sonora, and Nogales, Arizona. This book opens up the world of the tunnel kids and tells how in this murky underworld of struggling immigrants, drug dealers, and thieves, these kids have carved out a place of their own. Hickey's stunning portraits provide a heart-stopping counterpoint to Taylor's incisive prose. Story and photos together open a window into the life of the tunnel kids—a world like that of many homeless children, precarious and adaptive, albeit unique to the border. 

Where the ox does not plow : a Mexican American ballad / Manuel H. Peäna

973.0468 PENA 2008

Where the Ox Does Not Plow, an autobiographical ethnography, consists of twenty-six life episodes that chronicle Manuel Peña's transformative journey from an impoverished migrant worker to a career in academia. Inspired by his experiences and those of the people around him in Texas and California, Peña reflects on a wide range of issues arising from the historically marginalized condition of Mexicans and other Latinos in the United States. The narrative will engage readers with a broad range of human experiences, from race relations and economic exploitation to the intimacy of familial and romantic love.



A history of the Polish Americans / John J. Bukowczyk.

973.049438 BUKOWCZ 2008

Following a chronological format, Bukowczyk explains the historical reasons that led Polish people to come to America, the experience of the first wave of immigrants, the identity problem of second-generation Poles, and the kind of organizations and institutions that Polonia established in America. Throughout the author wrestles with the question faced by all immigrant groups: What does it mean to be a hyphenated American? And more specifically: What does it mean to be a Polish-American?



Danes in North America / Frederick Hale.

973.049489 HALE 1984

A collection of letters written by early Danish American immigrants giving insight into why they left everything behind for the challenges and freedoms of America. Some are positive, some are filled with despair, all offer insight and nvarnished story telling of their experiences.

Finns in Wisconsin / Mark H. Knipping.

973.0494897 KNIPPIN 2008

This book traces the history of Finnish settlement in Wisconsin, from the large concentrations of Finns in the northern region, to the smaller "Little Finlands" created in other areas of the state. Revised and expanded, this new edition contains the richly detailed story of one Finnish woman, told in her own words, of her hardships and experiences in traveling to a new country and her resourcefulness and strength in adapting to a new culture and building a new life.

New land, new lives : Scandinavian immigrants to the Pacific Northwest / Janet Elaine. Rasmussen.

979.5004 RASMUSS 1993

"NEW LAND, NEW LIVES tells in their own words the experiences of 45 immigrants (28 of them women) in the early years of the 20th century. Rasmussen's selections capture the textures and tones of ordinary life. They show how the cultures the immigrants had known in the Old World influenced life in the Pacific Northwest"

A pioneer in Northwest America, 1841-1858 : the memoirs of Gustaf Unonius

973.049485 UNONIUS 1950

Gustaf Unonius was the leader of the Swedish Episcopal migration to Wisconsin and Illinoise in the 1840s. In the first of his two volume memoirs he primarily describes the story of their decision to leave, the trip to America and their pioneer experience in a new country.

Up in the Rocky Mountains : writing the Swedish immigrant experience / Jennifer Eastman Attebery 1951

973.049485 ATTEBER 2007

Before the turn of the twentieth century, many Swedish men emigrated to the American Rockies as itinerant laborers, drawn by the region’s developing industries. Single Swedish women ventured west, too, and whole families migrated, settling into farm communities. By 1920, one-fifth of all Swedish immigrants were living in the West. Attebery offers a new perspective on Swedish immigrants’ experiences in Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico from 1880 to 1917 by interpreting their letters home. Considering more than three hundred letters, Attebery analyzes their storytelling, repetitive language, traditional phrasing, and metaphoric images. 

Vikings in the attic : in search of Nordic America / Eric Dregni

973.04948 DREGNI 2011

Growing up with Swedish and Norwegian grandparents with a dash of Danish thrown in for balance, Eric Dregni thought Scandinavians were perfectly normal. Who doesn’t enjoy a good, healthy salad (Jell-O packed with canned fruit, colored marshmallows, and pretzels) or perhaps some cod soaked in drain cleaner as the highlights of Christmas? Only later did it dawn on him that perhaps this was just alittle strange, but by then it was far too late: he was hooked and a dyed-in-the-wool Scandinavian himself.

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