Conversation with Author Maddalena Marinari about her new book: Unwanted Italian and Jewish Mobilization Against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882-1965
Event Date & Time
This event featured a conversation with Maddalena Marinari, associate professor of history at Gustavus Adolphus College and author of the new book, Unwanted: Italian and Jewish Mobilization Against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882-1965 (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). She was joined by IHRC Archives Curator Daniel Necas and IHRC Director Erika Lee.
About the book
In the late nineteenth century, millions of Italians and Eastern European Jews left their countries to take advantage of the demand for unskilled labor in industrializing nations including the United States. Many Americans of Northern and Western European ancestry had instituted national origins quotas to curtail their immigration. Weaving together political, social, and transnational history, Unwanted examines how Italian American and Jewish reformers profoundly influenced the country's immigration policy. Restrictionist legislators, anti-immigrant hysteria, and a fickle executive branch often left these immigrants with few options except to negotiate and accept political compromises. As they tested the limits of citizen activism, the reformers shaped the terms of debate around immigration in the United States in ways we still reckon with today.
This event was organized by the IHRC and co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and the Immigration Research Center Archives.