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Americans at the Gate

The United States and Refugees during the Cold War

Carl J. Bon Tempo

Unlike the 1930s, when the United States tragically failed to open its doors to Europeans fleeing Nazism, the country admitted over three million refugees during the Cold War. This dramatic reversal gave rise to intense political and cultural battles, pitting refugee advocates against determined opponents who at times successfully slowed admissions. The first comprehensive historical exploration of American refugee affairs from the midcentury to the present, Americans at the Gate explores the reasons behind the remarkable changes to American refugee policy, laws, and programs.

Carl Bon Tempo looks at the Hungarian, Cuban, and Indochinese refugee crises, and he examines major pieces of legislation, including the Refugee Relief Act and the 1980 Refugee Act. He argues that the American commitment to refugees in the post-1945 era occurred not just because of foreign policy imperatives during the Cold War, but also because of particular domestic developments within the United States such as the Red Scare, the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of the Right, and partisan electoral politics. Using a wide variety of sources and documents, Americans at the Gate considers policy and law developments in connection with the organization and administration of refugee programs.

Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

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Amerikanuak

Basques In The New World

This work, by William Douglass (who helped initiate the Basque Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno) and Jon Bilbao (author of several Basque reference works), is the most accessible overview of the Basque diaspora in the Western Hemisphere. Amerikanuak is a pioneering study of one of the American West’s most important ethnic minorities, an engaging, comprehensive survey of Basque migration and settlement in the Americas, and an essential introduction to the history of the Basque people and their five centuries of involvement in the New World.
Research for the book took the authors through ten states of the American West, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela as they traced the exploits of Basque whalers in the medieval Atlantic, the Basque conquistadors, missionaries, colonists, and sheepherders who formed a dramatic part of the history of Spanish America. They also follow the story of the Basques back to their mysterious origins in prehistory to provide background for understanding the Basques’ character and their homeland in the Pyrenean mountains and seacoasts between France and Spain. This is a revised and updated edition of the original 1975 publication. New preface by William A. Douglass.

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Amigas y Amantes

Sexually Nonconforming Latinas Negotiate Family

Katie L. Acosta

Amigas y Amantes  (Friends and Lovers) explores the experiences of sexually nonconforming Latinas in the creation and maintenance of families. It is based on forty-two in-depth ethnographic interviews with women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, or queer (LBQ). Additionally, it draws from fourteen months of participant observation at LBQ Latina events that Katie L. Acosta conducted in 2007 and 2008 in a major northeast city. With this data, Acosta examines how LBQ Latinas manage loving relationships with the families who raised them, and with their partners, their children, and their friends.  

Acosta investigates how sexually nonconforming Latinas negotiate cultural expectations, combat compulsory heterosexuality, and reconcile tensions with their families. She offers a new way of thinking about the emotion work involved in everyday lives, which highlights the informal, sometimes invisible, labor required in preserving family ties. Acosta contends that the work LBQ Latinas take on to preserve connections with biological families, lovers, and children results in a unique way of doing family.

Paying particular attention to the negotiations that LBQ Latinas undertake in an effort to maintain familial order, Amigas y Amantes explores how they understand femininity, how they negotiate their religious faiths, how they face the unique challenges of being in interracial/interethnic relationships, and how they raise their children while integrating their families of origin.

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The Amish

A Concise Introduction

Steven M. Nolt

There seems to be no end to our fascination with the Amish, a religious minority that has both placed itself outside the mainstream of American culture and flourished within it. Yet most people know very little about the nuanced relationship the Amish have with society or their own communities.

Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork and collaborative research, Steven M. Nolt’s The Amish: A Concise Introduction is a compact but richly detailed portrait of Amish life. In fewer than 150 pages, readers will come away with a clear understanding of the complexities of these simple people. Writing in engaging and accessible language, Nolt explains how the Amish at once operate within modern America and stand very much apart from the world. Arguing that Amish life is shaped equally by internal and external social, political, and economic contexts, Nolt explores Amish identity as emerging from a complex cultural negotiation with modernity. He takes on much-hyped topics such as Rumspringa and reveals the distinctive Amish approach to technology. He also explains how Amish principles stand in contrast to contemporary American values, including rational efficiency, large-scale organization, and Western notions of individuality.

Authoritative, informative, and illustrated, this guide provides a vivid introduction to a way of life many find fascinating but few truly understand.

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An Amish Paradox

Diversity and Change in the World's Largest Amish Community

Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell

Holmes County, Ohio, is home to the largest and most diverse Amish community in the world. Yet, surprisingly, it remains relatively unknown compared to its famous cousin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell conducted seven years of fieldwork, including interviews with over 200 residents, to understand the dynamism that drives social change and schism within the settlement, where Amish enterprises and nonfarming employment have prospered. The authors contend that the Holmes County Amish are experiencing an unprecedented and complex process of change as their increasing entanglement with the non-Amish market causes them to rethink their religious convictions, family practices, educational choices, occupational shifts, and health care options. The authors challenge the popular image of the Amish as a homogeneous, static, insulated society, showing how the Amish balance tensions between individual needs and community values. They find that self-made millionaires work alongside struggling dairy farmers; successful female entrepreneurs live next door to stay-at-home mothers; and teenagers both embrace and reject the coming-of-age ritual, rumspringa. An Amish Paradox captures the complexity and creativity of the Holmes County Amish, dispelling the image of the Amish as a vestige of a bygone era and showing how they reinterpret tradition as modernity encroaches on their distinct way of life.

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An Amish Patchwork

Indiana's Old Orders in the Modern World

Thomas J. Meyers and Steven M. Nolt

Indiana is home to the world’s third-largest Amish population. Indiana’s 19 Old Order Amish and two Old Order Mennonite communities show a surprising diversity despite all that unites them as a distinct culture. This contemporary portrait of Indiana’s Amish is the first book-length overview of Amish in the state. Thomas J. Meyers and Steven M. Nolt present an overview of the beliefs and values of the Amish, their migration history, and the differences between the state’s two major Amish ethnic groups (Pennsylvania Dutch and Swiss). They also talk about Indiana’s Old Order Mennonites, a group too often confused with the Amish. Meyers and Nolt situate the Amish in their Indiana context, noting an involvement with Indiana’s industrial economy that may surprise some. They also treat Amish interaction with state government over private schooling and other matters, and the relationship of the Amish to their neighbors and the tourist industry. This valuable introduction to the Indiana Amish deserves a place on every Hoosier’s bookshelf.

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Among the White Moon Faces

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

In this American Book Award-winning autobiography, Shirley Geok-lin Lim recalls her girlhood as part of a Chinese family in war-torn Malaysia, and her later life in the United States, where she moves from alienation as a dislocated Asian woman to a new sense of identity as an Asian-American woman. Lim's memoir explores colonialism, Chinese/Malaysian relations, and race relations in the US, as well as the intricacies of the academic life.

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Amy Signs

A Mother, Her Daughter, and their Stories

Rebecca Willman Gernon and Amy Willman

“Thirty-seven years ago, I vowed to write a truthful book about raising a deaf child.” Rebecca Willman Gernon followed through on her promise with her deaf daughter Amy Willman in this extraordinary new narrative. Many stories have been told about a parent’s struggle to help her deaf child succeed in a mostly hearing world. Amy Signs marks a signature departure in that both Rebecca and Amy relate their perspectives on their journey together. When she learns of 11-month-old Amy’s deafness in 1969, Rebecca fully expresses her anguish, and traces all of the difficulties she endured in trying to find the right educational environment for Amy. The sacrifices of the rest of her family weighed heavily on her, also. When she resolved to place four-year-old Amy in Nebraska’s residential school for deaf students, the emotional toll seemed too much to bear. Amy’s view acts as the perfect counterpoint. Interwoven with her mother’s story, Amy’s account confirms that signing served her best. She summarizes life in boarding school as “laughter and homesickness.” She laughed with all of her deaf friends, though felt homesick at times. Amy thanks her mother for the gift of sign, asserting that a mainstream education would never have led her to earn a master’s degree and later teach ASL at the University of Nebraska. Amy Signs is a positive albeit cautionary tale for parents of deaf children today whose only choice is a mainstreamed education.

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Anarchist Immigrants in Spain and Argentina

James A. Baer

From 1868 through 1939, anarchists' migrations from Spain to Argentina and back again created a transnational ideology and influenced the movement's growth in each country. James A. Baer follows the lives, careers, and travels of Diego Abad de Santillán, Manuel Villar, and other migrating anarchists to highlight the ideological and interpersonal relationships that defined a vital era in anarchist history. Drawing on extensive interviews with Abad de Santillán, José Grunfeld, and Jacobo Maguid, along with unusual access to anarchist records and networks, Baer uncovers the ways anarchist migrants in pursuit of jobs and political goals formed a critical nucleus of militants, binding the two countries in an ideological relationship that profoundly affected the history of both. He also considers the impact of reverse migration and discusses political decisions that had a hitherto unknown influence on the course of the Spanish Civil War. Personal in perspective and transnational in scope, Anarchist Immigrants in Spain and Argentina offers an enlightening history of a movement and an era.

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