American Intolerance: Our Dark History of Demonizing Immigrants

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The ideals of welcoming immigrants symbolized by the statue of Liberty and enshrined by Lazarus’s words have been different from the realities that migrants to America have experienced. The intolerance towards the “other” has been prevalent in America arguably since its formation: first against the Hessians, then other groups such as the Irish, German (during World War I), Mexicans, Jews, Japanese (during World War II), and now against the Muslims. In some cases, this intolerance was aimed at Native Americans and African Americans who were either in America before the settlers arrived, or were brought here against their will.

The first seven chapters chronicle American’s treatment against various minority groups that immigrated to America. It starts with the Irish and German Catholics. Subsequent chapters cover intolerance towards Mexicans, Chinese, Native Americans, Germans (during World War I), Japanese, and Jews. The last two chapters discuss contemporary times and deliver the reason for this book. These chapters examine Muslim (primarily Syrian) migration to America and the short-sighted view of denying refugees a home in America.

The narrative constantly references historical sources, and statistics to bolster its claim that Americans are over-reacting to the Muslim “threat”. The author’s claims are well-supported with references from the government or mainstream American sources. The text is direct and easy to read; hence, it is not as nuanced as the quoted sources suggest. The book’s message is that steps to curtail immigration to America will, in the long run, hurt America. Given the current political climate and the supporting data in American Intolerance, American’s would be smart to consider the suggestions in this book.

Reviewed By:

Author Robert E. Bartholomew • Anja Reumschuessel
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 270 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2018-Oct-23
ISBN 9781633884489 Buy this Book
Issue March 2019
Category History


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