The impact of immigrants over the past half century has become so much a part of everyday life in the United States that we sometimes fail to see it. This deeply researched book by one of America’s leading immigration scholars tells the story of how immigrants are fundamentally changing this country.
An astonishing number of immigrants and their children—nearly eighty-six million people—now live in the United States. Together, they have transformed the American experience in profound and far-reaching ways that go to the heart of the country’s identity and institutions.
Unprecedented in scope, One Quarter of the Nation traces how immigration has reconfigured America’s racial order—and, importantly, how Americans perceive race—and played a pivotal role in reshaping electoral politics and party alignments. It discusses how immigrants have rejuvenated our urban centers as well as some far-flung rural communities, and examines how they have strengthened the economy, fueling the growth of old industries and spurring the formation of new ones. This wide-ranging book demonstrates how immigration has touched virtually every facet of American culture, from the music we dance to and the food we eat to the films we watch and books we read.
One Quarter of the Nation opens a new chapter in our understanding of immigration. While many books look at how America changed immigrants, this one examines how they changed America. It reminds us that immigration has long been a part of American society, and shows how immigrants and their families continue to redefine who we are as a nation.
"A succinct, positive look at the great benefits, both historically and currently, of embracing immigration."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"One Quarter of the Nation . . . explains how [immigrants and their children] have changed local economies, communities, and politics for the better."—Alison Beard, Harvard Business Review
"Packed with compelling data about how immigrants are transforming the American cultural and economic landscape, the book is a fast and engaging read."—Maileen Hamto, Seattle Book Review
"A far-ranging look at how immigrants and their children—nearly 86 million people in all—have transformed America."—University of Chicago Magazine
"This well-written and highly accessible book is a valuable contribution to the scholarship on immigration. Its deep historical standpoint and its impressive synthesis of research on current patterns and trends provides an insightful analysis of how immigration is transforming America."—John Iceland, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Foner sketches the landscape of American society since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act abolished national-origins quotas in the US immigration system, leading to increased diversity."—Christian Century
"Foner's synthetic account . . . sift[s] through and make[s] sense of the vast body of research that has been produced in recent decades. . . . A richly documented and engaging overview."—Peter Kivisto, Sociological Forum
"A succinct, accessible overview of how immigrants have transformed the country since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act."—Choice Reviews
“Most studies of immigration focus on how immigrants became Americans (or didn’t). Foner looks instead at how immigrants changed America itself—its racial landscape, its cities, the labor market, its culture—especially in the past fifty years. This is a smart and readable synthesis of cutting-edge scholarship with a fresh analysis.”—Mae Ngai, Columbia University
“Foner delivers a masterful synthesis of immigration as at once constitutive and transformative of the American experience. This empirically rich, conceptually sophisticated, and beautifully written book should be required reading for every engaged citizen seeking enlightenment on one of our country’s defining issues.”—Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, editor of Humanitarianism and Mass Migration
“Foner masterfully shows how immigrants and their children dynamically transformed American society after 1965. Yet in diversifying America’s culture and society, immigration has also widened the country’s political divisions, creating a nation very much in flux. Foner’s penetrating analysis offers an indispensable guide to understanding America’s uncertain future.”—Douglas S. Massey, coauthor of Climbing Mount Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb
“In this beautifully written, wide-ranging book, Foner turns the usual focus on immigration around, asking how immigration is transforming America. Her perceptive story is an optimistic one that shows how immigrants are bringing new energy and ideas to our neighborhoods, popular culture, and economy. Required reading for every American.”—Mary C. Waters, Harvard University