As fresh today as when it was first published a half-century ago, Boston’s Immigrants illuminates the history of a particular city and an important phase of the American experience. Focusing on the life of people from the perspective of the social historian, the book explores a wide range of subjects: peasant society and the cause of European migration, population growth and industrial development, the ideology of progress and Catholic thought, and urban politics and the dynamic of prejudice. A generation of students and scholars has profited from its insights, and general readers have enjoyed its lively style. A new Preface by the author reflects upon the book’s intellectual origins.
This book has helped raise this field of American studies to a high level of distinction and satisfaction.
An excellent case study in the great problem of social assimilation. One feature, among others, that stands out clearly is its refutation of the all-too-comforting and popular notion that the American community, local or national, has been able to accept great contingencies of foreign population without experiencing significant and lasting modifications of its own cultural features.
Dr. Handlin has helped to illuminate a chapter in our history which, while local in its setting, has broad general implications… The book is eminently readable and characterized by imagination as well as learning.
While there have been good general studies of immigration, this book by Oscar Handlin is the first historical case study of the impact of immigrants upon a particular society and of the adjustment of the immigrants to that society. The writer has opened a new field for historical research and has also made a significant contribution to the literature of race and culture contacts.
- 400 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Belknap Press
From this author
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