From All Points

From All Points

America's Immigrant West, 1870s-1952
Barkan, Elliott Robert
Distribution: World
Publication date: 05/11/2007
Format: Hardback 50 b&w photos, 2 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-34851-7
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Winner, 2008 Theodore Saloutos Award

At a time when immigration policy is the subject of heated debate, this book makes clear that the true wealth of America is in the diversity of its peoples. By the end of the 20th century the American West was home to nearly half of America’s immigrant population, including Asians and Armenians, Germans and Greeks, Mexicans, Italians, Swedes, Basques, and others. This book tells their rich and complex story—of adaptation and isolation, maintaining and mixing traditions, and an ongoing ebb and flow of movement, assimilation, and replenishment. These immigrants and their children built communities, added to the region’s culture, and contended with discrimination and the lure of Americanization. The mark of the outsider, the alien, the nonwhite passed from group to group, even as the complexion of the region changed. The region welcomed, then excluded, immigrants, in restless waves of need and nativism that continue to this day.

Author Bio

Elliott Robert Barkan is Professor Emeritus of History and Ethnic Studies at California State University. He is author of Our Multicultural Heritage: A Guide to America’s Principal Ethnic Groups and And Still They Come: The Immigrant in American Society, 1920s–1990s. He lives in Corona, California.


This richly detailed history of immigrants in the 20th-century American West rewards the reader with close attention to individual voices of immigrants. Encyclopedic in coverage, loaded with personal stories of real people, this book is unparalleled in its coverage. Finally the West becomes a full part of American immigration history.

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Table of Contents

Note on Translation and Transliteration

Introduction: Defining Themes—The West, Westerners, and Whiteness
Prelude: Western Immigrant Experiences

Part 1. Laying the Groundwork: Immigrants and Immigration Laws, Old and New, 1870s - 1903
1. Immigrant Stories from the West
2. The Draw of the Late-Nineteenth-Century West
3. Where in the West Were They?
4. Targets of Racism: Chinese and Others on the Mainland and Hawaii
5. The Scandinavians and Step Migration
6. The German Presence
7. Proximity of Homeland: The Mexicans
8. In the Year 1903
9. Foreshadowing Twentieth-Century Patterns

Part 2. Opening and Closing Doors, 1903 - 1923
10. Immigrant Stories and the West in the 1900s
11. Who Came?
12. The Dillingham Commission and the West
13. The Continuing Evolution of Immigration and Naturalization Issues and Policies (Asians)
14. Miners, Merchants, and Entrepreneurs: Europeans Compete with Europeans (Greeks and Others)
15. Land, Labor, and Immigrant Communities: Hawaii and the Mainland (Asians, Portuguese, Armenians, and Scandinavians)
16. Newcomers, Old and New (Italians, Basques, French, and Mexicans)
17. The First World War and Americanization
18. State and Federal Laws and Decisions, 1917 - 1920
19. The Early 1920s: Threshold of Momentous Changes

Part 3. "Give me a bug, please": Restriction and Repatriation, Accommodation and Americanization, 1923 - 1941
20. A World of Peoples: The 1920s and 1930s
21. Demographic Trends: A Changing West and Changing Westerners
22. Institutionalizing the Quota System: 1924
23. Divided Yet Interlinked: The Rural West
24. Filipinos: The Newer Immigrant Wave Bridging the Rural and Urban West
25. Divided Yet Interlinked: The Urban West in the Interwar Years
26. Urban Landscapes and Ethnic Encounters
27. From "Reoccupation" to Repatriation: Mexicans in the Southwest between the Wars
28. Darker Turns dur