Joan Morrison, a frequent contributor on the social sciences to the New York Times among other publications, teaches at the New School for Social Research in New York City.
This extraordinary work of oral history captures the immense drama and full dimensions of the American immigrant experience. The men and women who tell their stories include such famous names as Alistair Cooke, W. Michael Blumenthal, Edward Teller, and Lynn Redgrave. But they share these pages with 136 other people whose stories are equally compelling: a Jewish former sweatshop worker and union organizer, a Scandanavian homesteader, a Polish coal miner, an anti-Nazi refugee, a Japanese war bride, a Mexican migrant worker, a Cuban exile, a South African interracial couple, a Soviet dissident, and many more. They reveal the mingled joy and pain, hardship and triumph that were and are part of the glowing dream and fearful gamble of a new life in a new land. They offer unique understanding not only of the makeup but of the meaning of America.