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Ellis Island: A People's History av…
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Ellis Island: A People's History (urspr publ 2009; utgåvan 2020)

av Małgorzata Szejnert (Författare), Sean Gasper Bye (Översättare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
288641,111 (3.9)2
Medlem:mvblair
Titel:Ellis Island: A People's History
Författare:Małgorzata Szejnert (Författare)
Andra författare:Sean Gasper Bye (Översättare)
Info:Scribe US (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 400 pages
Samlingar:Non-Fiction
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Ellis Island : A People's History av Małgorzata Szejnert (2009)

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This book promises to be interesting as it explores the history and origin of Ellis Island, the place where thousands and thousands of immigrants disembarked in America to find a better life and to make their fortunes on the streets paved with gold. It also explores the times and the way of life complete with the odd inventions, like the buttonhook, which enabled women to dress without the aid of anyone else and the views on anti-semitism which were alive and very well when it came to the immigration policy in the United States.
However, I am finding it a bit disjointed which may be due to the translation from another language, and it is therefore a slower read than I had anticipated. Because it is so choppy, it will take me longer to finish, but finish I will, and I will try to post a more complete review at that time. I do not want to rush through it since it is a repository of enormous interesting information, and for that alone, I highly recommend it.
Since this is not a completed version, but an ARC, I hope that the finished, edited copy is smoother and easier to follow. I am about to start it over again because I won’t give up, until I complete it, nor will I post an incomplete review anywhere else. I know that I will be rewarded with the education this book will provide to me on an island which has a unique place in the history of our country. On the positive side too, besides the knowledge enclosed between the covers, I was immediately pleased with the pictures which truly enhance the book. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Oct 18, 2020 |
Małgorzata Szejnert's "Ellis Island: A People's History" is a lovely, easy-to-read popular history of the immigration port where 12 million new Americans passed.

Szejnert wrote the book in Polish while she was living in New York. It was published in 2009 and just now translated by Sean Gasper Bye. She uses plenty of firsthand accounts and includes quotes and pictures. Unfortunately, the pictures are not captioned.

The book is a series of short vignettes, each about two or three pages long. Each chapter focuses on either a political appointee, an employee, or an immigrant. The stories flow in chronological order with some of them referring back to earlier vignettes, however, I think a reader could pick and chose which ones to read.

There are stories of immigrants from all over Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. There are a handful of stories about immigrants from other areas as well. There is brief information about their lives in their home country, quite a bit about their journeys, and their starts in the United States. I was particularly interested in reading about medical check-ups, heartbreaking deportations, and the Red Scare.

I am sure Szejnert's research is impeccable, but there are no in text citations. There are endnotes, but without in text citations it's hard for a reader to follow them. The book does not include an index, which would be very helpful.

Another criticism I have is that the book is written in present tense. I find history written in the present to be somewhat pretentious. However, the translation (and surely Szejnert's original) are so readable that I think I'm just nitpicking.

This book should appeal to readers interested in the growth of the United States, the municipal history of New York, or particularly anyone wanting to understand the experience of going through Ellis Island. ( )
  mvblair | Oct 17, 2020 |
The administration, policies, staff, and the immigrants themselves are dealt with in short chapters that gradually build to show the history of Ellis Island and especially the Polish immigrants who came to the US. Very readable translation. Photos that enhance the stories. Gives a realization of how deep the roots of our present immigration policies are. Excellent end notes showing the sources of Szejnert's information. ( )
  mysterymax | Oct 15, 2020 |
The island now known as Ellis was once a smaller island known a Kioshk. There the Lenni Lenapi lived modest lives until the colonizers came and the land became a part of what would ultimately be the United States of America. This history traces its change into an icon of immigration. The tale is told as individual stories and vignettes of the immigrants, employees, protestors, and others whose lives were indelibly changed by the island and the ever-changing rules that governed it. Originally written in Polish and published in 2009, this new English translation offers outsider insight into this world-famous landmark and its failures, struggles and successes. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Oct 15, 2020 |
An interesting and informative history of Ellis Island and our first attempt at immigration control. When you recover from the staggering numbers of people who passed through the doors and all the issues they dealt with from disease, language, housing, medical and sanitation then you can begin to enjoy the individual accounts of immigrants, staff and the various directors of Ellis Island. The book has been translated from the author's native Polish which could account for some of the abrupt leaps from the stories of people who immigrated to the people who processed them to the Directors who were appointed. It was also very interesting to see some of the unusual plans for the island after they stopped using it for immigration. You can tell that the author has done extensive research and the photos add much to the story. I would recommend this book to any reader interested in immigration from Europe or those who enjoy New York City's illustrious history. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy. ( )
  ltcl | Oct 14, 2020 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Małgorzata Szejnertprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Bye, Sean GasperÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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