The United States have long been a favourite destination for people forced to abandon their countries for religious, political or economic reasons; and immigration has always been an essential feature of American society. This book outlines the history of these migratory flows from the colonial age to the controversy concerning immigration law reform during the 2008 presidential election campaign. Special attention is paid to the USs pull factors, the origin countries features which induce people to leave, their variation over time, the newcomers interaction with their adopted country, how the latter reacts to and treats its new members, the social, economic and political implications of immigration, and the legal measures that regulate it. Moreover, the text examines the role of immigration in the process of nation-building and the definition of contemporary US societys multiethnic, multiracial and multicultural nature.
Stefano Luconi teaches History of the United States at the Universities of Pisa, Padua and Tor Vergata-Rome.
Matteo Pretelli is an Italian lecturer at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.