18 January 2018

Non-Fiction Review: This Land is Our Land by Linda Barrett Osborne

Series: N/A
# of Pages: 128
Publication: April 12, 2016
Source: Library E-Book
Genre: Non-Fiction
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American attitudes toward immigrants are paradoxical. On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, depending on prevailing economic conditions, fluctuating feelings about race and ethnicity, and fear of foreign political and labor agitation, we set boundaries and restrictions on who may come to this country and whether they may stay as citizens. This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue. Includes an author’s note, bibliography, and index.

I don't know how to really feel about this book. It's important because it addresses immigration which is such an important aspect of our history especially now. I think the information was thought provoking and it enlightened me on various aspects of immigration that I wasn't familiar with. For example I knew that there were exclusions to certain groups in terms of immigration but I had no knowledge of the quotas that were set that kept out immigrants of certain ethnicities and socioeconomic status' out. It never fails to amaze me that a place that is supposed to be the melting pot of the world could be so dark and grim towards people that are different. It's so sad to read about the millions of people who are just trying to make a better life for themselves but are faced with discrimination because they are different or have different cultural practices. It's the same type of gross feeling I get when people say that Latino/Hispanic immigrants need to learn English because they're now in America. It's a disgusting fear based on the idea that people won't or can't assimilate because they still want to hold on to certain traditions from their native country. At the end of the day we all have immigrant origins.

Okay so enough of me and my soapbox, like I stated before the book contained so many interesting bits of information and history; however, the writing was disjointed and parts of chapters didn't really seem to connect with each other. What I did like is the fact that a lot of topics discussed in the chapters were told with examples of actual immigrants and how the US's immigration laws or lack thereof impacted them and their families. I wouldn't say that this book is the ultimate answer to all things related to immigration; however, it is a good place to start. It is written for a middle grade to teen audience so I don't know if adults would ultimately find it appealing.

Overall, I did enjoy the information and it really pushed me to think about some things especially how immigration is currently handled and discussed. I didn't enjoy the authors writing style and felt as though the story could have been laid out in a more attractive and interesting manner.

Side note: the photographs in the book were AMAZING


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