By Vincent J. Cannato
for many of recent York's early background, Ellis Island were an vague little island that hardly held itself above excessive tide. this day the small island stands along Plymouth Rock in our nation's founding mythology because the position the place a lot of our ancestors first touched American soil.
American Passage captures a time and a spot exceptional in American immigration and heritage, and articulates the dramatic and bittersweet debts of the immigrants, officers, interpreters, and social reformers who all performed a tremendous position in Ellis Island's chronicle. during this sweeping, frequently heart-wrenching epic, Vincent J. Cannato unearths that the heritage of Ellis Island is eventually the tale of what it capacity to be an American.
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Extra resources for American Passage: The History of Ellis Island
L'hese works, I maintain, are at least consonant with onOe or another of the ideological positions of the times in which they \vere \vritten. I consider the ethical mO:Ll1ent of a historical work to be reflected in the 1110dc of ideological inlplication by \vhich an aesthetic perception (the elnplotnlent) and a cognitive operation (the argulnent) can be cOlnbined so as to derive prescriptive statenlents froln what 11lay appear to be purely descriptive or analytical ones. A historian I11ay "explain" what happened in the historical field by identifying the law (or laws) governing the set of events el1lplotted in the story as a dranla of essentially Tragic in1port.
60-65; Isaiah Berlin, "The Concept of Scientific lIistory,'t in Philosophical Analysis and History, ed. Dray, pp. 40-51. On "colligation" in general, see the remarks of Mink, "AutonolllY," pp. 171~72. INTRODUCTION 19 operation ends at the point at which the Hthreads" either disappear into the U i ' 7 0 f S0111e 0 th er . " The iInpulse is not to integrate all the events and trends that I11ight be identified in the whole historical field, but rather to link them together in a chain of provisional and restricted characterizations of finite provinces of manifestly "significant" occurrence.
Such laws, it is Inaintained, are usually advanced in the interest of pr01110ting SOl1le progranl of social transfoflnation, in either a Radical or a Reactionary direction. This gives to the very search for the laws of historical structure and process a bad odor and renders suspect the scholar~ ship of any historian \vho claill1s to be seeking such laws. The same applies to those 'tprinciples" by \vhich Idealist philosophers of history purport to explicate the "uleaning" of history in its totality.
American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannato