American Passage - The History of Ellis Island

by Vincent J. Cannato - 2019-02-09

A timely read, as the topic of immigration is still very present, as it has been for more than 100 years. Vincent Cannato uses the archives of the City of New York, the National Archives, numerous newspaper accounts, and other sources to tell the story of Ellis Island. How and why it came into existence, the divided public opinion that had so much to do with its great success and disappointing failures.  

While this book may not contain family names, or many details specific to Bohemia and Moravia, it does contain a very important piece of the story of emigration. Arrival in the new world was perhaps the most uncertain and freightening part of the journey. This evolved over time, but it was directly resulting from the political and economic circumstances that preceded WWI.

We recommend this book as a compliment to other that describe in particular the forces that were at play during these turbulent years. These forces that pushed people to leave their homes had a component that was attracting people to the opportunities. 

The author explains in a very sympathetic way why Ellis Island was known as the Isle of Tears. If you have not yet visited Ellis Island, this book would be a perfect compliment to prepare you for such a visit.