Read e-book online A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in PDF

By Ali Behdad

ISBN-10: 0822336065

ISBN-13: 9780822336068

ISBN-10: 0822336197

ISBN-13: 9780822336198

In A Forgetful Nation, the popular postcolonialism pupil Ali Behdad turns his recognition to the U.S.. providing a well timed critique of immigration and nationalism, Behdad takes on an concept primary to American nationwide mythology: that the U.S. is “a kingdom of immigrants,” welcoming and beneficiant to foreigners. He argues that american citizens’ remedy of immigrants and foreigners has lengthy fluctuated among hospitality and hostility, and that this deep-seated ambivalence is prime to the development of nationwide identification. construction at the insights of Freud, Nietzsche, Foucault, and Derrida, he develops a concept of the old amnesia that allows the USA to disavow a earlier and current equipped at the exclusion of others.

Behdad exhibits how political, cultural, and criminal texts have articulated American nervousness approximately immigration from the Federalist interval to the current day. He reads texts either well-known—J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass—and lesser-known—such because the writings of nineteenth-century nativists and of public well-being officers at Ellis Island. within the strategy, he highlights what's obscured through narratives and texts celebrating the U.S. as an open-armed haven for everybody: the country’s violent beginnings, together with its conquest of local americans, brutal exploitation of enslaved Africans, and colonialist annexation of French and Mexican territories; a routine and fierce strand of nativism; the necessity for a docile exertions strength; and the tough self-discipline meted out to immigrant “aliens” this day, rather alongside the Mexican border.

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A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the United States by Ali Behdad


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