American Passage: The History of Ellis Island by Vincent J. Cannot
American Passage is a political history of not just Ellis Island, the infamous entry point of immigrants from 1892-1924, but also immigration to America. Vincent J. Cannato is not only impartial, but he writes in such a way to make a dry topic quite interesting.
If you are looking for a book that depicts the emotion behind immigration through Ellis Island, this is not the book for you. Cannato does tell of immigrant stories, but purely as explanation for the politics at the time, and most stories seemed to be drawn from newspaper articles. Hence, they lack emotion and told from a factual point of view. However, if you are interested in the politics behind Ellis Island and an impartial history, you will find this book satisfactory.
Vincent J. Cannnato is a history professor at the University of Massachusetts and has authored numerous historical publications. His endeavours lead me to believe he has a strong interest for the history of New York.
If you are researching immigration for your current creative writing endeavour, American Passage is a fantastic book to learn the political feelings around immigration to America via New York in the late 19th, early 20th centuries. This book takes a deep look at the presidents who resided through these periods and their stance on immigration as well as the views of the American people as a whole. One fact that through me for a loop is that there has been little to no change in opinion on immigration. People are scared of immigration now, just as much as they were in the early 20th century. The only change is the type of people attempting to build a new life in the USA.
I recommend this book for writers interested in the political views of immigration to America in the late 1800's, early 1900's. There are a number of stories in this book that could lead to brilliant historical fiction novels with a little research and some emotion bestowed upon them.