Foreign Relations

American Immigration in Global Perspective

by Donna R. Gabaccia

Series: America in the World (No. 9)

Histories investigating U.S. immigration have often portrayed America as a domestic melting pot, merging together those who arrive on its shores. Yet this is not a truly accurate depiction of the nation's complex connections to immigration. Offering a brand-new global history of the subject, Foreign Relations takes a comprehensive look at the links between American immigration and U.S. foreign relations. Donna Gabaccia examines America’s relationship to immigration and its debates through the prism of the nation’s changing foreign policy over the past two centuries. She shows that immigrants were not isolationists who cut ties to their countries of origin or their families. Instead, their relations to America were often in flux and dependent on government policies of the time.

An innovative history of U.S. immigration, Foreign Relations casts a fresh eye on a compelling and controversial topic.


  • Princeton University Press; March 2012
  • ISBN: 9781400842223
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Foreign Relations
  • Series: America in the World (No. 9)
  • Author: Donna R. Gabaccia
  • Imprint: Princeton University Press

In The Press

"Gabaccia's fascinating book demonstrates the indissoluble intersections between U.S. national interest—industrialization in the 1880s, international trade, wartime need for labor—and immigrants' life projects and family relations. This thought-provoking synthesis of America's global role and immigrants' foreign relations is a must for historians, economists, and political scientists."—Dirk Hoerder, author of Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium


About The Author

Donna R. Gabaccia is professor of history and former director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota. Her many books include We Are What We Eat and Immigration and American Diversity.