11 November 2010

New York: 'History of Ellis Island' author, Nov. 21

Vincent J. Cannato, author of  "American Passage: The History of Ellis Island," will speak at the next meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of New York, on Thursday, November 21.

The program, followed by a book-signing, begins at 2pm at the Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, in Manhattan.

Cannato tells the story of Ellis Island from the days when it hosted pirate hangings witnessed by thousands of 19th-century New Yorkers, to the turn of the 20th century when massive migration sparked fierce debate and new immigrants often encountered corruption, harsh conditions and political scheming.

"American Passage" captures a time and place unparalleled in American immigration and history, and articulates the dramatic and bittersweet accounts of the immigrants, officials, interpreters, and social reformers who all play an important role in Ellis Island’s chronicle.
The last immigrant was processed at Ellis Island omore than 50 years ago in 1954.

Cannato's book illustrates the port of entry’s legacy, from detention of WWII aliens to the rebirth of Ellis Island as a national monument.

As immigration policy, national security, and the war on terror remain at the forefront of national debate today, this timely history offers Americans an important perspective on how the nation addressed similar challenges a century ago.
Cannatto is an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He received his BA (Political Science, Williams College) and PhD (history, Columbia University) and teaches courses on New York City history, Boston history, immigration history and 20th-century American history. For more on the author and the book, click here.

The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at CJH will be open from 11am for networking with  researchers and access to research materials and computers.

Fee: JGSNY members, free; others, $5.

For more information, click here.

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