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The Golden Door by Thomas Kessner

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 998
  • Category: Books

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Survival is one of the main issue and key aspect of the society, as each human beings desire to survive in spite of all the challenges and trials brought about by the society themselves. The adversities and challenges that are identified by the said concept are commonly caused by the differences in the cultural aspect and social values manifested through negative issues in the social views. Among these common manifestations is the concept of adverse Semitism through blind and strict loyalty resulting to harassment and other negative views regarding the issue of differences through the event of immigration.

            In relation to the said concept, the widely acclaimed historian and professor Thomas Kessner wrote his book entitled The Golden Door elaborating the issues of immigration in the United States of America particularly the events involving the Italian and Jewish immigrants. In this book, the author elaborated the challenges faced by the immigrants in mainly in the Great City of New York during the period of during and after the civil wars in Europe and America through studying the present historical data gathered through actual experiences and statistical results. Through incorporating all of the available actual informations, Kessner provided through his book The Golden Door a clear and concise viewpoint regarding the issues and social challenges faced by the immigrants of the United States.

            In his book, Kessner particularly focused on the group of the Italian and Jewish immigrants of the New York City on the period of the late 1880 until 1915. Clearly, the said period has a historically significant factor namely the Civil War that is widely spreading the European society adding up to the adverse living conditions of the immigrants. Kessner namely incorporated this concept as concrete factors in the issue involving the aspect of pre-immigration, immigration and post-immigration giving the book a reliable appeal towards its critics. The book has obviously taken a scientific and actual approach regarding its study of its topic as it incorporated actual statistical data and experience cases based from interviews of the actual immigrants.

            By consider the overview of the book by Kessner; one can actually argue that the author clearly presented his points and ideas through gradually tackling the topic through the scientific approach. First, the author identified and elaborated the immigrant context and how it was used in the topic through relating it to the involved social minority. This chapter is then followed by the analysis of the statistical surveys detailing the issue of occupational distribution among the immigrant society and how this concept is affected by the social views and discrimination resulting from cultural differences. This is then followed by the study relating the occupational status of the immigrants to their household conditions particularly the next few years after their immigration. This chapter particularly has shown the challenges and problems faced by the immigrants in their attempt to settle down in the land they consider as the greener pasture. After which is the chapters studying the experiences in their new social neighborhood, work environment and their residential dimension as the immigrants tried to adapt to their new society and these issues are affected by the factor of the adverse social concepts such as discrimination and cultural differences.

            Through the said approach, the author clearly presented the hardships and trials experienced by the immigrants because of the difference in the cultural aspect between them and their new environment. In Kessner’s book, he also presented the factors aiding the assimilation of the Jewish and Italian immigrants into their new society through the mixture of the ethnic cultures and abilities with that of the American society. Aspects such food culture of the Italian and the Jewish immigrants are then introduced and incorporated in the American society as it was widely accepted by the latter. Because of this New York then became the melting point between the native culture of the American society and that of the immigrants aiding the acceptance and integration of the foreign minorities into the social group.

            In addition, views such as that of the Semitic movements and anti-immigration groups are also taken into account as part of the challenges faced by the immigrants. The author expressed in his book that the social factor of unemployment and economic scarcity during those times contributed significantly to the adverse conditions in the lifestyles of the immigrants. However though, the dominant civil war issues in the European society forced most of the Italians and Jewish families to migrate to the United States soil in spite of the social problems they are aware to face. Thus, Kessner’s book presents the concept of survival theme for the immigrant minorities as they are force to migrate and adapt to new environment and endure all of the social problems they are likely to face brought about by Semitic movements and resistance issues.

            Indeed, survival is one of the main themes of the history of the human civilization and this is also presented in Kessner’s book entitled The Golden Door. This book has shown that because of dominant social problems in the European society, Italians and Jewish immigrants are indeed forced to move out of the native homes and migrate to a foreign land that has its own issues contributing to the negative views to immigrant minorities. As presented by Kessner’s book, the issues in the immigration are likely the roots of most of the present social problems between the American society and the immigrants in general. Negative problems such as social crimes, discrimination, prostitutions and harassment are likely caused by the cultural differences between the two and their economic and social problems producing several conflict between the two groups. However, because of their need for survival, the two groups namely the native majorities and the immigrant minorities must share and also compete against each in all of the necessary resources for the respective lifestyles such as employment, residence allocation, and others.

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