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Ellis Island Interviews

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

A truly unique account of what Ellis Island immigrants endured on their journeys to freedom from Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Produced in co-operation with the Ellis Island Research... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


My grandfather is in this book! (Manny Steen from Ireland) He would have been thrilled - but I don't believe he ever saw it. He died the year this was published. He had interviews in other Ellis Island books and his voice is the voice of Ireland at Ellis Island. It's sad, but the publishers didn't even send him copies of the books. As others have pointed out in their reviews, many of these people are between 80 and 100 and can't exactly zip over to the bookstore for a copy. (And he definitely wasn't online!) So, if any publishers read this, please keep that in mind. They give their story, at least give them a book! MY grampa would have liked a book signing party, too!! :-)

A Historical Treasure Trove

The result of diligent research, intensive interviewing and careful editing, the "Ellis Island Interviews - In Their Own Words" is a historical treasure trove. In the tradition of Studs Turkel, editor Peter Morton Coan has compiled dozens of interviews depicting the Ellis Island immigration experience. In their own words, immigrants from all walks of life relate the stories of their passage, often providing information about the places they came from, what their trip to the United States was like, why the came, and where they went after leaving Ellis Island. Each story is different of course, but each has a common goal: the dream of a better life in America. Coan also includes interviews with Ellis Island employees and provides background information on U.S. immigration policies and Ellis Island operations to help orient the reader. Coan's excellent research and editing of the interviews has yielded an invaluable resource of our country's immigration history. The stories are fascinating, and the guts and determination possessed by many of the immigrants are beyond admirable. Reading the "Ellis Island Interviews" is a touching and humbling experience - it will help you to better appreciate what those who came before you have endured. Ellis Island ceased to be an INS port in 1954, and almost all of those who came to the U.S. through Ellis Island are now very advanced in age - we have Coan to thank for preserving their stories for generations to come.

Ellis Island Interviews : In Their Own Words.

This is an incredible book for anyone interested in how their ancestors immigrated to America. It gives honest first hand accounts of people that are currently in their 80's - 100's. I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about their roots.

Truestories from immigrants are treasures for posterity

I picked this book up on a whim at the library and couldn't put it down. Since my ancestors passed through Ellis Island to come to America, this subject fascinated me. The stories in this book are memorable and give one the feeling of hope that America once symbolized for so many people looking for a better life. It doesn't paint a perfect picture of immigration, it tells the truth by using the immigrants own life stories. Well worth the read!

A treasure and tribute to humanity.Much cause for optimism!

The 20th century has been a horrible sewer in many ways, yet when you consider the state of people at the start of the century and the general state of us in 1998, we have come a fantastic distance. This books seems to me to underscore the problems of ignorance and poverty and the need for human courage and progress to address those issues. So many immigrant types of problems really revolved around poverty, and the ethic atrocities were a dreadful and misguided reflection on the fact that most of the world was poor and untutored. Everyone in life encounters trouble and sorrow, but our ancestors and ourselves who migrated took on an additional burden. They did it with grace and represent an example for all the rest of us. This author has done a great job portraying the stories of these remarkable people. This just has to be one of the most significant books I have ever read. I hope he writes about Asain and African immigration too, and even about the westward movement within America. The covered wagon folks were really migrants too. Anyway, a superb book. I couldn't put it down and I couldn't stop crying, It is very moving.
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