The set covers the full breadth of American immigration history in 525 alphabetically arranged and easy-to-understand articles. Designed for and written to be understood by high school students and college undergraduates, ""Encyclopedia of American Immigration"" offers a clear and innovative approach to immigration history that can also be used by advanced students and scholars. The goal of the set is to address all questions about immigration that students might reasonably be expected to ask: Where immigrants have come from and why; how they have adapted to their new homeland; how they have contributed to American culture and society; how government policies toward them have changed; practical issues of legal and social integration; and how American immigration history has fit into worldwide migration patterns. One-third of the essays are overviews covering broad issues ranging from accent discrimination to AIDS, world migration patterns, and xenophobia. The next large category of essays might be considered the set's core: 70 articles on specific ethnic and national immigrant groups. Each of these essays outlines its group's immigration history, emphasizing what has made each group unique. Other important essays cover events, laws and treaties, organizations and institutions, and Supreme Court rulings on immigration. In addition, every state in the union has its own essay, averaging nearly 1,000 words in length, along with a table summarizing demographic data. Ten cities with particularly large immigrant populations are also subjects of essays. Lastly, the set has articles on 45 individual persons, most of whom were post-independence-era immigrants who had a significant impact on the United States. These range from U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who came from Czechoslovakia, and the Dominican-born writer Julia Alvarez to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian bodybuilder and actor who became governor of California. All these essays focus on the experiences of their subjects as immigrants. ""Encyclopedia of American Immigration"" is organized and formatted to be student friendly. Essays are arranged alphabetically under the headwords students are most likely to seek, and finding aids are offered in the form of textual cross-references (e.g., ""McCarran-Walter Act. See Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952""), ""See also"" cross-references at the end of each essay, a category list in volume 3, and a complete list of contents in every volume.
Carl L. Bankston III is associate professor of sociology at Tulane University and co-author of the prize-winning Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States, Stephen J. Caldas has been a public school teacher and worked as the psychometrician for the Louisiana Department of Education. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles on school achievement and is currently associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.