The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization

October 9, 2008

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“Windows on the World was the name of the World Trade Center restaurant that was destroyed on 9/11, and in The Accidental American, it provides a window with a striking view. Sen and Mamdouh show how, in a few weeks in 2001, the restaurant's immigrant workers went from being victims of terrorism to being targets of American anti-immigrant fervor. There's a bright side, though, because this book vividly highlights a seldom-mentioned side of recent immigrants' experience: their willingness to struggle for better working conditions for workers of all ethnicities in their adopted nation.” - Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

Immigration is undoubtedly one of the hottest current political topics in the United States. From concern about jobs to the idea of a border fence, the topic has become a leading issue for politicians and everyday citizens alike. The Accidental American explores the unintended consequences of immigration and the racial and cultural conflicts involved in the debate.

In this no-holds-barred nonfiction narrative, activist, organizer, and immigration expert Rinku Sen reveals the racial and cultural conflicts embedded in the current immigration debate and explodes the myth that those living in both sending and receiving countries can enjoy the economic benefits of immigration while keeping their cultures static.

 

Recorded Thursday, October 09, 2008 at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.