The Uprooted

Finalist, National Book Awards 1952 for Nonfiction

First Edition cover of The Uprooted by Oscar Handlin
ISBN 9780812217889
University of Pennsylvania Press | Little Brown
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Oscar Handlin

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Awarded the 1952 Pulitzer Prize in history, The Uprooted chronicles the common experiences of the millions of European immigrants who came to America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – their fears, their hopes, their expectations. In order to bring forward the human story recorded in government records, newspaper accounts, and personal correspondence, the author chose to write this history as a literary narrative unencumbered with notations and academic jargon. The result is literary history at its best.

The New Yorker called it “strong stuff, handled in a masterly and quite moving way,” while the New York Times suggested that “The Uprooted is history with a difference – the difference being its concerns with hearts and souls no less than an event.” The book inspired a generation of research in the history of American immigration, but because it emphasizes the depressing conditions faced by immigrants, focuses almost entirely on European peasants, and does not claim to provide a definitive answer to the causes of American immigration, its great value as a well-researched and readable description of the emotional experiences of immigrants, and its ability to evoke the time and place of America at the turn of a century, have sometimes been overlooked. Recognized today as a foundational text in immigration studies, this edition contains a new preface by the author. [University of Pennsylvania Press]