Brattleboro Literary Festival Brattleboro Literary Festival

Saturday, October 16, 2021

- EDT
One Mighty Irresistible Tide
Jia Lynn Yang
Jia Lynn Yang
One Mighty and Irresistible Tide

The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is at the core of the American narrative. But in 1924, Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing arrivals from southern and eastern Europe and outright banning those from nearly all of Asia. 

Jia Lynn Yang’s book, One Mighty Irresistible Tide, is a riveting narrative filled with a fascinating cast of characters, from the indefatigable congressman Emanuel Celler and senator Herbert Lehman to the bull-headed Nevada senator Pat McCarran, Jia Lynn Yang recounts how lawmakers, activists, and presidents from Truman through LBJ worked relentlessly to abolish the 1924 law.

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