Brattleboro Literary Festival Brattleboro Literary Festival

Saturday, October 16, 2021

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.