byAmerica for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United StatesBy Erika Lee (New York: Basic Books, 2019, 432 pp., $32, hard cover)Erika Lee’s new book, “America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States,” is one that speaks to our times.
Well-respected among academics, Lee is among the foundational historians of the new generation of immigration history of the last 20 years, and influential in the rise in historiography on Chinese American history.
Lee’s new book, however, centers not only on Asian American history, but on the vast history of xenophobia in the United States.
Lee’s book is what historians describe as a trade book, one that synthesizes the existing historical literature for wider audiences.
While Lee’s book does not address every case of xenophobia, it succeeds in distilling a story well-known to academics for everyday audiences.