AramcoWorld Book Review

By Louis Werner

Do not be put off by its seemingly restrictive title, for this wide-ranging history of Arab immigration to New York that provides rich back stories to the families that came to America: why they arrived when they did, and how other, established ethnic communities viewed and eventually accepted them as New Yorkers. The author’s deep dive into private and public archives—letters to and from the old country, signboards and handbills from Arab grocery stores and vaudeville theaters, and court transcripts and church wedding registries (most of these early Arab immigrants were Christians)—illustrates with her anthropologist’s eye how a foreign people became naturalized Americans. . . .

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