Donna R. Gabaccia

University of Minnesota

Research Initiative:

Donna R. Gabaccia, Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, will write a book about how and why the U.S. came to consider itself “a nation of immigrants.” Interestingly, other countries marked by similar demographic histories of immigration – such as Argentina, Germany, France, and South Africa – do not label themselves in this way. Gabaccia will trace this key metaphor of U.S. nation-building in comparative historical perspective. The book will inject new insights into the heated contemporary debate over immigration, which is often misleadingly characterized by a sense that the U.S. is exceptional as a nation of immigrants.


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