|Of course, he dealt with those two things - but there was SO MUCH MORE going on...|
But, alas, by 1927, the dreams of many immigrants had already turned sour here in America.
Hey -- WE THINK WE'RE HAVING PROBLEMS TODAY?? Try being an Italian immigrant, living in a crowded tenement in New York City -- no work, very little food, no indoor plumbing, and no potable water. Conditions were deplorable -- and the Italians suffered more than most.
Because of the enormously popular "Eugenics" movement (later shown to be based NOT on science, but fictitious studies created by one man to advance his own agenda)...the general population of America believed the darker a person's complexion, the less desirable they were to society. In the south -- Italian immigrants were not even allowed to eat in the white people section. They were routinely paid less money, denied decent housing, and discriminated against in every way possible.
My husband's family immigrated from Italy -- and by the time I took up residence with them, the oft told family myth was that they came through Ellis Island and assimilated. Italians learned to speak English, went to school, got jobs and became part of American society....
NOT SO FAST, PEOPLE...there was an entire Italian Anarchist movement. They were so unhappy with their life in America, and the horrible way they were treated -- they started setting off bombs. After a series of mail bombings, in 1919, they managed to detonate eight large bombs nearly simultaneously in eight U.S. cities.
|In 1920, a huge bomb went off on Wall Street -- killing 38 people.|
The best thing about Bill Bryson is that he always makes me think. In today's toxic political climate, with all the hateful rhetoric about immigrants, it's good to stand back for a minute and consider WHERE WE ALL CAME FROM.
And maybe the truth is -- it's never been easy to be an immigrant in America...