Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States

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Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.3 X 1.4 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Julia Rose Kraut, a lawyer and historian, was the inaugural Judith S. Kaye Fellow for the Historical Society of the New York Courts.


A must-read for those who care about immigration or the First Amendment. In clear and lively prose, Kraut charts how noncitizens are doubly vulnerable under American law: treated with suspicion as strangers, and subject to expulsion based on their political beliefs. Along the way, she forces us to reckon with a deeply troubling reality: freedom of speech has not been available for everyone.--Robert L. Tsai, author of America's Forgotten Constitutions
I opened these pages skeptically, and then could not put them down. Threat of Dissent tells the rich and instructive history of efforts to protect America's borders, first by legislation that excluded unwanted people, and then by legal and judicial challenges to those with unwelcome ideas and beliefs. An essential book for all concerned with US immigration policy and with the free expression of ideas inside and outside the nation.--Alice Kessler-Harris, author of A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman
An eye-opening and powerfully written book. Julia Rose Kraut demonstrates that though the methods and technologies used by the government to suppress political dissent in the United States have changed over the generations, the fear of radicals--and the association of foreigners with radicalism--has remained constant. Every politically engaged citizen will be riveted by this history of the architects of political suppression and the legal challenges launched by those who sought to protect core American values of freedom of speech and association.--María Cristina García, author of The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America
This is an original, comprehensive history of one of the most pervasive and insidious forms of political repression in the United States--one few Americans know anything about. In a rich narrative spanning more than two centuries, gifted legal historian Julia Rose Kraut reveals how federal authorities routinely barred foreign dissidents who hoped to mingle freely with the public in the 'land of the free.'--Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918