A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the United States


Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.3 X 0.55 inches | 0.73 pounds

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About the Author

Ali Behdad is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution, also published by Duke University Press.


"This book offers a deeply relevant argument in the wake of 9/11 and counter-terror. Ali Behdad provides psychological depth to immigration discourse with a nuanced examination of 'forgetting' as a mode of negation that both denies and acknowledges a past built on the exclusion of otherness."--Russ Castronovo, author of Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States
"By way of valuable new readings of Jefferson, Hamilton, Tocqueville, Crèvecoeur, and others, Ali Behdad has found a new way into established terrain. Neither pro- nor anti-immigration per se, this book traces the cultural workings and productions of immigration politics, an angle explored by few contributors to the immigration literature. A Forgetful Nation should be required reading for all those interested in the long and often hidden history of nation-building in the United States."--Bonnie Honig, author of Democracy and the Foreigner
"A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the United States is an extraordinary work of cultural memory and an important contribution to critical historiography. In writing it, Ali Behdad has established a heretofore unrecognized connection between the culture's mythical representation of itself as an 'Immigrant Nation' and the negation of the history of the violence inflicted against immigrants that this self-forgetful representation necessitated."--Donald E. Pease "Nations and Nationalism"