Chapter

The Most Likely to Succeed

in Restless Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780226394787
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226394732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226394732.003.0003
The Most Likely to Succeed

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The lives of immigrants have had diverse effects on American history—first, the direct labor contributions of immigrants, especially important in periods of labor shortages, and second, creative contributions, many of them economic and technological but also artistic, scientific, and intellectual; third has been their importance as cultural symbols, both of the fulfillment of the American dream and also of poverty and difference. Most go through a long period of rejection before they attain a celebrated status. Immigrants encourage a belief in markets as a way of rewarding the successful but also punishing failures. Overall, they contribute to almost all the trends characterizing restlessness.

Keywords: immigrants; labor contributions; American history; American dream; restlessness; cultural symbols

Chapter.  10844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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