Island of Hope, Island of Tears: The Story of Those Who Entered the New World through Ellis Island-In Their Own Words
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Island of Hope, Island of Tears: The Story of Those Who Entered the New World through Ellis Island-In Their Own Words

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Between 1892 and the early 1950s, nearly 15 million people streamed through Ellis Island in search of a new life. Here are the stories of those extraordinary immigrants, largely in their own poignant words. Coming primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe, and from widely diverse backgrounds, the émigrés represented in this remarkable volume recount their adventures with...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 31st 2003 by MetroBooks (first published 1979)
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Nikki
I am rating this book based on the stories of those presented in it, not on the editing of those stories into this book. I wish the editor had done a better job forming these stories into an easier book to read. I feel that more people would be drawn to read it and learn from it. I found the stories of the lives of the immigrants extremely powerful and compelling. I spent close to 2 months reading this book and metered my reading to a few pages a day so that I could internalize each person's wor...more
Tom Leland
Anyone who is in America thanks to immigrants who came across the Atlantic should read this book, or one like it. Amazing what they went through...a life lacking enough to leave in the first place; leaving their home and often, families...way of life. Financial hardship, lies, deceit, hassles, red tape, rejection. Those lucky enough to get aboard were virtually all to suffer 2+ weeks of seasickness and pickled herring. Then more hassles, missed connections, disillusionment, perhaps abuse/manipul...more
Nancy Ferry
The actual accounts from those who immigrated to the United States via Ellis Island are fascinating and worthy of five stars on their own, but the authors' attempts to bridge the different stories and fill in the gaps leaves much to be desired. As a result, the book surges forward and then drags, making for a less than compelling read at times. Regardless, the history behind Ellis Island is fascinating, and I learned a lot from this book.
Gail Hedlund
Very interesting read. Had some good quotes from actual immigrants who came through Ellis Island. It was interesting to see how different individuals viewed immigrating to America.
Kris
My book group read this one. I enjoyed it, especially since my grandfather immigrated through Ellis Island in 1922 and I was better able to understand what he and others went through on their journey. The book is mostly first-person accounts of immigrants from all over Europe from the late 1800's through about 1930. Many original photos were included so that the reader could better visualize the circumstances. The writing style outside of the quotations seemed a little simplistic, rather like a...more
Theresa
It added to my knowledge of American history/history of immigration. It led to great book group discussion on immigration today.
Edy Gies
This book was very moving. I enjoyed hearing the stories in the words of the people who experienced Ellis Island for themselves. I had the opportunity to visit shortly after finishing this book. It was so cool to connect actual places and personal memories with what I had just read.
Virginia
I gave up trying to read this. The accounts seemed very repetitive and not very critically analyzed.

It was interesting to hear the perspectives of those who made the decision to make the perilous journey to the US, but it seemed to me like this could have been better organized.
Marilyn
Interesting perspective on southern and eastern immigrants who
were interviewed to write the book. They all came to America for
different reasons, and entered through Ellis Island. This was the
Second Wave to reach our country from Europe after the northern
europeans.
Edy Gies
This is a great book to read before visiting Ellis Island. The writing left something to be desired, but the personal stories are very moving. Seeing Ellis Island for the first time, all I could think of was the stories I had read about in the book.
Darlene
This book is a collection of interviews from people who came through Ellis Island. While the book rambles along a bit, the interviews are somewhat interesting. It's the kind of book you read in a waiting room because you can start and stop about anyplace.
Dana
I am interested in immigration - researching mine and Pat's family through ancestry.com. This book was interesting - but a little choppy. I pretty much learned that it was really tough being an immigrant!
Jacki
Interested in what it was like to emigrate to the United States through Ellis Island? This will add some answers to many questions our ancestors had to encounter upon coming to the land of hope.
Rosie
I thoroughly enjoyed this books
lots of historical info

highly recommend

this is a story of Ellis Island thru the eyes of those who entered the US thru it
Bev Murphy
An extremely interesting account of what these people went through to find a better life for them and their families in a totally foreign country
Fallon
Mar 18, 2011 Fallon is currently reading it
I'm still working on it. Great so far!!!! Very interesting! it's gonna help me with a story I'm writing too. :D
Amber
Amazing life experiences. I'm so grateful to have been born in America in the time that I was.
Mark Magee
Interesting first hand anecdotes and accounts of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island.
Noreen
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Sep 20, 2014
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