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The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The Accidental American vividly illustrates the challenges and contradictions of U. S. immigration policy, and argues that, just as there is a free flow of capital in the world economy, there should be a free flow of labor. Author Rinku Sen alternates chapters telling the story of one "accidental American"--coauthor Fekkak Mamdouh, a Morrocan-born waiter at a restaurant in ...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writers-of-color
I wrote this one so I like it pretty well!
Jun 16, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2008-09
Rinku Sen starts with 9/11 and talks about how 9/11 was used to make immigrants into racialized criminals. Then she broadens the picture to argue that immigration should follow expanding globalization and that, if we want to have a just and humane globalization, we all have to organize together to fight for fair working conditions.

How does this relate to your work?

Working with new immigrants, I see every day people who feel like they aren’t welcome in this society but are set on making a living
Alexis Lopez
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great book to read with all the current events going on in the news.
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-loved
I think this book might be good for someone who is interested in learning more about immigration policy and the challenges immigrants and minorities face in the U.S. today.

I thought this book was great in introducing the subject of racism in contemporary America, through examples of BAH restaurant workers and immigration policy debates. It's a pretty dry read, though (the author writes in a journalist style) and some of the middle-end chapters got a little boring for me. Rinku Sen tried to tell
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to understand more about activist campaigns and strategies
Recommended to Mary by: Pete and David
I read this book because it's about ROC NY, which once stood for "Restaurant Opportunity Center NY." (They changed it: I forget what it stands for now.)It's the story of a group like the Tompkins County Workers' Center which worked on restaurant grievances in NY City, of which there are innumerable. The group also started a cooperative restaurant, after 9/11, because many of the initial founders of the group had worked at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center.
The book takes us through
Chaitali Sen
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a very engaging read about an immigrant and restaurant worker at Windows on the World (the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center) who rebuilds his life after September 11th and founds an organization that is revolutionizing the restaurant industry. The author does a great job of illustrating the inner workings of a community organization in an accessible and fascinating way, and the subject and co-author has a life story that could have been very ordinary, except for the path h ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
read this one...fantastic. helps shape the debate...much more comprehensive view
Nov 04, 2008 added it
This was a great read. Thought provoking and good for thinking outside the box on potential solutions to the immigration debate
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Finished this recently, and it really tore me appart. We should be ashamed of our jingoist immigration policy.
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I didn't actually make it all the way through this..It's great if you want an in-depth look at a grassroots labor union.. ...more
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« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookshelf: Rinku Sen 1 3 Jun 23, 2009 11:12AM  
Five Immigration Myths 1 11 Jun 23, 2009 10:51AM  
Immigration, Race, and the Restaurant Industry: Fekkak Mamdouh 1 8 Jun 23, 2009 10:39AM  
Best of the Progressive Web on Immigration 1 4 Jun 23, 2009 08:57AM  
Fixing Immigration: An Interview with Rinku Sen 1 11 Jun 12, 2009 01:14PM  

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Rinku Sen is president and executive director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and the publisher of ColorLines magazine. She is the author of Stir It Up: Lessons on Community Organizing and editor of We Are the Ones We Are Waiting For: Women of Color Organizing for Transformation. Fekkak Mamdouh is cofounder of Restaurant Opportunities Center United, the country s first national restaurant wor ...more

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