Integration Nation

Immigrants, Refugees, and America at Its Best

An inspiring cross-country journey to places where people are welcoming immigrants, from an author Adam Hochschild says writes “with the skill of a fine storyteller”

“A graceful and fluent writer.” —starred Publishers Weekly review for Eaton’s The Children in Room E4

Integration Nation takes readers on a spirited and compelling cross-country journey, introducing us to the people challenging America’s xenophobic impulses by welcoming immigrants and collaborating with the foreign-born as they become integral members of their new communities. In Utah, we meet educators who connect newly arrived Spanish-speaking students and U.S.-born English-speaking students, who share classrooms and learn in two languages. In North Carolina, we visit the nation’s fastest-growing community-development credit union, serving immigrants and U.S.-born depositors and helping to lower borrowing thresholds and crime rates alike.

In recent years, politicians in a handful of local communities and states have passed laws and regulations designed to make it easier to deport unauthorized immigrants or to make their lives so unpleasant that they’d just leave. The media’s unrelenting focus on these ultimately self-defeating measures created the false impression that these politicians speak for most of America. They don’t.

Integration Nation movingly reminds us that we each have choices to make about how to think and act in the face of the rapid cultural transformation that has reshaped the United States. Giving voice to people who choose integration over exclusion, Integration Nation is a desperately needed road map for a nation still finding its way beyond anti-immigrant hysteria to higher ground.

Praise

“Susan Eaton has done invaluable work in documenting the revitalization of communities across the U.S. by immigrants and refugees. . . . In her enthralling journalism we hear the voices of immigrant families, see the cruel folly of anti-immigrant hysteria, and learn in a very concrete way that the survival of migrant communities is connected to the survival of all of us.”
—David Bacon, author of Illegal People
“Can a book be analytical and heartwarming at the same time? Apparently so, as in this remarkable volume Susan Eaton . . . points [out] that what is really at stake in places as different as Utah and Mississippi . . . is the very soul of the country. Firmly on the side of welcome, Eaton offers a series of deeply personal stories that offer a compelling vision of America . . . we can be proud of.”
—Manuel Pastor, director, University of Southern California Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration
Integration Nation . . . shows what many foreigners and Mexicans like myself know: that not everyone in the United States is Joe Arpaio; not every community is Arizona, Alabama, or Butler County in Ohio; not every conservative politician is Donald Trump. With specific and relevant examples, [Eaton] shows how imaginative solutions to age-old problems of integration—not assimilation—are being devised and implemented. A must-read.”
—Jorge Castañeda, Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University
“During a time when immigration policy continues to be a polarizing issue, Integration Nation shines a much-needed light on the American towns and cities that thrive when immigrants and refugees are thoughtfully integrated into their fold.”
—Eva Millona, executive director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

News and Reviews

The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Susan Eaton in conversation with Sam Seder on her book and the meaning of integration

Library Journal

Library Journal reviews Integration Nation

Kirkus

Kirkus reviews Susan E. Eaton's "compelling and persuasive" Integration Nation

Books by Susan E. Eaton

Dismantling Desegregation
The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education

Gary Orfield, Susan E. Eaton