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Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2002
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Tech Professor Writes Book
Signing Scheduled For Dec. 7
The arrival of immigrants on America’s shores has always posed a problem: once they are here, how are these diverse people transformed into Americans? The Americanization movement of the 1910s and 1920s addressed this challenge by seeking to train immigrants for citizenship.
In the new book, “Americanizing the West,” South Dakota School of Mines and Technology history professor Dr. Frank Van Nuys examines this issue. For the first time, a book looks at how the Americanization movement, in an effort to help integrate an unruly West into the emerging national system, was forced to reconcile the myth of rugged individualism with the demands of a planned society.
Van Nuys will sign copies of “Americanizing the West” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Prince & Pauper Village, 902 Mount Rushmore Road in Rapid City.
In an era convulsed by world war and socialist revolution, those in the Americanization movement were especially concerned about the susceptibility of immigrants to un-American propaganda and union agitation. In “Americanizing the West,” Van Nuys tells how hundreds of bureaucrats, educators, employers and reformers developed adult immigrant education programs. He also examines how these attempts contributed more toward bureaucratizing the West than it did to turning immigrants into productive citizens.
The mystique of the white pioneer past still maintains a powerful hold on ideas of American identity. We still deal with many of these issues through laws and propositions that target immigrants and alien workers. “Americanizing the West” puts current headlines in perspective by showing how the Americanization movement helped make the West what it is today.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.