Timely: American citizenship has become a political battleground with new stories emerging daily. Professor Frost connects today’s issue—notably Trump’s mass denaturalization campaign that has already stripped a number of naturalized Americans of their citizenship—to America’s history and unpacks what we mean when we label someone “American.”
Evergreen topic: Narrative history that will appeal to readers of US history, women’s history, civil rights history, and legal history. Addresses American history and current events; presents elements of the issue that will be important as we continue to grapple with what it means to be “American” today.
Hidden history: Millions of people have been stripped of their citizenship, but this is rarely discussed. Even today, in “Operation Janus,” the Trump administration has created a mass denaturalization campaign, for naturalized citizens and even people born on US soil. These nine powerful chapters reveal the ways this trend has shaped America—and Americans—since its inception.
Expert perspective: Frost’s op-eds and essays have been published in The Atlantic, Slate, the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, the L.A. Times, SCOTUSblog, the Duke Law Journal, the Northwestern Law Review, the N.Y.U Law Review, and the Virginia Law Review.
For readers of Jill Lepore, Eric Foner, Jeffery Toobin.
Impacts a wide swatch of our population, including African Americans, Chinese and Japanese Americans, people of Hispanic descent, women, government officials, and labor leaders/activists who were viewed as Communists
“A sharp history that shows the precarious nature of American citizenship.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“A highly informative work that gives depth and humanity to an often-overlooked issue.”
—Library Journal, Starred Review
“This troubling investigation of American exclusionism hits the mark.”
“A sobering chronicle of the US government’s attempts—both successful and unsuccessful—to expatriate its citizens, and in so doing, define itself by exclusion.”
—Christian Science Monitor
“Dana Stoutenburg provides a well-paced delivery as he relates the personal stories, historical references, cultural implications, and present-day challenges. Timely and relevant, the audiobook asks vital questions about identity, connection, and power.”
“Beautifully and engagingly written, Amanda Frost’s You Are Not American describes the disturbing history of citizen stripping in the United States through the eyes of those involved in the country’s most important court cases on the topic. Frost shows how the manipulation of the rules for losing citizenship reflected some of this country’s most gripping political struggles—over slavery, women’s suffrage, communism, immigration, and world wars—and how far we have yet to go to assure the promise of birthright citizenship enshrined in the US Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. A must-read!”
—Richard L. Hasen, author of Election Meltdown
“You Are Not American could not be more timely in its exploration of ‘citizenship stripping’ in American history. Through lively chapters exploring particularly illuminating examples, Frost exposes how the US government has used the power to expatriate those it considers not fully ‘American’ to discriminate and exclude based on race, religion, marital status, or viewpoint. Compelling reading.”
—Caroline Fredrickson, author of The Democracy Fix
“Amanda Frost powerfully analyzes repeated instances in US history when US citizenship was stripped—or was attempted to be stripped—to achieve a combination of racial and political ends. Amanda Frost outlines how African Americans, Latina/os, women, Japanese Americans, and others suffered the loss of citizenship and the rights that all US citizens possess. As the nation faces a racial reckoning, You Are Not American should be required reading lest these deplorable racial episodes are forgotten.”
—Kevin R. Johnson, dean, University of California at Davis School of Law
“As the debate over immigration and citizenship grows more corrosive, Amanda Frost has provided a useful and highly readable corrective to misinformation. ‘Birthright citizenship’ and its role in building American democracy are under assault in the twenty-first century. At such a time, reading You Are Not American is an important act of citizenship.”
—Garrett Epps, author of Democracy Reborn
“This book reads like a dream; not only is the reader absorbed by each story, but the author has skillfully woven those stories into a fabric to show the big picture. Cumulatively, the reader gets an appreciation for the hard-fought legal battles to achieve that condition that many of us take for granted: American citizenship.”
—Lea S. Vandervelde, author of Redemption Song
“One of the defining struggles of the American experience has been over who gets to claim the rights and opportunities of citizenship. In You Are Not American, Amanda Frost clarifies the stakes of these battles in a moving, masterful, and deeply humane account of why we keep fighting about issues that test our core commitment to liberty and equality for all—our very capacity for democracy.”
—Daniel J. Sharfstein, author of Thunder in the Mountains
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