• Not "A Nation of Immigrants"

  • Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion
  • By: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Narrated by: Shaun Taylor-Corbett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Debunks the pervasive and self-congratulatory myth that our country is proudly founded by and for immigrants, and urges readers to embrace a more complex and honest history of the United States

Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the US’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today.

She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity - founded and built by immigrants - was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good - but inaccurate - story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception.

While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived as colonizers to displace those who were here since time immemorial, and still others are descendants of those who were kidnapped and forced here against their will. This paradigm shifting new book from the highly acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and a historical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States.

©2021 Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (P)2021 Beacon Press

Critic Reviews

“Her thought-work and writing are both full-force with courage and wisdom. In the age of telling truth, she says, the US has yet to correct its narrative to acknowledge its settler-colonialist and imperialist past and present. This book should be taught in classrooms; readers will finish it changed.” (Booklist, starred review)

“Dunbar-Ortiz’s message is clear: uplifting narratives about the United States as a ‘nation of immigrants’ allow the country to hide from its history of colonialism, genocide, slavery, and racism.... [T]his thought-provoking account will prove insightful for all.” (Library Journal)

“Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz rightly argues that the United States is not ‘a nation of immigrants’ but, more accurately, a nation of colonizers. A must-read.” (Nick Estes (Lakota), author of Our History Is the Future

What listeners say about Not "A Nation of Immigrants"

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Great if you can bear the narration

I listened to this through for the jarring history it portrays. Then I bought the book, I liked it so much.

But from the first chapter I found the narration cringeworthy as every quote is delivered in a fake voice. He attempt to mimick everyone, with a lilting voice for women, a mocking voice for many, and a strong voice for those he apparently approves of. We don't need to know what the narrator thinks of these people!

Nearly ruined a good thing. The book itself is excellent, I must say. It's a grim portrayal of American history, and a compelling one too.

Recommend! ... the printed book, that is.

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Praise for Venezuelan dictatorship inexcusable

As a Native Hawaiian I appreciated the many important perspectives on settler-colonialism. I also really enjoyed the author’s previous book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. However, as I also have Venezuelan family suffering under the dictatorship as well as those forced into exile, the praise for the +20yr Chávez/Maduro regime is absolutely INEXCUSABLE.

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Terrible reader

A fine book ruined by a subpar reader. So disappointed. Read the print version only.

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Dense but informative

4 stars - It was really good

Trigger Warnings: racial slurs, antisemitism, colonialism, white surpremacy, genocide,

This was a very in depth look at immigration, settler colonialism, white supremacy, and the United States history of erasing its history. I learned a lot with this book but at the same time, it was very overwhelming with how much information was in this, especially in the audiobook format. I had to take this book in small chunks and even then I was overwhelmed by how many facts were fed to me. I wish I had read this in ebook format because I think more of the information presented in this book would have stuck, but that just means I will probably try to reread this in the future to fix that.

Overall, this was a very informative book about settler colonialism and immigration. My only issue, outside of the dense amount of info, was that the narrator would use different voices when quoting other people and it was very jaring. I wish he would have just used his normal voice for these quoted parts.

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Swashbucklers, the new writers bringing us History

As we go global, Paul Collier's Exodus. Decades of Research, human stories & nice writing.

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Interesting thesis, well-written, poorly narrated

Author definitely has a point of view, but it's based on years of historical research; more of a feature than a bug. You just have to get past the distracting narration. Impersonations are weak and out of place in this type of non-fiction. The author's previous audio books used an excellent narrator.

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Decolonization! Liberation! Revolution!

A wonderful historical toolkit for any and all comrades of the struggle for decolonization of North America.

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Eye-opening

The framing in Not a Nation of Immigrants of the difference between immigrants and settler colonialism is vital for those wanting to work for racial justice. Inclusion is not enough; we must work to re-write the wildly held narrative of America as melting pot. Highly recommended.

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  • The Literate Chimp
  • 11-18-21

great alternative history

loved it. will think about the USA in a completely different light from now.