There have been numerous studies of race and immigration as well as nation formation in the Americas. None has so masterfully integrated these topics as does Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas. It is the first comprehensive comparative historical analysis of race and national origin in terms of exclusionary immigration policies in the Americas. David Scott FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín observe various transregional “patterned regularities” in immigration policies through three dimensions of analysis (p. 30). The first examines historical processes. The second explores organizations, class interests, and racist ideology. The third focuses on the international system, global ecology, and policy diffusion.

The authors have compiled an impressive database from government archives, legislative debates, and secondary sources on immigration laws in 22 nations in the Americas from 1790 to 2010. This is supplemented with data...

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