An in-depth study of European immigrants to Canada during the Cold War,Gatekeepers explores the interactions among these immigrants and the "gatekeepers"–mostly middle-class individuals and institutions whose definitions of citizenship significantly shaped the immigrant experience. Iacovetta's deft discussion examines how dominant bourgeois gender and Cold War ideologies of the day shaped attitudes towards new Canadians. She shows how the newcomers themselves were significant actors who influenced Canadian culture and society, even as their own behaviour was being modified. Generously illustrated,Gatekeepers explores a side of Cold War history that has been left largely untapped. It offers a long overdue Canadian perspective on one of the defining eras of the last century.
Franca Iacovetta is a professor of history at the University of Toronto. A feminist, labour, gender, and migration historian, she is the author of several books on Canadian social history.
The richness of this book lies in its analysis of rarely documented details of Canadian life during the Cold War, particularly among displaced persons from Eastern Europe. …Gatekeepers is a valuable resource regarding the history of anti-communism in Canada, postwar ethnicity, the roots of state sanctioned multi-culturalism, and the effects of forced assimilation.
Iacovetta's take on citizenship reflects a turn from what might be thought of as a celebratory mood of struggle and achievement in immigration studies toward a more edgy, critical view of the whole process of integration… Should give hope to those seeking change in contemporary society.
Contains a sizable compendium of primary and secondary sources, archival information, and film titles, clearly a boon to teachers and designers of curriculum units.
An important addition to immigration history in North America … adds significantly to our understanding of the postwar immigration story. This is a dynamic and innovative study of a period that has just begun to attract its rightful analysis.
Serves as a salutary and timeless lesson to us as we seek to realize the enormous economic, social, and cultural benefits of liberal immigration policies while addressing the real but limited risks to national security that such policies entail.