Authored and Edited or Co-Edited Books
Disability Rights and Religious Liberty in Education
The Story behind Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District
Bruce J. Dierenfield and David A. Gerber
University of Illinois Press, 2020
Included in Disability Histories Series edited by Michael Rembis and Susan Burch.
In 1988, Sandi and Larry Zobrest sued a suburban Tucson, Arizona, school district that had denied their hearing-impaired son a taxpayer-funded interpreter in his Roman Catholic high school. The Catalina Foothills School District argued that providing a public resource for a private, religious school created an unlawful crossover between church and state. The Zobrests, however, claimed that the district had infringed on both their First Amendment right to freedom of religion and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Bruce J. Dierenfield and David A. Gerber use the Zobrests’ story to examine the complex history and jurisprudence of disability accommodation and educational mainstreaming. They look at the family's effort to acquire educational resources for their son starting in early childhood and the choices the Zobrests made to prepare him for life in the hearing world rather than the deaf community. Dierenfield and Gerber also analyze the thorny church-state issues and legal controversies that informed the case, its journey to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the impact of the high court's ruling on the course of disability accommodation and religious liberty.
Order the book: University of Illinois Press
American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction
David A. Gerber
New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
Second Edition forthcoming in March 2021
To be published in March 2021, the second edition of the popular American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction contains information and analysis of the significant developments in immigration law and policy since the original publication in 2011, and integrates them into on the cycle of openness and proscription that have constituted the American response to international population movements since the eighteenth century. The last decade has witnessed the crisis over border security in the Southwest and the militarization of that border and the expansion of the wall built to separate Mexico and the United States. In addition, the second edition addresses the ongoing and intense polarization over illegal immigration, undocumented immigrants, including the Dreamers, and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the detaining of undocumented individuals crossing the border and the breakup of family groups by federal authorities, the “Muslim Ban.” Critically examined are the attempts of the Trump administration to fuse immigration policy with crime prevention via the criminalization of migrants and to stake claims for a hard policy against immigration on the strength of claims that immigrants are a negative force in American society. On the strength of its analysis of the American historical experience, the book is hopeful that comprehensive immigration reform is not only possible, but likely to occur on the basis of the recognition that immigration has been and remains good for the immigrants and in the national interest.
To order visit: Oxford University Press (Second Edition forthcoming)
Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream:
Shaping America’s Immigration Story
David A. Gerber and Alan M. Kraut, Editors
New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2013
Historians rarely reflect publicly on how lived experiences in families and communities influence academic trajectories. For this reason, Ethnic Historians and the Mainstream: Shaping America's Immigration Story is a welcome and invaluable collection for scholars and students of immigration and US history. Editors Alan Kraut and David Gerber recognize that “historians often seem to write their autobiographies with the subjects they address in their books and articles” (189). This speaks especially to immigration historians writing about their own ethnic communities; for them, concerns about navigating the rich, but oftentimes difficult, terrain of family life and identity politics are particularly pronounced.
The contributors to this excellent collection are first‐generation academics, situated mainly in history or ethnic studies, who began academic careers between the late 1960s and the early 1990s. As their life stories demonstrate, these authors revolutionized the discipline of history by enlarging the subjects and peoples considered worthy of historical inquiry, and by expanding academia itself, as scholars from diverse backgrounds entered the profession. The intellectually and politically vibrant 1960s and 1970s set the stage against which they asserted their desire to write histories of their immigrant communities and to reconfigure US history more generally. Armed with the methods and perspectives of the then‐novel New Social History, these authors pioneered “bottom‐up” histories of migrant and ethnic groups either absent from or on the fringes of traditional historical narratives. Learn more: Wiley Online Library.
To order visit: Rutgers University Press
See review: Center for Migration Studies https://doi.org/10.1111/imre.12213
Disabled Veterans in History
David A. Gerber, Editor
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000; revised and expanded second edition, 2012.
Disabled Veterans in History explores the long-neglected history of those who have sustained lasting injuries or chronic illnesses while serving in uniform. The contributors to this volume cover an impressive range of countries in Europe and North America as well as a wide sweep of chronology from the Ancient World to the present. This revised and enlarged edition, available for the first time in paperback, has been updated to reflect the new realities of war injuries in the 21st century, including PTSD. The book includes an afterword by noted Veterans Administration psychiatrist and MacArthur Award winner Jonathan Shay, a new preface, and an added essay on the changing nature of the American war hero.
"...more than introducing readers to a little-explored corner of the past, Disabled Veterans in History forces readers to think differently about war itself."
--American Historical Review
"By identifying and exploring what makes the disabled veteran 'different', the volume accomplishes historiographically what many twentieth-century policy-makers sought: to bring the war-disabled back into the mainstream of social and economic life."
--Social History of Medicine
To see more, and to order visit: University at Michigan Press
Letters across Borders:
The Epistolary Practices of International Migrants
David A. Gerber, Co-editor with Bruce Elliott and Suzanne Sinke
New York: Palgrave/St. Martins, 2006.
This collection addresses the recent rebirth of interest in immigrant letters. As these letters are increasingly seen as key, rather than incidental, documents in the interpretations of gender, age, social class, and ethnicity/nationality, the scholars gathered here demonstrate a diversity of new approaches to their interpretation.
"Rarely does a historical study illuminate subject, methodology, and theory all at once. Letters Across Borders is just such a book. It is a marvelous collection of essays that should be read and re-read by every historian who works in migration studies and indeed by all scholars who seek to understand and interpret the human experience through personal correspondence."
- Kerby A. Miller, University of Missouri-Columbia
"...a coherent, thoughtfully structured and enlightening overview. Philosophical reflections are blended with methodological discussions and empirical studies, creating an unprecedented and broad-based context within which to study migrant epistolarity...It is a long overdue addition to the historiography of migration and should be obligatory reading for every historian who seeks to get to grips with the pitfalls and rewards of interpreting personal correspondence." - Marjory Harper, English Historical Review
To order visit: Palgrave Macmillan
American Immigration and Ethnicity: A Reader
David A. Gerber, Co-editor, with Alan Kraut
New York and Basingstoke, Palgrave/St. Martin’s, 2005.
This innovative reader is the first in American immigration history to combine and compare the experiences of European immigrants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and those of Asian, Hispanic, Caribbean, and African immigrants in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Many instructors feel that they do not possess the breadth of knowledge to bridge the chronological and cultural gaps between varying waves of immigration. Through its carefully selected readings from scholarly essays and primary source documents, this collection creates a framework for instructors to engage in comparative analysis of immigration waves across time. The editors have chosen readings with accessibilty for the undergraduate student in mind, and also provide substantial introductory material to better contextualize the selections. An invaluable tool for teaching immigration history, the volume also can be used in courses in sociology, ethnic studies, and American pluralism.
To order visit: Amazon
Audiobook on Learning Ally
Anti-Semitism in American History
David A. Gerber
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
To order visit: Amazon
Black Ohio and the color line, 1860-1915
David A. Gerber
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1976.
To order visit: Amazon