Since the seventeenth century, millions of people from every continent have settled in America. Seeking a better life for themselves and their children, they braved deprivations, studied an unfamiliar language, adapted to a different way of life, and battled prejudices and hostility. Most of them held on to their faith as well, re-establishing churches and meeting-houses, synagogues and mosques, temples and cathedrals, and electing priests, rabbis, imams, and other spiritual leaders from among their number. Immigration irreversibly altered the face of the new republic, and it still moulds the political and spiritual fabric of the nation even to this day. Joselit surveys the history of immigration--which is actually the history of this country--and its effect on both political and religious issues through the centuries. The book explores the immigrant experience through case studies representative of all major newcomers groups. The vividly rendered stories of courage and perseverance will alternately inspire and horrify.