“If you have ever had to struggle as an outsider or a newcomer (and all of us have), this book will touch your heart. It is a poignant story that points the way forward for us all.”
—Van Jones, President and Founder, Green for All, and author of The Future is Getting Restless
“Windows on the World was the name of the World Trade Center restaurant that was destroyed on 9/11, and in The Accidental American it provides a window with a striking view. Sen and Mamdouh show how, in a few weeks in 2001, the restaurant’s immigrant workers went from being victims of terrorism to being targets of American anti-immigrant fervor. There’s a bright side, though, because this book vividly highlights a seldom-mentioned side of recent immigrants’ experience: their willingness to struggle for better working conditions for workers of all ethnicities in their adopted nation.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch, and Dancing in the Streets
“By focusing on the concrete experiences of particular people, Sen and Mamdouh show us an overlooked aspect of the global changes that have set contemporary immigration in motion. And because they also show us the resilient efforts of these ordinary people to act together to control the forces that are shaping all our lives, they tell a story that is essentially hopeful and, indeed, the only story that in the end matters."
—Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America
“Rinku Sen and Fekkak Mamdouh have brilliantly depicted the new stage in America’s immigrant saga. They explore the shadowy corners of our modern global economy, the courageous battle for survival of low-wage migrant laborers, and the furious rise of anti-immigrant feeling here and in Europe. By organizing to improve their working conditions, they remind us, those immigrants are changing our nation for the better.”
—Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News columnist, author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, and cohost of Democracy Now!