"Robert Barde examines the history of Asian passenger steamship travel and Chinese and Japanese immigration through San Francisco and the federal immigration station on Angel Island. . . . Immigration at the Golden Gate offers wonderfully detailed portraits of some of the immigrants, immigration officials, and steamships that made Angel Island such a significant part of American immigration history. It joins a number of recent monographs that have paid increasing attention to the politics and logistics of immigration and immigration law enforcement at our nation's borders in the past and the present. Barde. . . is a wonderful storyteller, and the book's research is impressive. . . . There is much valubale new information in Immigration at the Golden Gate, and Barde does an excellent job of bringing long-forgotten people like Quok Shee and John Birge Sawyer to life in order to shed light on this important chapter in American immigration history."
"Immigration at the Golden Gate is an excellent history of those times and troubles on the Pacific. . . . This is an especially pertinent volume when you reflect on today's ongoing debate and political posturing regarding our current immigration situation."
"Robert Eric Barde reminds us that there was another portal to the US, and that the experience of the roughly 200,000 who entered through that door--or, more accurately, who tried to--were vastly different from their East Coast immigrant brethren. . . . With a deft eye for detail, an investigative journalist's nose, a rich research agenda, and a talent for writing, the author communicates a little-known tale to his readers. The result is a far-ranging work that succeeds on various levels: as maritime history. . . as a local history, and as an ethnic study. . . . Robert Eric Barde's Immigration at the Golden Gate is a heady meal. It offers something to the serious scholar and to the armchair activist, and, while it is an easy read, it rewards a close and studious examination. It deserves a place on many reading lists, and should also find itself as a finalist for many accolades."
"[D]raws intriguing contrasts between the immigration gateways of Angel Island on the West Coast and Ellis Island on the East, exploring differences between the two entry points, considering their different roles, and providing a history of the Angel Island Immigration Station which operated from 1910-1940, when public hostility to newcomers posed a threat to the new California immigrants. Any college-level collection strong on either general American immigrant experience for California history in particular must have this."
"Tells a chilling story that makes it clear that detention in primitive conditions is in no way a thing of the past."
"Barde state that, 'while Ellis Island was built to let Europeans in, Angel Island was built to keep Asians out' of the US. Historians have devoted much attention to European immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, relatively less scholarly and popular writing has been devoted to the efforts to control Asian immigration through San Francisco following the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This book takes a step toward filling that gap and reveals what sources are available for researchers and writers. . ."
"In Immigration at the Golden Gate, Robert Barde examines the history of Asian passenger steamship travel and Chinese and Japanese immigration through San Francisco and the federal immigration station on Angel Island. In operation for thirty years, from 1910 to 1940, the immigration station on Angel Island processed over a million people who passed through the island either as first-time applicants, returning residents and citizens, transients, or deportees and repatriates. Thousands of visitors, immigration officials, doctors, social workers, and station employees would also spend time at the station, facilitating the government's business of inspecting, treating, feeding, detaining, and processing new and returning arrivals into the country and deportees and repatriates out of the country. . . Immigration at the Golden Gate offers wonderfully detailed portraits of some of the immigrants, immigration officials, and steamships that made Angel Island such a significant part of American immigration history. It joins a number of recent monographs that have paid increasing attention to the politics and logistics of immigration and immigration law enforcement at our nation's borders in the past and present."
"Immigration at the Golden Gate is a significant interdisciplinary historical work and notable contribution to the field of Chinese American studies. Using extensive primary materials that include original personal accounts, records, and San Francisco's Chinese exclusion case files, Robert Eric Barde reports a poignant and personal story of detainment and incarceration at the Angel Island Immigration Station."
"The author brings solid credentials to his endeavour.'
"I learned something from each essay and much from some. Barde, a good storyteller, writes clearly and well. . .The jewel of the book is the story of a dedicated immigration official, John Birge Sawyer (1881– 1970), based on his extensive papers in the Bancroft Library. . . . In this and the other essays in this section, one gets an unparalleled notion of the nitty-gritty tasks of immigration restriction. While everyone interested in these topics will profit from reading Barde's essays, this book also highlights the lack of a large, synthetic study of trans-Pacific emigration from Asia to North America, the Caribbean, South America, and Australia."
"With this well-researched work Mr. Barde has filled a void in the history of Asiatic immigration to San Francisco. Covering every aspect of the immigrant experience the book is very readable. His chapter on the Life and Death of the China Mail Steamship Line won the Karl Kortum award for maritime history presented by the Friends of the San Francisco Maritime Library."
"Robert Barde's Immigration at the Golden Gate is a treasure trove of meticulously researched and dramatically recounted stories of the different players involved in trans-Pacific travel and the immigration industry at the port of San Francisco. It is a valuable resource and must read for anyone interested in the history, economics, and politics of Asian immigration and exclusion at Angel Island."
"Through the lens of one Chinese female immigrant's twenty month detention on Angel Island scholar Robert Barde allows readers to view the struggle of newcomers for fair treatment after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Barde's skillful unpacking of this moving episode offers readers an invaluable perspective on how restrictive immigration policy was enforced against Chinese in an earlier era. His work is an invaluable companion to accounts of the legislative debates, political machinations, and racism that resulted in Chinese Exclusion. And, his is a cautionary tale chillingly relevant to contemporary policy debates over exclusion and detention."