Walter D. Kamphoefner teaches in the field of immigration history and the U.S. Civil War. He spent three yearlong guest professorships at German universities, two on Fulbright lectureships, and served as President of the Society for German-American Studies, 2015-17. He has published widely in the field of immigration and ethnicity, with articles in four languages and three books out in both German and English versions.
Germans in America is a veritable tour de force. It is a work of remarkable synthesis, breathtaking in both breadth and scope, from a leading scholar in the field of American immigration history. Kamphoefner is a gifted writer and storyteller, employing clear, jargon-free, and at times witty prose to weave together a comprehensive, sweeping narrative of the German experience in the United States from colonial times to the present that is at once academically rigorous and imminently readable. ...This is history brilliantly told from the bottom up in the best tradition of the New Social History’s concern for lived experience and inclusivity with regard to race, class, and gender.
This volume consolidates and synthesizes decades of work by one of the leading scholars of German America, one who can plumb the depths of personal letters as well as quantitative and genealogical records. The chapters explore key issues from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for this group and the author presents them for a general audience. As an overview, it shines.
Finally! Germans in America is the engaging interpretive history of German America I’ve been waiting for. Kamphoefner pairs his encyclopedic knowledge and deep research with vibrant writing and arresting anecdotes, producing a book that will be widely enjoyed and long consulted.
Professor Kamphoefner’s book provides scholars and general readers alike with an impressive overview of the history of German-speaking immigrants and their descendants in America. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Germans in America draws on key primary and secondary sources to connect the German-American experience with the larger social, political, and cultural currents in America from the colonial era into the twentieth century. Prof. Kamphoefner rightly focuses much of his attention on the nineteenth century, which marked the demographic high point of German immigration to the United States. This book underscores the social, religious, linguistic, and cultural heterogeneity of German America while addressing important questions related to ethnicity and identity in America more broadly.