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The Politics of Armenian Migration to North America, 1885-1915

Sojourners, Smugglers and Dubious Citizens

David Gutman

Hardback (Forthcoming)

A study of migration, mobility control and state power in the late Ottoman Empire

This book tells the story of Armenian migration to North America in the late Ottoman period, and Istanbul’s efforts to prevent it. It shows how, just as in the present, migrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were forced to travel through clandestine smuggling networks, frustrating the enforcement of the ban on migration. Further, migrants who attempted to return home from sojourns in North America risked debarment at the border and deportation, while the return of migrants who had naturalized as US citizens generated friction between the United States and Ottoman governments.

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Part I: Migrants, Smugglers, and the State
1. Migrants
2. Smugglers
3. The State

Part II: Fortifying the Well-Protected Domains
4. Return; 5. Dubious Citizens

Part III: Revolution, Genocide, and Migration’s Legacies
6. Revolution


About the Author

David Gutman is Associate Professor of History at Manhattanville College. His articles have been published in 'Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association', 'Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East', 'InterDisciplines: Journal of History and Sociology' and (with Donald Quataert) in 'International Journal of Middle East Studies'.


Pathbreaking analysis of Armenian migration under the Ottoman Empire, a refreshing departure from Western-centric studies of migration policies. Gutman’s attention to internal politics, and to the convergence of Ottoman and U.S. migration policies, makes this study of critical interest to Ottomanists and migration historians alike. A powerful examination of the state’s mixed success in using migration and nationality laws to target minority groups.

- Lucy E. Salyer, University of New Hampshire

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