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What do the CEOs of two of the world's most iconically American companies, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, have in common?
Indra Nooyi (India) and Muhtar Kent (Turkey) are both immigrants. And they aren’t the only ones. How about the founders and cofounders of Google, Intel, Sun Microsystems, eBay, and Yahoo? How about Madeleine Albright and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elia Kazan and Ang Lee, and countless others, including about one-third of all U.S. Nobel Prize laureates?
Since when did people forget, author Sam Wyly asks, that if we go back far enough, we all came from somewhere else?The Immigrant Spirit illustrates a simple premise: Immigrants are not a burden on American society or the economy. They are assets. And they always have been.
Wyly presents a fascinating, often surprising portrait of the immigrant experience in America, focusing on communities throughout the country and people from all walks of life and parts of the world. Readers will enjoy colorful portraits of diverse cities like Houston, Texas, which Wyly dubs the new face of immigrant America.” They’ll discover the inspiring stories of people like Albert Gallatin, a French-speaking Swiss immigrant who became our longest-serving Secretary of the Treasury, and Bill Knudsen, a Dane who took on the most important stateside job during World War II and helped seal victory for America. Then there are the so-called regular people, like contractor Carlos Camuñez, who came over from Mexico as a boy and, risking deportation himself as a 16-year-old, drove vans full of often desperate illegal immigrants on harrowing cross-country journeys to their new homes.
What is it about America that continues to drive people here, even in the face of tough laws and risky circumstances? How is it that the immigrant experience here continues to be defined by optimism, resilience, and, frequently, triumph? Weaving together historical anecdotes with the present-day realities of immigration, Wyly skillfully brings to life his particular vision of immigrants: By definition, they are natural risk-takers and innovators. Not only do they make great patriots and entrepreneurs, they are essential to a strong economy.
Richly illustrated with archival imagery, timelines, factoids, and graphsand filled with inspiring quotes and ideas from writers, entrepreneurs, and others who have special insight into the immigrant experienceThe Immigrant Spirit will change the way you think about what it means to be an American.
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"You can go to live in France, but you cannot become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Turkey or Japan, but you cannot become a German, a Turk, or a Japanese. But anyone, from any corner of the Earth, can come to live in America and become an American." A Letter from an Immigrant to Ronald ReaganAbout the Author:
Sam Wyly was raised in small-town Louisiana during the Great Depression and became one of the country's most successful serial entrepreneurs, growing six companies to more than $1 billion valuations. Wyly resides in Dallas and in Aspen with his wife, Cheryl, and has six children, twelve grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Wyly is author of a memoir,1,000 Dollars & an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire, and coauthor with his son, Andrew, ofTexas Got It Right!
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