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‘Why We Left’ Explores Reasons Behind Early English Immigration

By Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Peggy Pico
KPBS San Diego

brooks_why coverNext week, we celebrate Thanksgiving and the arrival of the first European immigrants to America.

The trip to the New World was very difficult, many of the colonists died building crude settlements. So the question arises, why did they come to America in the first place?

A new book challenges the usual answer that most settlers came seeking opportunity and religious freedom.

It proposes a whole range of reasons for making that dangerous voyage including environmental damage and social injustice in Europe.

Tonight, SDSU English Professor and author Joanna Brooks will discuss her latest book Why We Left: Untold Stories and Songs of America's First Immigrants at the San Diego Central Library at 6:30 p.m..

Brooks draws from early folk ballads of England and America to understand why people crossed the Atlantic to live in a strange new world.

Listen to the interview here.

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Why We Left