The Passport in America: The History of a Document

The Passport in America: The History of a Document

Craig Robertson


In ultra-modern global of continuing id assessments, it is tricky to bear in mind that there has been ever a time whilst "proof of identification" used to be no longer part of daily life. And as somebody is aware who has ever misplaced a passport, or allow one expire at the eve of overseas commute, the passport has turn into an fundamental rfile. yet how and why did this way of identity tackle the sort of the most important role?

within the first background of the passport within the usa, Craig Robertson deals an illuminating account of ways this record, specifically others, got here to be thought of a competent solution to the query: who're you? traditionally, the passport originated as an professional letter of creation addressed to international governments on behalf of yankee tourists, yet as Robertson indicates, it turned entangled in modern negotiations over citizenship and different kinds of id documentation. sooner than global warfare I, passports weren't required to go American borders, and whereas a few humans struggled to appreciate how a passport may perhaps adequately determine anyone, others took benefit of this new record to enhance claims for citizenship. From the strategic use of passport functions through freed slaves and a crusade to permit married girls to get passports of their maiden names, to the "passport nuisance" of the Nineteen Twenties and the contested addition of photos and different id applied sciences at the passport, Robertson sheds new mild on problems with person and nationwide identification in glossy U.S. history.

In this age of heightened protection, specially at overseas borders, Robertson's The Passport in America offers somebody attracted to questions of identity and surveillance with a richly designated, and infrequently staggering, background of this uniquely vital document.

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