The University of Wisconsin Press

Almost Home
A Brazilian American's Reflections on Faith, Culture, and Immigration
H. B. Cavalcanti

Almost Home seamlessly weaves a narrative of history, sociology, and autobiography and opens the door to an entirely new genre to the study of American immigration. . . . A must-read book.”
—James Olson, author of The Ethnic Dimension in American History

In Almost Home, H. B. Cavalcanti, a Brazilian-born scholar who has spent three decades working and living in the United States, reflects on his life as an immigrant and places his story within the context of the larger history of immigration.
Due to both his family background and the prevalence of U.S. media in Latin America, Cavalcanti already felt immersed in U.S. culture before arriving in Kentucky in 1981 to complete graduate studies. At that time, opportunities for advancement in the United States exceeded those in Brazil, and in an era of military dictatorships throughout much of Latin America, Cavalcanti sought in the United States a nation of laws. In this memoir, he reflects on the dynamics of acculturation, immigrant parenting, interactions with native-born U.S. citizens, and the costs involved in rejecting his country of birth for an adopted nation. He also touches on many of the factors that contribute to migration in both the “sending” and “receiving” countries and explores the contemporary phenomenon of accelerated immigration.

With its blend of personal anecdotes and scholarly information, Almost Home addresses both individual and policy-related issues to provide a moving portrait of the impact of migration on those who, like Cavalcanti, confront both the wonder and the disorientation inherent in the immigrant experience.

H. B. Cavalcanti is professor of sociology at James Madison University. He is author of Gloryland: Christian Suburbia, Christian Nation and The United Church of Christ in the Shenandoah Valley: Liberal Church, Traditional Congregations as well as coauthor of Latinos in Dixie: Class and Assimilation in Richmond, Virginia.


“A wise and humane book that illuminates the modern Brazilian immigrant experience with vigor and clarity.” Kirkus Reviews

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December 2012
LC: 2012009960 E
214 pp.   6 x 9  
3 b/w photos, 1 map

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“Cavalcanti successfully compares his own experiences and perceptions of American life with those of other Brazilian immigrants and interweaves the findings of scholars who have written about this migration stream with his own experiences as a Brazilian in this country. He convincingly describes the difficulties of adjustment and accurately contrasts the life and values of Brazil with those of the U.S.”
—Maxine L. Margolis, author of Little Brazil: An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City

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Updated January 13. 2013

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