Ellis Island

Novel Manhattan Transfer John Dos Passos (1928)
The most significant work of John Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer takes the form of a crossroads between several characters of different origins, in New York at the beginning of the 20th century. A book about Ellis Island, among other places. Where immigrants were welcomed from January 1, 1892 to November 12, 1954...
Ellis Island New York
Ellis Island New York - Photo credit: Somasung on Pixabay

The terrible thing about having New York go stale on you is that there’s nowhere else. It’s the top of the world. All we can do is go round and round in a squirrel cage.

John Dos Passos (Manhattan Transfer)

The settlement of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island in Manhattan and the other boroughs has shaped the cosmopolitan character of America and New York in particular. They have all come to realize their dreams in this New World described in Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos, the iconic writer of the Lost Generation…

Manhattan Transfer is Dos Passos’s fifth book and a bestseller. A chronicle with a style inspired by James Joyce and T.S. Eliot, about which the greatest authors, such as Ernest Hemingway, have expressed their admiration. An important book using the stream-of-consciousness writing technique, where the author clearly seeks to express the thoughts of the protagonists in his story. John Dos Passos continued in this vein with U.S.A. an ambitious trilogy mixing three literary techniques that are as different as they are complementary.

Manhattan Transfer, which DH Lawrence has called ” the best modern book about New York,” has set a new standard, capturing the essence of a city at a particular time in its history. A novel that questions the principles of an America still in the process of consolidating its foundations. It is thus quite natural to find Ellis Island there. An island seen in a large number of films, from Godfather II to The Immigrant, two works that can be included in the legacy of Manhattan Transfer. An island where Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo and many others also passed through…


Manhattan Transfer was ranked 78th in the top 100 books of the century by Fnac and Le Monde in 1999.

Manhattan Transfer
Manhattan Transfer. Tous droits réservés : Folio.

Ellis Island

Located 900 meters from the Statue of Liberty, at the mouth of the Hudson River, Ellis Island straddles two states.

The natural part is in New York and the artificial part in New Jersey. It was in 1892 that the federal immigration center opened its doors. Immigrants were previously received at Fort Clinton and Castle Clinton, at Battery Park, at the southern end of Manhattan.

About 14 million people passed through these buildings until the center closed in 1954. The majority were Europeans, but there were also travelers from the Ottoman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula. The first immigrant to arrive was a 15-year-old girl named Annie Moore who came from Cork, Ireland, to join her family. She was given a special welcome by the city and presented with a $10 gold coin. Sixty-two years later, the last person to pass through Ellis Island, with the exception of war refugees and deportees, was a Norwegian merchant named Arne Peterssen.

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Fanspots Stories New York

Fanspots Stories New York

Discover the secrets of the cult places of the greatest masterpieces of pop culture in New York!

The world capital of pop culture, New York embodies unbridled creative freedom. The city that never sleeps has been the muse of a large number of directors, actors, screenwriters, singers, musicians, cartoonists and writers…

Many have passed on their fascination for the city to the general public and made some of its places famous worldwide, making them into the legend of pop culture. These are the secrets of a hundred of them revealed in this first volume of the Fanspots Stories collection.

Did you know that?
Did you know that the filming of Rage Against The Machine’s Music Now in the Fire caused Wall Street to shut down for the first time since 1929?

Fanspots Stories New York is also
Spider-Man, Ghostbusters, Superman, Leonard Cohen, Led Zeppelin…

Directed by a team of pop culture specialists and embellished with many anecdotes, Fanspots Stories New York tells more than just a story: these are some of the most fascinating stories in pop culture.

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By Gilles Rolland

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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