February 09, 2017 at California Historical Society in San Francisco.
Examining centuries of mail-order marriages, Buying A Bride explores the advantages and disadvantages of these relationships and investigates why this form of courtship has proven so enduring. More specifically, the book asks why the practice of mail-order marriage changed from a respected institution into a threatening one and whether this widespread perception is justified. In particular, this talk contrasts the treatment of the gold rush mail-order brides, who were welcomed and encouraged, with that of the Japanese picture brides, whose arrival on the West Coasthalf a century later was greeted with anger and hostility.
Today, it is a common misperception that women turn to marital immigration only as a desperate last resort. However, the reality is that most mail order brides are enticed rather than coerced. Buying A Bride uncovers this history and makes a compelling argument that mail-order marriage empowers women and that it should be protected and possibly even encouraged.
Marcia Zug is an Associate Professor of law at the University of South Carolina. She specializes in family law, immigration law and Federal Indian Law. She is the author of Buying A Bride: An Engaging History of mail-Order Matches