The Long Journey | Collection Development

These three narrative present firsthand or historical accounts of what it means to reconsider the place one calls home. For more resources on immigration, see Books on Borders. Markham, Lauren. The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life. Crown. Sept. 2017. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9781101906187. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101906194. SOC SCI Markham (Virginia Quarterly Review) recounts the experiences of twin brothers Ernesto and Raúl Flores, who fled El Salvador at age 17. The author candidly discusses their lives in their home country as they negotiated poverty, violence, and limited possibilities. After their uncle threatens them, the Flores family takes out a massive loan to hire a coyote to transport the twins to the United States. The Flores boys endure hardship and uncertainty during their travels, only to be apprehended after crossing the border. Owing to their status as unaccompanied minors, they are allowed to stay in the country while awaiting deportation proceedings. Markham describes the stress and uncertainty as they navigate a new country and new language. Their experience is contrasted with that of their sister Maricela, who still lives in El Salvador. Markham also intersperses background chapters that provide a larger picture of the migrant crisis and finishes by calling for the United States to claim responsibility for their role in creating the Central American migrant crisis and to address the problem humanely. VERDICT An affecting and personal look into the experiences of minor migrants. Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy. Nation: Perseus. Oct. 2017. 368p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781568585925. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781568585932. SOC SCI Polakow-Suransky (Open Society Fnds. fellow; The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa) asserts that the largest threat to liberal democracies comes from the backlash to immigration. He considers immigration policies in France, the UK, the Netherlands, and Denmark, all of which have experienced right-wing populist growth in the past few years. Through interviews with highly placed operatives in right-wing groups, the author discerns their reasons for campaigning against immigration, which range from religious tension to concern for the strain on the welfare state to frustration at a perceived lack of integration. He argues that these reasons contribute to the othering and possible radicalization of immigrants. Later, he delves into immigration policies in South Africa and Germany, where attitudes toward immigration are more open, as well as Australia, where refugee policies are particularly draconian. The author closes by asserting that liberal democracies are dismissing the concerns of right-wing voters and calls on them to take these matters more seriously. ­VERDICT A sobering view on the effect and extent of right-wing radicalism in liberal democracies for those interested in the recent rise of right-wing populism. Von Welser, Maria. No Refuge for Women: The Tragic Fate of Syrian Refugees. Greystone. Oct. 2017. 272p. notes. ISBN 9781771643078. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781771643085. SOC SCI During the refugee crisis in 2015, German journalist von Welser noticed that most Syrian refugees arriving in Europe were men. This drew her to visit refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon to learn about Syrian women and children who had been left behind. The author starts by telling the story of Miryam, who fled Damascus with her five children. Interviews with other women in various refugee camps allows von Welser firsthand accounts of the appalling living conditions inside the camps, including the ongoing fears of rape, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Challenges facing the host countries, UN, and refugee aid workers are also discussed. Most of the refugees wish to settle in Germany, which drives the author’s focus on German refugee policy, including a time line of refugee-related events from April 2015 through March 2016. Finally, she pleads with the international community to increase their donations to help refugees and to accept more refugees into their countries. VERDICT An unflinching look at the Syrian refugee crisis and the struggles facing women and children in search of a better life. Rebekah Kati is the Institutional Repository Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a frequent reviewer for Library Journal.

No Comments to this Article. Be the first user to comment.

RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.