SOCIAL SCIENCES

This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto

Farrar. Jun. 2019. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780374276027. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374719357. SOC SCI
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In one brief, fierce volume, the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Maximum City pairs a searing, well-documented indictment of antiimmigrant rhetoric and practice and a vigorous celebration of immigration and its many benefits. The fruits of European colonialism and of U.S. intervention on an array of less-powerful nations is damning: wealth moved from poor to rich countries by force and deceit; extreme inequality and the systems of education, taxation, trade, and resource use that fuel it; ravaging of climate and devaluation of human life; and demonization of the "other," especially Muslim communities. Yet, when the people harmed flee to borders, the same powerful nations resist their entry. After exposing the brutality of imperialism and nativism, Mehta makes a strong case for immigration, which, besides being fair, humane, and historically a normal activity, benefits receiving nations economically and socially by providing valuable human capital, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, promoting understanding and peace and, in aging societies with declining birth rates (such as the US and Europe), bringing new contributors to an otherwise endangered social security trust fund.
VERDICT Impassioned and compelling, this important book illuminates the bewildering, tragic contradictions between the realities and the nativist perceptions of human movement across borders.

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