Most commentators look at the issue of immigration from the viewpoint of immediate politics. In doing so, they focus on only a piece of the issue and lose touch with the larger picture. Now Thomas Sowell offers a sweeping historical and global look at a large number of migrations over a long period of time. Migrations and Cultures shows the persistence of cultural traits in particular racial and ethnic groups, and the role these groups’ relocations play in redistributing skills, knowledge, and other forms of “human capital.” This book answers the question: What are the effects of disseminating the patterns of the particular set of skills, attitudes, and lifestyles each ethnic group has carried forth—both for the immigrants and for the host countries, in social as well as economic terms?
©1996 Thomas Sowell (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This is a lively and provocative book that is important reading for anyone who thinks we have too many immigrants or too few, who favors affirmative action and multicultural programs or opposes them….Deflates any windbag oratory about the United States being a unique land of opportunity, where migrants succeed by discarding their former culture and leaping naked into the great melting pot.” (New York Times)
“Interesting insights abound….comprehensive and detailed.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Thomas Sowell is one of the wonders of the American intellectual world….Not only is this book crammed with detailed research that even experts will find instructive, but it is willing to look unflinchingly at evidence that suggests migration can be bad as well as good—and even that the era of mass migration may be drawing to a close.” (Peter Brimelow, author of Alien Nation: Common Sense about America’s Immigration Disaster)
It's obvious that the author spent years if not decades compiling the data and thoughts to write this book. The product is an exciting journey through the history of human migration that leaves me with a much deeper understanding of culture and its consequences.
a very interesting and different perspective that provides a lot of food for thought. Although as an audio book, I thought sometimes keeping all the numbers, percentages and time spans in my mind without being able to easily refer back to them, was a bit challenging. Still, the point comes across and portraits a different picture of migration within historical and cultural contexts.
This book is so pertinent for making informed decisions about integration and understanding our collective heritage, that I am buying copies for all my family members and close friends. Thomas Sowell has meticulously captured the history of the migrations of cultures around the planet and all the repercussions of their settlements and resettlements. I particularly liked his analysis at the end which, after all the explanations about immigration and it's disruptive and constructive forces, he recommends that the focus for the future be on the development of human capital without permanent relocation. Essentially the history of human migration is the history of human suffering and struggle in an attempt for a better life. It is the story of learning, adapting and accumulating knowledge and wealth basically because staying at home was such an unpleasant alternative. If we learn to see those who are different from us as potential sources of friendship and learning, there will be no need to reject them because they are not like us. If countries focus on making life for their citizens fruitful and on creating a climate where citizens can realize their potential instead of having it continuously thwarted, there will be no need to permanently relocate. I highly recommend this book and will certainly be reading many other books by Thomas Sowell.
A very insightful read into the migration patterns of nationalities around the globe and how the have impacted our every day lives. Dowelling digs into the second and subsequent generational career domination a such as Jews who make up 1% of the population in some countries but make up over 90% of the lawyers. Fascinating read.
I am interested in this area & have studied in it. Essays I've submitted on the topic are more interesting to read than this is. I'm never going to get through it. It's just lists...so far he's not telling me anything new & the delivery is incredibly boring.
Instead go to your local immigration museum or take a course in human geography. Either will be far more satisfying than this book.
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