Description : An impassioned defence of global immigration from the acclaimed author of Maximum City. Drawing on his family’s own experience emigrating from India to Britain and America, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. He juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of labourers, nannies and others, from Dubai to New York, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. This Land is Our Land also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality on large swathes of the world. When today’s immigrants are asked, ‘Why are you here?’, they can justly respond, ‘We are here because you were there.’ And now that they are here, as Mehta demonstrates, immigrants bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish. Impassioned, rigorous, and richly stocked with memorable stories and characters, This Land Is Our Land is a timely and necessary intervention, and literary polemic of the highest order.
Description : For those opposed to immigration, Miami is a nightmare. Miami is the de facto capital of Latin America; it is a city where immigrants dominate, Spanish is ubiquitous, and Denny's is an ethnic restaurant. Are Miami's immigrants representative of a trend that is undermining American culture and identity? Drawing from in-depth fieldwork in the city and looking closely at recent events such as the Elián González case, This Land Is Our Land examines interactions between immigrants and established Americans in Miami to address fundamental questions of American identity and multiculturalism. Rather than focusing on questions of assimilation, as many other studies have, this book concentrates on interethnic relations to provide an entirely new perspective on the changes wrought by immigration in the United States. A balanced analysis of Miami's evolution over the last forty years, This Land Is Our Land is also a powerful demonstration that immigration in America is not simply an "us versus them" phenomenon.
Description : A 2017 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist! American attitudes toward immigrants are paradoxical. On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, depending on prevailing economic conditions, fluctuating feelings about race and ethnicity, and fear of foreign political and labor agitation, we set boundaries and restrictions on who may come to this country and whether they may stay as citizens. This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue. Includes an author’s note, bibliography, and index.
Description : Private property is everywhere. Almost anywhere you walk in the United States, you will spot “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs on trees and fence posts. In America, there are more than a billion acres of grassland pasture, cropland, and forest, and miles and miles of coastlines that are mostly closed off to the public. Meanwhile, America’s public lands are threatened by extremist groups and right-wing think tanks who call for our public lands to be sold to the highest bidder and closed off to everyone else. If these groups get their way, public property may become private, precious green spaces may be developed, and the common good may be sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy few. Ken Ilgunas, lifelong traveler, hitchhiker, and roamer, takes readers back to the nineteenth century, when Americans were allowed to journey undisturbed across the country. Today, though, America finds itself as an outlier in the Western world as a number of European countries have created sophisticated legal systems that protect landowners and give citizens generous roaming rights to their countries' green spaces. Inspired by the United States' history of roaming, and taking guidance from present-day Europe, Ilgunas calls into question our entrenched understanding of private property and provocatively proposes something unheard of: opening up American private property for public recreation. He imagines a future in which folks everywhere will have the right to walk safely, explore freely, and roam boldly—from California to the New York island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters.
Description : From one of our finest writers and leading environmental thinkers, a powerful book about how the land we share divides us—and how it could unite us Today, we are at a turning point as we face ecological and political crises that are rooted in conflicts over the land itself. But these problems can be solved if we draw on elements of our tradition that move us toward a new commonwealth—a community founded on the well-being of all people and the natural world. In this brief, powerful, timely, and hopeful book, Jedediah Purdy, one of our finest writers and leading environmental thinkers, explores how we might begin to heal our fractured and contentious relationship with the land and with each other. From the coalfields of Appalachia and the tobacco fields of the Carolinas to the public lands of the West, Purdy shows how the land has always united and divided Americans, holding us in common projects and fates but also separating us into insiders and outsiders, owners and dependents, workers and bosses. Expropriated from Native Americans and transformed by slave labor, the same land that represents a history of racism and exploitation could, in the face of environmental catastrophe, bind us together in relationships of reciprocity and mutual responsibility. This may seem idealistic in our polarized time, but we are at a historical fork in the road, and if we do not make efforts now to move toward a commonwealth, Purdy warns, environmental and political pressures will create harsher and crueler conflicts—between citizens, between countries, and between humans and the rest of the world.
Description : This volume shows how ramblers, road protesters and country lovers are coming together to challenge the rural land ownership regime. It argues that the urban population should use its democratic strength to deprive rural landowners of their grip on the countryside. first of a series of forthcoming challenges to landowner control of the countryside. It was followed by the 100,000-strong protest of the landowners' Countryside Alliance at Hyde Park in July 1997. This work on the politics of rural land ownership, appears on the eve of the second reading of the fox-hunting Bill. the last 1000 years, and analyzes the current ownership of the countryside. It unveils a radical programme of action, setting out a new social contract through which landowners and the people would share control of the countryside.
Description : America in the 'aughts—hilariously skewered, brilliantly dissected, and darkly diagnosed by the bestselling social critic hailed as "the soul mate"* of Jonathan Swift Barbara Ehrenreich's first book of satirical commentary, The Worst Years of Our Lives, about the Reagan era, was received with bestselling acclaim. The one problem was the title: couldn't some prophetic fact-checker have seen that the worst years of our lives—far worse—were still to come? Here they are, the 2000s, and in This Land Is Their Land, Ehrenreich subjects them to the most biting and incisive satire of her career. Taking the measure of what we are left with after the cruelest decade in memory, Ehrenreich finds lurid extremes all around. While members of the moneyed elite can buy congressmen, many in the working class can barely buy lunch. While a wealthy minority obsessively consumes cosmetic surgery, the poor often go without health care for their children. And while the corporate C-suites are now nests of criminality, the less fortunate are fed a diet of morality, marriage, and abstinence. Ehrenreich's antidotes are as sardonic as they are spot-on: pet insurance for your kids; Salvation Army fashions for those who can no longer afford Wal-Mart; and boundless rage against those who have given us a nation scarred by deepening inequality, corroded by distrust, and shamed by its official cruelty. Full of wit and generosity, these reports from a divided nation show once again that Ehrenreich is, as Molly Ivins said, "good for the soul." —*The Times (London)