Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pg. 69: "Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them"

Currently featured at the Page 69 Test: Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them by Philippe Legrain.

About the book, from the author's website:
Immigration divides our globalising world like no other issue. We are being swamped by bogus asylum-seekers and infiltrated by terrorists, our jobs stolen, our benefit system abused, our way of life destroyed – or so we are told. As dishevelled Africans land on Spanish tourist beaches, Chinese cockle-pickers drown in Morecambe Bay and the death-toll in the past decade on the US-Mexican border rises above 9/11's, Philippe Legrain, author of the critically acclaimed Open World, has written the first book that looks beyond the headlines. Why are ever-rising numbers of people from poor countries arriving in Europe, North America and Australasia? Can we keep them out? Should we even be trying?

Combining compelling first-hand reporting from around the world, incisive socio-economic analysis and a broad understanding of what's at stake politically and culturally, Immigrants is a passionate, but lucid book. In our open world, more people will inevitably move across borders, Legrain says – and we should generally welcome them. They do the jobs we can't or won't do – and their diversity enriches us all. Left and right; free-marketeers and campaigners for global justice; enlightened patriots – all should rally behind the cause of freer migration, because They need Us and We need Them.

Among the praise for the book:

"Energetic and right-minded ... In all important respects Legrain is right on target; one turns his pages to the almost audible sound of nails being smacked on the head. In the context of the fearful chatter that surrounds the subject, sense as good as this needs cherishing."
--Robert Winder, The Guardian

"Legrain performs an invaluable service; he makes a good case for the unpopular cause of free flows of people. The book is a superb combination of direct reportage with detailed analysis of the evidence."
--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"Legrain has assembled powerful evidence to undermine the economic arguments against immigration."
--The Economist

"The case for immigration ... is grounded in hard economic fact, as Philippe Legrain shows in Immigrants - a passionate and cogent plea for liberalising migration."
--Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times

"The single best non-technical defense of a liberal immigration policy. What I liked most was how it put U.S. debates in a broader context; most American sources don't do this... The book is original in this regard, yet without moving beyond easily understood arguments."
--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

"We expect crisp writing and careful analysis from Philippe Legrain. In Immigrants, he adds reporting from across the world and a passionate defense of our freedom to cross borders. By turns logical, daring, and compassionate, this is a terrific book."
--Tim Harford, author, The Undercover Economist
Read the Introduction to Immigrants, and learn more about the book and the author at Philippe Legrain's website.

Philippe Legrain is a journalist and writer. He is the author of Open World: The Truth about Globalisation and many articles about economics, politics and culture.

The Page 69 Test: Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them.

--Marshal Zeringue