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This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  80 reviews

A timely argument for why the United States and the West would benefit from accepting more immigrants

There are few subjects in American life that prompt more discussion and controversy than immigration. But do we really understand it? In This Land Is Our Land, the renowned author Suketu Mehta attacks the issue head-on. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born

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Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Jade
This Land Is Our Land is the book on immigration that I wish I had had written. Suketu Mehta has no qualms about digging deep and laying it all out there for everyone to see: the truths, the stories, the cover ups, and also, the lies. As an immigrant myself, with an immigrant partner who comes from a very different part of the world than I do, and three US-born children, this is the type of narrative that I think everyone should be reading. And while this book does focus on the US, it also ...more
Venky
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bibliocase
On the 30th of May, 2019, the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump threatened to apply a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico. This threat which must have caused a significant amount of trepidation in Marcelo Ebard, Mexico’s Secretary for Foreign Affairs, comes as a direct follow up to Mr. Trump’s vow of ‘punishing’ Mexico for their ‘migrants.”

Hard retribution, if any. But can this harsh measure be even termed retribution? A topical subject that has spawned a vertical divide
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Shelley
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly the most important book I've read this year (and am likely to read this year).
Nada Majdy
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs to read this book!
Rita
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, review
Immigration memoirs and nonfiction, factual explorations are my jam. I add them by my shopping cart all the time and keep tabs on new titles coming out. When I saw Mehta's take on immigration was available for request, I immediately got excited to read it. Unfortunately, my expectations weren't completely met, despite this being a good book.

This Is Our Land has one big selling point: it brings personal experience and real interviews into the discussion about immigration. All the stories we learn
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Cavak
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Land is Their Land is more a vindication for why immigration can be awesome rather than an argument. Anti-immigration pundits are mentioned in the negative (especially those from the super conservative Christian circles), and there are few mentions regarding the flaws of immigration.

In the face of so much evidence, can you blame Mehta? Follow the money, follow the people in charge, and the corruption speaks for itself. Think the North American government is fair in the face of
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Sherrie
***I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway***

In my experience, there are two types of books on political issues. Those that are data based and those that are emotion based. While I have a preference for data and research, I think there's a place for both.

This book stands out because it is definitely grounded in data and research, it does not shy away from emotion. There author drops some F bombs and does not mince words when discussing the president of the U.S.A. There are pages where you can
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Frank Lee
This is a book intended to advertise narratives of free immigration as grievance-payments. It is a polemical and ideological manifesto, not scholarly research on immigration.

To deliver his message, Mehta uses a mix of emotional (at times sanctimonious) storytelling, obtuse and partisan reporting of self-serving data & events, deliberate omissions of facts, frequent scapegoating and (at times) aggressively contentious rhetoric.

Some points:

1) Immigration to a developed country is touted by
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Paltia
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Informative and well researched without becoming dry and unapproachable. The kind of book that practically begs you to read segments aloud in order to share what you’re learning about immigration. I devoured it in one sitting. Highly recommended.
Els
This was really good - Mehta is a quick, engaging author who knows how to plead a point (though obviously there were some things I disagreed with). The singular issue is his random insertion of expletives & vulgarities into an otherwise professional, brilliant work. They were random & useless, too, almost as if he’d write 100 pages, realize they were all perfectly acceptable, and throw in the two censored words in the same sentence, & then continue along his merry way until he found ...more
Sonia Nair
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me want to punch the air with rage, so blinding was the hypocrisy exhibited by anti-immigration politicians and citizens of Western countries that Mehta so expertly spotlights in this book. At its heart, This Land is Our Land is a call for reparations, reparations from European colonisers who have irrevocably changed the face of the now "third-world" countries they plundered, invaded and stole from. Mehta loses me towards the end when he veers too much towards justifying the ...more
Indian
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suketu Mehta dazzled beyond comparison in his 2004 published 'Maximum City' the story of Mumbai, a book which is peerless in its category.
With that kind of adulation I approached this new book of his 'This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto' and I enjoyed reading it. Its definitely a page turner, though gets a little repetitive and slow towards the later chapter.
So for sure its no-where near the charisma that shone in his Mumbai Book. So folks, who would be expecting a Maximum City would
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Hannah Higgins
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone must read this book. One of the most profound, detailed, and inspiring pieces of literature I have read in the past couple months when it comes to the horrifying reality millions of immigrants and refugees face every single day across the world. Many Americans, right now, are so focused on finding any way possible to prevent migrants and refugees from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries from passing through the southern border, that they neglect to look at the broader problems ...more
Courtney
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These walls, these borders, between the peoples of the earth, they are of recent vintage, and they are flimsy.

Mehta offers a compelling argument for immigration throughout the Western countries. Debunking the myths that immigrants make countries unsafe and harm the economy, Mehta proposes increasing immigration. Understanding that in the future, climate change and other conflict will further increase the migration of people around the world, he believes that immigration is the only way to create
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Ellen
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suketu Mehta is a gifted journalist, and this book is a marvel. His tales of his family's migration combine well with research on the effects of immigration on the home country as well as the country being moved to.
Sean Meriwether
Using his family history of migration across various continents as an overarching story, Mehta outlines the challenges and benefits of immigration. He launches his argument with a brief history lesson: the developed world enriched itself by colonizing other countries, exploited them for their resources and cheap labor, and left behind political, financial, and environmental ruin. When individuals from these countries, who have been left with few alternatives to provide for their families, try to ...more
Mitalee | TheAvidBookerfly
This Land is our Land is a timely book discussing why western countries can benefit from accepting immigrants.

The author Suketu Mehta is born in India and grew up in New York City. He draws some part of this book from his personal experiences and does not hold back putting any facts, stories, truths, and lies for the world to see. The book focuses on the history of immigration in the world, many well-researched stories to support that and also a few loopholes which are inflicted upon common man
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Aidan
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Just excellent. Even if you remain unconvinced about reparations, Mehta cites numerous pieces of evidence that cite the benefits of immigrants in our society. Lower crime, higher economic growth, the renaissance of dead communities, etc. Everyone should read this.
Jeff Loveness
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bold and harsh and very well argued. Great encapsulation of the history and humanity of migration.
Phoebe
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suketu Mehta writes an intimate look into the lives of immigrants and his own in This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant's Manifesto. The stories range from those in the United States and those who are struggling to find freedom from their oppressors. He tells the heartbreak of those whose dream is not to come to the United States, but to just survive. I think some of the most heartbreaking tales are the ones who were happy with their lives and were living their dreams only to become victims to ...more
Catherine Marenghi
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rich, informative. A very human portrait of immigrants worldwide.

A thorough and historically grounded account of immigration worldwide, told from an immigrant’s perspective. The ravages of colonialism, the hypocrisy of nativism, the political opportunism of immigration - all told by an excellent storyteller, with wisdom and heart. I learned so much from this book.
T
I lean left so, of course, this book is in kinda my wheelhouse to begin with. However, what makes this book truly accessible is that it doesn't just rely on immigration to the US; it is truly global in its scope and reach. While, yes, the history of immigration to the US received more page time than other countries, I still learned a lot about current immigration policies of countries in he EU (and those who can't decide how they want to leave *ahem*).

This should be a must read for anyone who
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John Saveland
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thorough, comprehensive, readable, and altogether excellent book on immigration (globally and concerning the US). It's a very quick read, though Mehta could have gone on longer and I would have eagerly read more. He delves into almost every aspect of migration, nimbly dispels myths and illustrates the numerous benefits. Move this to the top of your list.
Jawahar Surti
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had liked the author's "Maximum City" and so it was natural for me to pick this book. He has a good writing style which doesn't bore you. He has tackled the subject with his own experiences and the data which he must have researched a lot. He has been repetitive at places. His analysis on the usual arguments against immigration - that immigrants take away native jobs; that they increase the crime rate; that they are an alien culture - is in-depth and proves how the first two are demonstrably ...more
Dan Bell
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.

Overall, I found this a relatively quick and interesting read. The author makes some excellent arguments about the role of immigration in U.S. society. I did find his argument that those who had been colonized are "creditors" to be a bit unrealistic, as that seemingly ignores history before the 1600s. By that logic, every defeated group of people would become "creditors" to the victors of a conflict. That doesn't really work.

The other part of the book I
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Grant
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and occasionally rousing or confrontational book that would do a lot of people, particularly on the right, good to read.

I feel a bit more socialist than he does about some things, and as a Canadian, I feel like things aren't quite as rosy here as statistics have led him to believe, but those are ideological differences rather than flaws in his logic. Some of his points don't feel new, and some of them are perhaps a bit repetitive, but he making many compelling arguments. To me, the
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Aloysius
A call to arms against the rising nativism gripping our country, and an unapologetic defense of the rights of immigrants, regardless of their status.
Rafael Suleiman
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good argument is presented in this book for continued immigration throughout the western world, both in Europe and the United States.
Jeremy
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Essential reading given Trump’s recent racist attacks against the Squad.
Emily
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Suketu Mehta is the New York-based author of 'Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found,' which won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, the Lettre Ulysses Prize, the BBC4 Samuel Johnson Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. He has won the Whiting Writers Award, the O. Henry Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for his ...more