cover image Migrations and Cultures: A World View

Migrations and Cultures: A World View

Thomas Sowell. Basic Books, $30 (528pp) ISBN 978-0-465-04588-4

Sowell (Race and Culture), senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, takes a sweeping look at major world migrations, his aim being to ""provide revealing glimpses of the enormous role of cultural heritages and their far-reaching implications."" Focusing on the Germans, Japanese, Italians, Chinese, Jews and Indians (why not the Irish, too?), he traces the migratory pattern of each group and examines how it has affected the countries where its members settled, as well as the effects of migration on the immigrants themselves over time. Interesting insights abound in this study. For instance, the xenophobia of Westerners toward Chinese is equally as strong among China's Asian neighbors; northern Italians in their new homelands asked to be counted separately from their southern compatriots; German Jews in America, while extending charity to their less fortunate Eastern European brethren, kept a social distance from them. Sowell's treatment is so comprehensive and detailed, with a plethora of footnotes on almost every page, that his book will be of particular interest to specialists. (Apr.)