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Debating Immigration Paperback – April 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0521698665 ISBN-10: 0521698669

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Debating Immigration + Immigrants and the Right to Stay (Boston Review Books) + Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521698669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521698665
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Carol Swain has drawn together a brilliant and insightful collection of essays on immigration. No matter what your views on immigration, you will find something to inform, educate, or engage."
Senator Bill Frist from Tennessee

"Just when I thought America could NEVER have a civilized discussion about immigration, alongcame this wonderful book. Thomas Jefferson would be so proud that many knowledgeable people spent time together wrestling with this highly charged political issue and sharing their thoughts inwriting. I wish I could mandate that NO ONE could debate about immigration until they read this book and passed the test!"
Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman from Colorado

"This is a fascinating and distinctive contribution to our understanding of contemporary immigration issues. Most volumes on this subject are weighted heavily in the pro-immigration direction. Carol Swain, by contrast, has gotten contributions from scholars with a wide range of perspectives, and their work reveals many complexities and nuances that are too often ignored. A first-rate collection that should appeal to general readers as well as to scholars."
Stephan Thernstrom, Winthrop Professor of History, Harvard University and editor of the Harvard Encylopedia of American Ethnic Groups

"This timely volume, representing a range of ideological perspectives, features a number of powerful and thought provoking essays on the immigration debate. Carol M. Swain has pulled together a group of outstanding scholars and activists whose gripping arguments on immigration will be widely discussed and debated. I highly recommend this volume to anyone concerned about the politics of contemporary immigration."
William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor Harvard University

"..touches upon important and pressing immigration policy issues. The book is an outstanding compilation."
John C. Blakeman, Law and Politics Book Review

"Debating Immigration is a collection of essays using different perspectives to argue that immigration is harmful for the United States." -Maria Chavez, Journal of American Ethnic History

Book Description

Debating Immigration presents 18 original essays, written by some of the world's leading experts and preeminent scholars, that explore the nuances of contemporary immigration and citizenship affecting the United States and Europe. The volume is organized around the following themes: religion and philosophy, law and policy, economics and demographics, race and ethnicity, and cosmopolitanism.

More About the Author

From high school dropout and teenage mother to esteemed Vanderbilt University law professor, Carol M. Swain is passionate about empowering others to confidently raise their conservative voices in the public square. Dr. Swain's education and experiences make her a credible and powerful force for change in today's social and political climate where conservatives are intimidated to champion an often-unpopular message.

Carol Swain's own courageous voice for conservative causes is expressed among a variety of popular media. She's a frequent guest on Hannity's: Great American Panel on Fox News and appeared regularly on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight.

She has also appeared on BBC Radio, NPR, CNN's AC360 (with Anderson Cooper), Fox News Live, PBS's NewsHour (with Jim Lehrer), C-SPAN's Washington Journal, and ABC's Headline News.

Dr. Swain's published works have achieved many accolades. Her highly acclaimed book, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress, has received numerous awards, including:

One of seven Outstanding Academic Books of 1994 by Choice (American Library Association)

Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in 1994 (sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation at Princeton University for the best book published on government, politics or international affairs)

D.B. Hardeman Prize for best book focused on U.S. Congress during 1994-1995
V.O. Key Award (co-recipient) for an outstanding book on southern politics

Black Faces was cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Johnson v. DeGrandy (1994) and by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in Georgia V. Ashcroft (2003).

Debating Immigration, a collection of 18 essays by Swain and other scholars, explores the nuances of contemporary immigration and citizenship in the U.S. and Europe. She has also written and co-authored books on race relations and white nationalism. She is currently working on a new book titled Broken Vows, Banished Virtues: Reclaiming America's Promise.

Her opinion pieces have been published online at The Huffington Post and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, and USA Today.

A widely recognized expert on race relations, immigration, black leadership and evangelical politics, Carol Swain is a member of the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and serves on the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, Dr. Swain was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is a foundation member of the Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Yale Law School Professor Peter H. Schuck observes:

"In a polity in which only 17 percent of the public thinks that immigration levels should be higher and 39 percent thinks they should be lower, one would expect that at least some legal scholars who write about immigration issues would favor restriction. If so, one would be wrong. In over two decades of immersion in immigration scholarship, I have not encountered a single academic specialist on immigration law who favors reducing the number of legal immigrants admitted each year." The Disconnect Between Public Attitudes and Policy Outcomes in Immigration [In Debating Immigration, Chapter 2, p.17, the link is to an unedited version.]

So, Carol M. Swain, a law and political science professor at Vanderbilt, has done the academic world a service (although one it probably won't appreciate) with her new book Debating Immigration. She brings together 16 chapters from academic and think tank luminaries such as Nathan Glazer, Amitai Etzioni, Douglas S. Massey, and Steven A. Camarota, along with lively essays from journalists Peter Brimelow and Jonathan Tilove.

Swain is one of the more unusual and admirable scholars in public policy. Growing up black and poor in rural Virginia, one of twelve children, she dropped out of 9th grade and married at 16. In her mid-20s she started back to school. Eventually, she earned tenure at Princeton as an expert on how Congress operates.

Her views are difficult to categorize politically. I would say she's an advocate of black enlightened self-interest, left of center on economics, right of center on culture.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
College-level collections and many a high school library will want to consider DEBATING IMMIGRATION: it offers an unusually well-balanced collection of debates on various immigration issue positions which gathers reasonings from Left, Right and Middle about immigration and border issues, and provides a wide range of theories, approaches, and ideologies. As such it's a particularly strong pick for any collection including social issues and debating in its holdings, with essays both scholarly and accessible at the college level.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jackattack on November 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Excellent assortment of essays. Several different viewpoints are portrayed creating a very objective view of the immigration issue. Great insight coupled with a great deal of factual evidence.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered this book so that I could get numerous, diverse opinions about immigration. I was pleased to find that it was just what I needed: verifyable information from various sources giving me the "bigger picture" on a very complex social issue which we must face. (I grew up on a cotton farm during the Bracero Act days (1950's). That worked well, at least in our case.) I am now at a loss, however, on how best to go about solving this huge problem. I do think it is always better to take sides on any issue using as many facts as possible instead of charging ahead blindly. I recommend this book to all who are like-minded.
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