What We Are Reading Today: The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe by Rita Chin

Updated 21 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe by Rita Chin

  • The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe examines the historical development of multiculturalism on the Continent, says a review on the Princeton University Press website

In 2010, the leaders of Germany, Britain, and France each declared that multiculturalism had failed in their countries. Over the past decade, a growing consensus in Europe has voiced similar decrees. 

But what do these ominous proclamations, from across the political spectrum, mean? From the influx of immigrants in the 1950s to contemporary worries about refugees and terrorism, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe examines the historical development of multiculturalism on the Continent, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Rita Chin argues that there were few efforts to institute state-sponsored policies of multiculturalism, and those that emerged were pronounced failures virtually from their inception. 

She shows that today’s crisis of support for cultural pluralism isn’t new but actually has its roots in the 1980s. Chin looks at the touchstones of European multiculturalism, from the urgent need for laborers after World War II to the public furor over the publication of The Satanic Verses and the question of French girls wearing headscarves to school.


What We Are Reading Today: The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax

Updated 17 June 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax

  • The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history, and memoir to confront the “golden state” myth in riveting fashion

California-style agriculture has created one of the most unequal societies on earth because extensive irrigation requires large corporations with deep pockets, says Mark Arax, author of The Dreamt Land.

The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history, and memoir to confront the “golden state” myth in riveting fashion. 

“Arax is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it,” said a review in goodreads.com. “It is a beautifully written book and one that lots of people ought to be required to read,” the review said.

Critic Gary Krist says in a review for The New York Times: “Granted, there are times when The Dreamt Land feels overstuffed and chaotically organized, as if Arax decided to include every relevant newspaper feature he’s ever proposed to an editor. But I suspect that few other journalists could have written a book as personal and authoritative.”