Immigrants Book Summary - Immigrants Book explained in key points
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Immigrants summary

Philippe Legrain

Your Country Needs Them

4 (38 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

'Immigrants' by Philippe Legrain is a persuasive and deeply researched book that sheds light on the contributions of immigrants to economies and societies around the world. Legrain argues that openness to immigration is not only right but ultimately beneficial for everyone involved.

Table of Contents

    Immigrants
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Migration is a human right that has been asserted throughout history.

    No matter where you live on the planet, you’ll probably notice that a portion of the population has a certain animosity toward immigrants and immigration. In many countries the media is awash with stories about the “floods” of immigrants crossing the border to snatch up jobs and welfare.

    However, these fears are misplaced.

    For starters, the process of migration has been ongoing for thousands of years, and is by no means a recent phenomenon. Indeed, people have been on the move since the dawn of human history. Our ancient ancestors, for example, migrated to the four corners of the globe from a central point: Africa.

    In the nineteenth century, technological innovations, such as the steam ship and train, accelerated the process of migration. During this period, most migration was from the Old World – Europe – to the New World of the Americas.

    However, in the twentieth century, the dynamics of migration took a 180-degree turn: suddenly people were mostly moving from the developing world to the developed one.

    It is this change that conjured up the idea of a mass exodus to the West. But there is no such exodus. If you look at the numbers, the migrant population remains relatively small: only a few million people migrate to the West annually, compared to the billions of people who remain behind in the developing world.

    Immigration only seems high because migrants head to only a handful of destination countries.

    History aside, migration is also a human right.

    All too often, when we look at those who enter our country, we only see one side of their experience: immigration. But migration is a two-way process: every immigrant is also an emigrant.

    People leave their home countries for an endless number of reasons, and the right to emigrate is even codified by Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Thus, in impeding someone’s ability to migrate – and thus emigrate – you are a denying them their basic human rights.

    Nevertheless, as you’ll see in the following blinks, many governments try to curb the amount of immigrants coming into their country.

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    What is Immigrants about?

    Immigrants offers a compelling case for a total revamp of the way most people view immigration and immigrants. It provides a detailed description of the case against immigration, while providing solid evidence for the great benefits, both social and economic, that migration provides.

    Immigrants Review

    Immigrants (2007) by Philippe Legrain presents a powerful exploration of the economic, social, and cultural contributions that immigrants bring to their adopted countries. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It challenges prevailing misconceptions and prejudices about immigrants, offering a fresh perspective on their positive impact on societies.
    • The book provides a wealth of research-backed evidence and case studies to illustrate the economic benefits that immigrants bring to host nations.
    • Through a compelling narrative and personal stories, it presents a humanizing account of immigrants, showing their resilience, determination, and creativity.

    Who should read Immigrants?

    • Anyone concerned by migration
    • Anyone unimpressed by the notion of a more open world
    • Anyone trying to understand why anyone would want to leave their home country

    About the Author

    Philippe Legrain is an economist and political scientist whose writings on globalization and migration appear in the Guardian. In addition, he has authored a number of critically acclaimed books, including Open World: The Truth about Globalization and Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis.

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    Immigrants FAQs 

    What is the main message of Immigrants?

    Immigrants explores the positive impact of migration on economies and societies.

    How long does it take to read Immigrants?

    The estimated reading time for Immigrants varies, but you can read the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is Immigrants a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Immigrants is a thought-provoking read that sheds light on the benefits of immigration.

    Who is the author of Immigrants?

    Philippe Legrain is the author of Immigrants.

    What to read after Immigrants?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Immigrants, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Exodus by Paul Collier
    • Go Back to Where You Came From by Sasha Polakow-Suransky
    • Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
    • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    • The Next Great Migration by Sonia Shah
    • Arabs by Tim Mackintosh-Smith
    • Lives of the Stoics by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
    • China's Second Continent by Howard French
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins
    • Bedtime Biography: Isaac Newton by James Gleick