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The Next Great Migration: The Story of Movement on a Changing Planet (Paperback)Sonia Shah (author)
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A welcome antidote to anti-migration rhetoric, Shah’s revealing study of human motion across the planet identifies the mass movement of people as one of the defining characteristics of world history. Cogently argued and optimistic, The Next Great Migration challenges political orthodoxy with unshakeable scientific proof.
We are surrounded by stories of people on the move. Wild species, too, are escaping warming seas and desiccated lands in a mass exodus. Politicians and the media present this upheaval of migration patterns as unprecedented, blaming it for the spread of disease and conflict, and spreading anxiety across the world as a result. But the science and history of migration in animals, plants, and humans tell a different story. Far from being a disruptive behaviour, migration is an ancient and lifesaving response to environmental change, a biological imperative as necessary as breathing.
Climate changes triggered the first human migrations out of Africa. Falling sea levels allowed our passage across the Bering Sea. Unhampered by borders, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, into the highest reaches of the Himalayan Mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, disseminating the biological, cultural and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. In other words, migration is not the crisis - it is the solution.
Tracking the history of misinformation from the 18th century through to today's anti-immigration policies, The Next Great Migration makes the case for a future in which migration is not a source of fear, but of hope.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 600 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'This fascinating study debunks false narratives about immigration and finds that, in common with other species, the urge to move is written in our genes . . . This book - a wandering narrative about why people wander - is likely to prove equally prophetic in the coming months and years, since it asks two questions that are already shaping our geopolitics: what causes human beings to migrate? And is such mass movement beneficial to more settled communities and nations?' - Book of the Week, Observer
'Shah [tackles] with compassion and insight a deeply complex and challenging subject . . . Shah effectively shows that understanding human migration is fundamentally an intersectional problem, incorporating race, ethnicity, religion, gender, class, economic inequality, politics, nationalism, colonialism and health, not to mention genetics, evolution, ecology, geography, climate, climate change and even plate tectonics . . . Her work addresses issues of fundamental importance to the survival and well-being of us all' - New York Times Book Review
'Sonia Shah's life-affirming celebration of migration is an antidote to the naysayers . . . A hugely entertaining, life-affirming and hopeful hymn to the glorious adaptability of life on earth. Always, the argument is threaded through with delicious descriptions of the natural world and its endless mobility, from butterflies to hungry bears . . . [Shah's] luminous love for this changing world is surely a far better guide, as we face an uncertain future, than the dreary fear-mongering and lies of those she condemns . . . A rich measure of gaiety, humour, and hope' - Scotsman
'An examination of relocation in all its forms - human and wild - in the context of impending climate-related disruption. Shah delves into the origins of anti-immigrant rhetoric and unpicks the notion of a static world . . . It's a dazzling tour through 300 years of scientific history . . . Engrossing' - Prospect Magazine
'Illuminating . . . This work's beguiling synergy of science, history, and contemporary politics is impressive enough, but it is this intuitive author's captivating narration that makes this such a bracingly intelligent and important title' - Booklist
'Shah convincingly argues that politicians against immigration distort and misuse data to create unnecessary and cruel barriers, [and that] we must face the inevitable: our social, political and ecological world is changing substantially. The altered communities that result won't just be different, they'll often be better adapted to thrive in our warming world' - Nature
'An incisive examination of migration, which she considers a phenomenon both biological and cultural . . . A scientifically sophisticated, well-considered contribution to the literature of movement and environmental change' - Kirkus Reviews
'In this striking look at a planet on the move, Sonia Shah provides a bold new way of looking at the ecological and political turbulence of our time - a vision that is as full of hope as it is of understanding' - Charles C. Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1491
'Could hardly be more timely . . . A lively, rigorously researched and highly informative read' - Praise for Pandemic, Wall Street Journal
'Grounded, bracingly intelligent . . . Lucidly layers history into a tour of transmission hotspots, from incubators of 'spillover' animal-borne illnesses such as China's wild-animal markets to globalized transport and hyperdense cities' - Praise for Pandemic, Nature
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