A succinct, positive look at the great benefits, both historically and currently, of embracing immigration.



An account of how the 1965 Hart-Celler Act, in broadening immigration beyond European quotas, transformed the racial makeup, economy, and politics of the U.S.

The elimination of origin quotas put in place since the 1920s, which had favored European immigrants, paved the way for a great surge of new immigration from Asia, Latin America, and, to a lesser extent, Africa and the Middle East. The change in numbers, as Foner clearly explains, was enormous. In 1960, for example, 75% of foreign-born residents came from Europe; by 2018, those born in Latin America and the Caribbean went from 9% to 50%, Asians from 4% to 28%, and sub-Saharan Africans from 1% to 5%. The astonishing racial shift has affected all aspects of American life (Whites comprised only 60% of the population by 2018). Foner—a professor of sociology and author of One Out of Three: Immigrant New York in the Twenty-First Century, among other books—makes a convincing argument, as other scholars have in recent years, that these changes have been positive and significant for the U.S. as a nation, countering uglier, speculative narratives about the detriments of immigration. Neighborhoods across America have shifted hugely, from all-Black (Caribbean and African) sections of Brooklyn to all-Asian sections of Los Angeles and other cities in California and elsewhere. The author closely examines the economic benefits in immigrant work, filling both the top and bottom of the occupational ladder, from innovative new companies to the caretakers and farm workers, all necessary for the functioning of the American economy. In scholarly but accessible prose, Foner also explores this huge cultural shift in terms of TV, movies, literature, and other elements of arts and culture. This book will be a good fit for libraries and school collections in order to refute erroneous and racist arguments regarding immigration.

A succinct, positive look at the great benefits, both historically and currently, of embracing immigration.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-691-20639-4

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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A chatty autobiography brimming with heart and humor.


Debut memoir from the popular comedian, actor, and writer.

In his debut memoir, Rainbow (“my very real last name”) shares his memories, beginning with his star turn in a backyard production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on his eighth birthday. Growing up on Long Island with a “showbiz-positive family,” the author depicts a flamboyant childhood influenced by his grandmother and her celebrity fascinations. “My eight-year-old childhood bedroom,” he notes, “looked more like the men’s room at a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen.” Rainbow’s engagement with ballet classes and musical theater provoked relentless schoolyard bullying until a family move to Florida introduced him to the unique strengths to be found in coming out and celebrating his obsession with his “lord and savior,” Barbra Streisand. As his parents’ relationship deteriorated, Manhattan beckoned. In between auditions, Rainbow worked as the “jovial gay boy at the host stand” at Hooters. Honing his stand-up comedy skills, he started a blog, which branched off into a series of comedic video sketches that satirized, among other topics, a fictional relationship with Mel Gibson and a tryout for American Idol. When Rainbow began delving into political parodies, particularly his skewering of the chaotic 2016 presidential campaign, his fame exploded. “For the first few years of Trump,” he writes, “I basically lived inside a giant green screen.” Still, he admits that his career has been a constant hustle and that the isolating cross-country tours “ain’t for sissies.” Rapidly paced comic absurdities fill the remainder of the book, as the author provides anecdotes about his struggles to remain upbeat and social media relevant in the fickle entertainment world despite multiple Emmy nominations. In the concluding chapters, the author openly discusses the public backlash from past controversial comments on Twitter, which he attributes to “sloppy efforts as a young comedian” to be funny. Buoyant and campy throughout, Rainbow’s revelations and lighthearted banter will entertain fans and newbies alike.

A chatty autobiography brimming with heart and humor.

Pub Date: April 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27625-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.


Bestselling author Haig offers a book’s worth of apothegms to serve as guides to issues ranging from disquietude to self-acceptance.

Like many collections of this sort—terse snippets of advice, from the everyday to the cosmic—some parts will hit home with surprising insight, some will feel like old hat, and others will come across as disposable or incomprehensible. Years ago, Haig experienced an extended period of suicidal depression, so he comes at many of these topics—pain, hope, self-worth, contentment—from a hard-won perspective. This makes some of the material worthy of a second look, even when it feels runic or contrary to experience. The author’s words are instigations, hopeful first steps toward illumination. Most chapters are only a few sentences long, the longest running for three pages. Much is left unsaid and left up to readers to dissect. On being lost, Haig recounts an episode with his father when they got turned around in a forest in France. His father said to him, “If we keep going in a straight line we’ll get out of here.” He was correct, a bit of wisdom Haig turned to during his depression when he focused on moving forward: “It is important to remember the bottom of the valley never has the clearest view. And that sometimes all you need to do in order to rise up again is to keep moving forward.” Many aphorisms sound right, if hardly groundbreaking—e.g., a quick route to happiness is making someone else happy; “No is a good word. It keeps you sane. In an age of overload, no is really yes. It is yes to having space you need to live”; “External events are neutral. They only gain positive or negative value the moment they enter our mind.” Haig’s fans may enjoy this one, but others should take a pass.

A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-14-313666-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Penguin Life

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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