Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Huntington's Book

The reviews of Samuel Huntington's Who Are We? are beginning to trickle out as the release date approaches. Rich Lowry of the National Review gives the book an unqualified "thumbs up" and the Weekly Standard has a thorough and slightly more critical review by UVA Professor James W. Ceaser:

Huntington, to be sure, dwells almost exclusively on the downside of Hispanic immigration, while his critics have sought out more hopeful signs, citing contrary evidence of trends of Hispanic assimilation and noting that Hispanics actually seem to place a greater emphasis on the American values of hard work and family than do most other Americans these days.

WHAT'S MORE, almost all developed nations have recently faced intense population pressures from poorer countries--particularly because these developed nations need additional labor. From this perspective, America might feel itself fortunate that whatever assimilation challenges it faces come from Mexico rather than, say, from Algeria. But while it is fashionable and certainly much easier on the part of Huntington's critics to assume things will work out, who can be sure that the prediction of a "bifurcated" culture will prove to be wrong? Huntington, the patriot, has the resolve of Cassandra, sounding an unwelcome warning that few wish to hear. One thing is certain: He is not about to receive La Raza's man of the year award.


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