Daniel Denvir in conversation with John Washington
Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 6:00 p.m., Will be held on Crowdcast. Click the link in the event description for info.

 

discussing the subject of their new titles from Verso Books

All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It

and

The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexican Border and Beyond

both published by Verso Books

This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Crowdcast platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Crowdcast before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Crowdcast.

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(Click Here) to make reservations

Event is free, but reservations are required

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>Click here to purchase The Dispossessed<

>Click here to purchase All American Nativism<

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scroll down to learn about

All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It

by Daniel Denvir

published by Verso Books (part of the Jacobin Series)

American history told from the vantage of immigration politics

It is often said that with the election of Donald Trump nativism was raised from the dead. After all, here was a president who organized his campaign around a rhetoric of unvarnished racism and xenophobia. Among his first acts on taking office was to block foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. But although his actions may often seem unprecedented, they are not as unusual as many people believe. This story doesn't begin with Trump. For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have employed xenophobic ideas and policies, declaring time and again that "illegal immigration" is a threat to the nation's security, wellbeing, and future.

The profound forces of all-American nativism have, in fact, been pushing politics so far to the right over the last forty years that, for many people, Trump began to look reasonable. As Daniel Denvir argues, issues as diverse as austerity economics, free trade, mass incarceration, the drug war, the contours of the post 9/11 security state, and, yes, Donald Trump and the Alt-Right movement are united by the ideology of nativism, which binds together assorted anxieties and concerns into a ruthless political project.

All-American Nativism provides a powerful and impressively researched account of the long but often forgotten history that gave us Donald Trump.

Daniel Denvir is a Fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute and host of The Dig, a podcast from Jacobin magazine. His journalistic work covers criminal justice, the drug war, immigration, and politics and has appeared in the New York Times, Jacobin, Vox, the Nation, the Guardian, and elsewhere.

learn about

The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexican Border and Beyond

by John Washington

published by Verso Books

The first comprehensive, in-depth book on the Trump administration's assault on asylum protections

Arnovis couldn't stay in El Salvador. If he didn't leave, a local gangster promised that his family would dress in mourning—that he would wake up with flies in his mouth. "It was like a bomb exploded in my life," Arnovis said.

The Dispossessed tells the story of a twenty-four-year-old Salvadoran man, Arnovis, whose family's search for safety shows how the United States—in concert with other Western nations—has gutted asylum protections for the world's most vulnerable. Crisscrossing the border and Central America, John Washington traces one man's quest for asylum. Arnovis is separated from his daughter by US Border Patrol agents and struggles to find security after being repeatedly deported to a gang-ruled community in El Salvador, traumatic experiences relayed by Washington with vivid intensity.

Adding historical, literary, and current political context to the discussion of migration today, Washington tells the history of asylum law and practice through ages to the present day. Packed with information and reflection, The Dispossessed is more than a human portrait of those who cross borders—it is an urgent and persuasive case for sharing the country we call home.

John Washington is a writer, translator, and activist. A regular contributor to The Nation magazine and The Intercept, he writes about immigration and border politics, as well as criminal justice, photography, and literature. Washington is an award winning translator, having translated Óscar Martinez, Anabel Hernández, and Sandra Rodriguez Nieto, among others. A long term volunteer with No More Deaths, he has been working with activist organizations in Mexico, California, Arizona, and New York for more than a decade. He is currently based in Brooklyn.

What has been said about the work of Dan Denvir and John Washington:

Praise for All-American Nativism

"As Daniel Denvir's exceptional book shows, the history of US immigration politics is central to understanding how our many crises have converged in this moment. It's precisely the kind of analysis our movements need to pry open the fissures of the current order, and join in common struggle for a better world."

"This is the book we need, a searing work of scholarship that explains how we entered the current hellscape of American politics and what we have to do to get out. The roots of white nativism are deep, as Denvir's book makes clear, but like all roots can be pulled up and killed. All-American Nativism will help us do so."

"In this timely book, Daniel Denvir tackles an important question: what is old and what is new in Trump's nativism? Denvir helps us understand both the historical roots and the more recent routes by which 'build the wall’ came to be the central rallying cry of racial-nationalism. A must-read for anyone who wants to know how we got here."

"All American Nativism excavates the history of anti-immigrant politics in the United States and reveals a difficult truth: Donald Trump is the symptom, and not the cause, of a bipartisan consensus underlying the current war on immigrants. In this sense, Denvir’s book is an invaluable tool for organizers and activists who subscribe to what Paulo Freire meant by praxis, where reflection and action are required to bring about transformative change."

"All-American Nativism powerfully explores the deep roots of nativism in national life as well as how Trump’s agenda is itself the culmination of the policies and the logic pursued for decades by both major parties. In the process, Daniel Denvir masterfully demonstrates the relationship between today’s debates over immigration and ongoing struggles against neoliberal austerity, mass incarceration, and the violence of the security state. In this way, the book not only offers a diagnosis of the present, but also a stirring vision of solidarity and change. This is an essential and profound work, providing critical insights about the American experience and where to go from here."

"Traces the development of anti-immigrant sentiment."

"In an era of massive and unprecedented human migration, John Washington documents in his poignant book how the poverty and violence powerful nations inflict on poor countries is a major reason so many flee their lives and families. Offering expansive historical analysis of how ancient religions, cultures, and societies understood the imperative of welcoming the outsider, particularly those seeking safety from harm or death, and contrasting it with our current world order, Washington has written one of the most important books of our time on one of the most dire systematic injustices on our planet. I read this book in one sitting because I simply couldn’t put it down."

"The Dispossessed is one of the most beautiful and wrenching books I’ve read in a long time. We are becoming a stateless world, as the combined effects of climate change, war, and struggles of resources push people from their land and their homes. John Washington’s book offers no easy answers, but in its empathy, it is a guide for how we confront the crisis with decency."

"John Washington delivers an absorbing, harrowing, and deeply moving reportage that renders the most thorough and critical assessment of the US asylum system that I have ever read."

"John Washington is a rarity in the world of Central American migration. He doesn’t parachute into tragedy. He travels with humility and seeks to understand, not to reaffirm his hypotheses. This is a book from someone who has been understanding for a long time. I’ve been covering migration in Central America, Mexico, and the United States for thirteen years, and I can say with complete conviction: Read this book."