Three Cheers for The Atlantic Monthly

By John Tanton
Volume 4, Number 3 (Spring 1994)
Issue theme: "End of the migration epoch?"

It may seem odd or at least unusual for one magazine to tout another, but we would like to call attention to the fine job The Atlantic Monthly is doing in raising the immigration topic for its approximately 475,000 readers. It seems that every three or four months an article appears bearing on the subject.

Going back just two years in May and June of 1992, the editors published William Langwiesche's two-part article, 'The Border,' laying out the situation along the U.S.-Mexican frontier and the difficulties of controlling traffic across it. Then, in August of the same year they ran Robert Kaplan's 'Tales from the Bazaar' on the people at the Arab desk at the State Department, a topic not unrelated to immigration policy. Jack Miles's seminal essay 'Blacks vs. Browns' appeared in October. It opened new channels of thought and communication on the role played in the Los Angeles riots earlier that year by conflict between long-resident blacks and Hispanic and Korean newcomers.

In February, 1993, Charles C. Mann's 'How Many is Too Many?' appeared, highlighting the key population question. James Fallow's three-part economics series ran in the November/December 1993 and January 1994 issues. These articles presented the differences in culture and economic philosophy between East and West.

In February, 1994, Robert Kaplan was back in print with his powerful 'The Coming Anarchy.' This article has been widely noticed and lays out in chilling fashion the coming disorder in the Third World and what it portends for migration pressure.

We have understandable pride in The Atlantic Monthly's April issue of this year. It includes 'The Ordeal of Immigration in Wausau' written by The Social Contract's Washington Editor, Roy Beck. This essay explores the effects on a small midwestern town of a heavy immigrant influx - a story with which many other similarly situated communities will be able to identify. (See Wayne Lutton's review of the Beck article on page 231.)

The Atlantic Monthly's editors have been performing a public service by illuminating a difficult topic. We hope they will persist.

* * *

In The Social Contract our focus this month is on the population 'push' pressures underlying international migration. The lead article 'End of the Migration Epoch?' asks how much longer massive international migration can go on, and then sets forth a new paradigm and a set of ethical principles to govern migration policy. Next, Philip Martin writes about the importance of immigration 'networks,' and lays out his 'Grand Bargain.' Douglas Massey also discusses networking and analyzes other migration push and pull factors.

Malcolm Browne, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for the New York Times, paints a threatening picture of the Third World. It is reminiscent of Kaplan's Atlantic article, 'The Coming Anarchy,' which I again recommend for your reading list (the one you will get to, not the never-to-be-read list!)

We close the feature section with an excerpt from Samuel Huntington's response to the critics of his Summer, 1993, Foreign Affairs article, 'The Clash of Civilizations?' (also highly recommended reading) and with Vernon Briggs's call for transferring INS administration back to the Labor Department. As a final tidbit, we offer a listing of the Ford Foundation's grants over the past 25 years to organizations opposing immigration control.

Together with gleanings from other publications and a book-review section designed to help shorten your reading list, we hope you will want to spend an evening with this issue.

John Tanton

Editor and Publisher

About the author

John Tanton is Editor and Publisher of The Social Contract and founder of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His personal website is