Book Review of 'The Camp of the Saints' by Jean Raspail

By Carol Joyal
Volume 10, Number 4 (Summer 2000)
Issue theme: "Liberals and immigration reform - can they be recruited?"

In 1973, France saw the original publication of The Camp of the Saints, a novel about the perils of third-world overpopulation taking over the wealthy first-world nations. It was translated into several languages, including English, in 1975. One hundred rusty, dilapidated boats leave India crammed with starving would-be immigrants. Indians, like so many other third-world citizens, are desperate and bitter about their lives. The first worlders know the boats are en route to France, yet they make little effort to prevent the ships from landing. The French citizens feel guilty for having so many material goods and empathize with the miserable, starving masses.

The liberal press, churches and students have helped instill a sense of guilt. The people don't have the will to defend and preserve their culture. Many French try to flee to Switzerland. Leaders of first-world countries watch the progress of the rickety boats and cannot muster the political will to prevent invasions. The new politically correct statement is 'We are all from the Ganges now.' The success of the Indian boats encourages millions of Third Worlders to take over other Western nations. The reader is given a glimpse of what happens in New York City.

Though the author considered his work a parable, it seems to be a prophecy. Population is increasing, the rusty freighters are arriving and we do not have the political will to control our borders.

The mainstream liberal press condemned Jean Raspail's book as racist, a tirade and preposterous, but such remarks only appeared to increase sales figures. The Atlantic Monthly called it 'one of the most disturbing novels of the late twentieth century' in a December 1994 review. The Social Contract Press reprinted the book in 1994, and used on its cover a photo of the Golden Venture passengers gathered on the beach in Queens, New York, in 1993. The author has written 19 other books including Seven Horsemen.

About the author

Carol Joyal is on the staff of 'Immigration News' published by the Greater (San Francisco) Bay Area Coalition for Immigration Reform.