Book Review: ‘Migrants: The Story of Us All’ by Sam Miller

The Story of Us All – really!

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Migrants: The Story of Us All Book Cover
Migrants: The Story of Us All Book Cover

Book Title: Migrants: The Story of Us All
Author: Sam Miller
Publisher: Abacus
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-1408713532
Date Published: Feb. 2, 2023
Price: INR 782

Book Review

“Migrants: The Story of Us All,” by Sam Miller, offers a different perspective of the world in which migration is restored to the core of the human story. According to the book, people migrate for various reasons, including curiosity and a feeling of adventure, civil conflict, destitution, and climate change.

The author contends that humans are the most mobile animal, having colonized every continent except Antarctica not once but many times. The book calls into question the common belief that having a fixed residence and a lifelong nationality are natural as if they are part of the human situation. Instead, it implies that people have always been mobile.

In the first chapter, Sam Miller says, “It’s part of my being to travel to new places and meet people who aren’t like me,”. He writes about his decision to test his DNA. He is intrigued by the workings of a “curiosity” gene, an ancient genetic mutation known as DRD4-7R present in all human populations and among some genetic markers scientifically correlated to how far particular groups migrated from Africa in prehistoric migration.

The book’s primary emphasis, however, is the significance of migration to the human narrative, which Miller argues has become a contemporary proxy for other issues influencing our lives and thoughts, such as identity, faith, hope, diversity, inclusion, racism, and terrorism.

The book is written in the first person. This makes the book more interesting. Miller also discusses how migration plays an essential part in the struggle for contemporary India’s identity and the disagreements about that identity in India, where he lived for over a decade. The book additionally points out how history texts are written by sedentary people for sedentary people, thus naturally representing the nationalism of an established people.

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The migratory tales we were taught in school were frequently incorrect. The author studied and composed this book passionately, but his points don’t greatly enhance his short attempts to improve our understanding of migration.

One of the standing highlights of the book is the language, narration, and factful examples. This book is informative and intriguing at the same time. “Migrants: The Story of Us All” offers a thorough and perceptive summary of human movement history. It emphasizes the complicated reasons why people move and the effects migration has had on individuals and communities.

The Review was first published in Storizen Magazine March 2023 issue.