Still Believing in the Dream

Still Believing in the Dream

Still the Promised City?:
African-Americans and New Immigrants in Postindustrial New York
by Roger Waldinger.
Harvard University Press: 1996. 374 pp. $35.00.

Last January a report by New York’s Department of City Planning verified what most New Yorkers already knew: immigrants from an extraordinary variety of nations continue to pour into the city in numbers not seen since early in the century. Marking the occasion with a ceremony on Ellis Island, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani made it clear that he considers this to be very good news, something it is hard to imagine a Republican mayor doing in any other city. That day a reporter from one of the television networks called me with some now familiar questions: how can New York, whose economy is far from booming, continue to absorb so many newcomers? Are there really jobs for all of them? And if new immigrants, many unskilled, can manage to find work in postindustrial New York, why is it that so many native blacks and Puerto Ricans cannot?

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