What We Are Reading Today: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

Updated 10 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

The Ungrateful Refugee is a clarion call for human dignity, especially for those who have been forced from their home countries.

Author Dina Nayeri details her experience fleeing Iran as a child and ties it to several other refugees’ stories — people who fled persecution and certain death to give themselves and their families a better life.

Nayeri “tears the flimsy distinction between ‘economic migrant’ and ‘refugee’ to shreds as she argues for a common humanity no matter the circumstances and reveals callous and inhumane Western attitudes and policies toward immigrants,” said a review in goodreads.com.

The Ungrateful Refugee “is a blend of memoir and nonfiction that recounts Nayeri’s experiences as a young refugee, with additional narratives from other refugees from Iran who looked to Europe and the US as safe havens only to go through years of brutal hardship and callous bureaucracy,” added the review.

“It should come as no surprise that this book is full of righteous anger at the way refugees are treated by the Western world. This is absolutely a book for our times.”


What We Are Reading Today: The Puritans: A Transatlantic History by David D. Hall

Updated 21 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Puritans: A Transatlantic History by David D. Hall

This book is a sweeping transatlantic history of Puritanism from its emergence out of the religious tumult of Elizabethan England to its founding role in the story of America. 

Shedding critical new light on the diverse forms of Puritan belief and practice in England, Scotland, and New England, David Hall provides a multifaceted account of a cultural movement that judged the Protestant reforms of Elizabeth’s reign to be unfinished. Hall’s vivid and wide-ranging narrative describes the movement’s deeply ambiguous triumph under Oliver Cromwell, its political demise with the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, and its perilous migration across the Atlantic to establish a “perfect reformation” in the New World.

A breathtaking work of scholarship by an eminent historian, The Puritans examines the tribulations and doctrinal dilemmas that led to the fragmentation and eventual decline of Puritanism. It presents a compelling portrait of a religious and political movement that was divided virtually from the start.

In England, some wanted to dismantle the Church of England entirely and others were more cautious, while Puritans in Scotland were divided between those willing to work with a troublesome king and others insisting on the independence of the state church.

Related