Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Leah Platt Boustan

Leah Platt Boustan is professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her new book is Competition in the Promised Land: Black Migrants in Northern Cities and Labor Markets.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Boustan's reply:
Most of my reading these days is with my two kids. We especially enjoy Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence, A Young Artist in Harlem. The setting of the book, Harlem in the early 20th century, interests me because of my work on the Great Black Migration. My kids like the book because the illustrations are gorgeous, the colors are bright, almost as if Jacob Lawrence himself was the illustrator. And they like imagining that their art could blossom into a whole world.

I read a lot myself, usually before bed or at the gym. When I was nursing, I read 40 novels on my phone! The non-fiction book that has interested me the most recently is Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. Before the social insurance programs that we know today, like Social Security, many of which were established during the 1930s, some workers insured themselves against job loss and illness through ethnic organizations. When the border closed in the 1920s and immigration slowed down, these workers were more interested in turning to collective solutions, including looking toward the government.
Learn more about Competition in the Promised Land at the Princeton University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue