Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success

The Common Read is part of Harris’ commitment to diversity and inclusion and Harris’ shared belief that it is essential that future policymakers be given the opportunity to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of people who have been marginalized. All incoming students are expected to participate in the Common Read

The main goal is simple – to have all incoming students collectively share in a single learning experience while gaining an appreciation for diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and individual stories that not only impacts how we work together as classmates, but how we view the world as future policymakers. As you read through the book, read with a critical lens and explore policy issues that come to light. The Common Read is carefully selected by our Orientation Leaders in consultation with the Diversity and Inclusion Office.

Common Read 2023: Streets of Gold: America's Untold Story of Immigrant Success

The 2023 Harris Common Read selection combines striking storytelling with innovative data analysis to reimagine the histories—and futures—of immigration in the United States. Authors Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan offer readers a critical framework in interpreting how the “golden era” of immigration compares to current times, and how immigrant success continues to shape the lives of U.S. born citizens for the better.  

This framework aims to debunk common misconceptions, frequently upheld in political and nationalistic discourse, by providing substantial evidence that elicits four conclusions. First, the authors show how children of immigrants often do better economically than U.S. born citizens. Second, the authors prove how immigrants rapidly assimilate to the U.S., both culturally and socially. Third, the authors illuminate how immigrants improve the landscape of the U.S. economy. Lastly, the authors demonstrate how anti-immigration policy can harm the economic interests of U.S. citizens. 

A Forbes’ Best Business Book of 2022, Streets of Gold: America’s Untold Story of Immigrant Success provides readers with grounded research, unparalleled perspectives, and a meticulous vision for change agents who work at the intersection of immigration and policy.

Common Read Lecture

The Common Read Lecture will allow the Harris community to engage directly with the policy issues presented by the Common Read.  The program will feature a panel of scholars and practitioners who dive into the polis issues brought to light by this year's Common Read.

Polis Breakout: Common Read Discussion

In addition to the Common Read Lecture you will also engage in small group discussions on the Common Read along side your Polis. These breakouts will be a great opportunely to reflect upon the policy issues presented in the Common Read and dive into how it has influenced your view of the world as a future policymaker.

Past Year's Common Read

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (2022)

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (2021)

What the Eyes Don't See (2020)

Just Mercy (2019)

The South Side (2018)

High Rise Stories (2017)