You’ll find novelist Jack Kerouac’s familiar words “On the Road” leading off our October issue. To us, the road has two separate and distinct destinations. In our Dossier section, we cover the plight of migrant workers worldwide, while in American Snapshot section we examine aspects of American foreign policy as the United States prepares to go to the polls in an electoral battle that pits sitting President Barack Obama against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The mention of Kerouac is hardly incidental, not with the release of Walter Salles’ recent film that attempts to recreate the seminal novel that suggests the idea of travel as a geographical form of self-discovery.
Westerners tend to see travel that way, as an inner journey. But for others, “On the Road” has a far more arduous meaning. That’s what led us to unite dramatically different themes under one headline that possesses both literal and symbolic significance. Our “America Votes” section doesn’t so much address the candidates as it does where American might be headed in terms of its European and eastern ties.
We open with a piece by acclaimed academic James Walston, who focuses on U.S. relations with the EU. Astrit Dakli probes how Washington is dealing with the Caucuses while Farian Sabahi examines the volatile Middle East, as does Maria Cuffaro in her editorial. Meanwhile, Giuliana Sgrena takes stock of America’s Afghanistan woes while Paola Caridi looks into the Israeli-Palestine question. Closing out the special section is a report by Jonas Parello-Plesner, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Our Dossier section is titled “The Migrant Plight” and begins with a probing report by Francesco Guarascio, who suggests fears of a European migrant “invasion” are overstated. The “Inner Voices” column belongs to Davide Rubini, who works in Brussels with Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil. He tells of a year spent in Stavanger, an appropriate story since we can all be migrants, whatever our destination. The Chinese, for example, are flooding into Africa, as Lia Quartapelle notes. Then there’s reverse migration, with people leaving Spain to escape the economic downturn, as chronicled by Flavio Fusi.
Regarding the future of Europe, we offer a penetrating essay by Giuseppe Scognamiglio, who attempts to lay out just what the European Central Bank needs to do to keep the European monetary union afloat.
Our photo essay, “Fortress Europe,” contains images by Giovanni Cocco for the VII Agency. Cocco traveled to two borders, between Turkey and Greece, and Spain and Morocco, to document the status of would-be immigrants.
We offer our usual columns: Roberto Santaniello’s Western Shore and Stefano Bottoni’s Eastern Shore, which offer insights into EU policy. Manuela Dviri adds her Notes from Tel Aviv. You’ll also find Francesca Lancini’s That’s Incredible and Carlotta Magnanini’s By the Numbers.
We remind readers that they can find east at both newsstands and in bookstores, but that print or PDF subscription are available at the website or by filling out the form inside this issue. East is a great Christmas gift, so why not send a subscription to friends and family? The holidays are just around the corner. Why not take advantage of them?