The Wherewithal of Life: Ethics, Migration, and the Question of Wellbeing


“The Wherewithal of Life provides a beautiful account of three remarkable stories. Reading this book transported me, in ways that few academic texts can, into other life-worlds, into the places where Emmanuel, Roberto and Ibrahim’s lives played out, into moments of rupture, transformation and rebirth, right into the messiness, tragedy and romance of their biographies … Their stories are the stuff of page-turning fiction; intense periods of suffering and entrapment find their resolution in the chanciest of encounters. Jackson allows the men to speak for themselves, providing pages of verbatim narrative in which they describe events in their lives and consider their significance. Jackson fades into the background, offering only analytical nibbles to guide the life-stories and providing some color to the men’s words, describing the flow of conversation during the interviews. Jackson’s insightful analysis is woven into the life-stories, his thesis permeating the whole text. Consequently, and much to the anguish of the time-pressed undergraduate, the reader cannot skip chapters, skim the introduction, or use the index to locate relevant sections. This is a book to be read in full, a thoughtfully composed monograph that merits two-hundred-and-thirty pages of your time.”  - Luke de Noronha