Category Archives: Uncategorized

Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
320 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9780374537449
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Crime and Punishment in Black America

James Forman Jr.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Longlisted for the National Book Award

“Forman has written a masterly account of how a generation of black elected officials wrestled with recurring crises of violence and drug use in the nation’s capital.”

The New York Times Book Review

In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman Jr. points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

James Forman Jr

© Harold Shapiro

James Forman Jr. is a professor of law at Yale Law School. He has written for The New York TimesThe Atlantic, numerous law reviews, and other publications. A former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, he spent six years as a public defender in Washington, D.C., where he co-founded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.

Unwarranted

Unwarranted

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Paperback
448 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-53745-6

Policing Without Permission

Barry Friedman

“An important book about the 21st-century rules of engagement for counter-terrorism, police work, surveillance and crime prevention.”

—Matt Welch, The Wall Street Journal

In June 2013, documents leaked by Edward Snowden sparked widespread debate about secret government surveillance of Americans. Just over a year later, the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, set off protests and triggered concern about militarization of law enforcement and discriminatory policing. In Unwarranted, Barry Friedman argues that these two seemingly disparate events are connected—and that the problem is not so much the policing agencies as it is the rest of us. We allow these agencies to operate in secret and to decide how to police us, rather than calling the shots ourselves. Unwarranted tells the stories of ordinary people whose lives were torn apart by policing—by the methods of cops on the beat and those of the FBI and NSA. Driven by technology, policing has changed dramatically. Once, cops sought out bad guys; today, increasingly militarized forces conduct wide surveillance on all of us. Friedman captures the eerie new environment in which CCTV, location tracking, and predictive policing have made suspects of us all, while proliferating SWAT teams and increased use of force have put everyone’s property and lives at risk. Policing falls particularly heavily on minority communities and the poor, but as Unwarranted makes clear, the effects of policing are much broader still. Policing is everyone’s problem. Police play an indispensable role in our society. But our failure to supervise them has left us all in peril. Unwarranted is a critical, timely intervention into debates about policing, a call to take responsibility for governing those who govern us.

Barry Friedman

© Stocks Photography

Barry Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the director of the Policing Project. He is the author of The Will of the People. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, and The New Republic, among other publications. He lives in New York City.

Climate of Hope

Climate of Hope

St. Martin’s Press
Paperback
272 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250142085

How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet

Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

“A smart new book.”

—Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

The 2016 election left many people who are concerned about the environment fearful that progress on climate change would come screeching to a halt. But not Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope. Bloomberg, an entrepreneur and former mayor of New York City, and Pope, a lifelong environmental leader, approach climate change from different perspectives, yet they arrive at similar conclusions. Without agreeing on every point, they share a belief that cities, businesses, and citizens can lead—and win—the battle against climate change, no matter which way the political winds in Washington may shift. In Climate of Hope, Bloomberg and Pope offer an optimistic look at the challenge of climate change, the solutions they believe hold the greatest promise, and the practical steps that are necessary to achieve them. Writing from their own experiences, and sharing their own stories from government, business, and advocacy, Bloomberg and Pope provide a road map for tackling the most complicated challenge the world has ever faced. Along the way, they turn the usual way of thinking about climate change on its head: from top down to bottom up, from partisan to pragmatic, from costs to benefits, from tomorrow to today, and from fear to hope.

Michael Bloomberg (C) Gregory Heisler

© Gregory Heisler

Carl Hope (c) Gregory Heisler

© Gregory Heisler

Michael Bloomberg is the founder of Bloomberg LP, a philanthropist, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, and three-term mayor of New York City. A passionate supporter of action on climate change, Bloomberg is involved in multiple climate efforts, including partnering with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.

Carl Pope is the principal adviser at Inside Straight Strategies, looking for the underlying economics that link sustainability and economic development. He serves as a Senior Climate Adviser to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is a member of the U.S.-India Track II Climate Diplomacy project of the Aspen Institute. Mr. Pope writes regularly for Bloomberg View and Huffington Post, and is the author of three books.

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Ants Among Elephants

Ants Among Elephants

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Hardcover
320 pages • $28.00
ISBN: 978-0-865-47811-4

An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India

Sujatha Gidla

“In this unsentimental, deeply poignant book, Sujatha Gidla gives us stories of her family and friends in India . . . Ants Among Elephants gives readers an unsettling and visceral understanding of how discrimination, segregation, and stereotypes have endured throughout the second half of the 20th century and today.”

—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times Book Review

Like one in six people in India, Sujatha Gidla was born an untouchable. While most untouchables are illiterate, her family was educated by Canadian missionaries in the 1930s, making it possible for Gidla to attend elite schools and move to America at the age of twenty-six. It was only then that she saw how extraordinary—and yet, how typical—her family history truly was. Her mother, Manjula, and uncles Satyam and Carey were born in the last days of British colonial rule. They grew up in a world marked by poverty and injustice, but also full of possibility. In the slums where they lived, everyone had a political side, and rallies, agitations, and arrests were commonplace. The Independence movement promised freedom. Yet for untouchables and other poor and working people, little changed. Page by page, Gidla takes us into a complicated, close-knit family as they desperately strive for a decent life and a more just society. A moving portrait of love, hardship, and struggle, Ants Among Elephants is also that rare thing: a personal history of modern India told from the bottom up.

© Nancy Crampton

Sujatha Gidla was born an untouchable in Andhra Pradesh, India. She studied physics at the Regional Engineering College, Warangal. Her writing has appeared in The Oxford India Anthology of Telugu Dalit Writing. She lives in New York and works as a conductor on the subway.

Notes on a Foreign Country

Notes on a Foreign Country

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Hardcover
288 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 9780374537838
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An American Abroad in a Post-American World

Suzy Hansen

“A deeply honest and brave portrait of an individual sensibility reckoning with her country’s violent role in the world . . . Hansen is doing something both rare and necessary.”

—Hisham Matar, The New York Times Book Review

In the wake of the September 11 attacks and the U.S.- led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul. Over the course of her many years of living in Turkey and traveling in Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries and their cultures and histories and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country— and herself, an American abroad in the era of American decline. It would take leaving her home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country and its people, and the experience of American power around the world. Blending memoir, journalism, and history, and deeply attuned to the voices of those she met on her travels, Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America’s place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation—a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of grave national and global turmoil.

© Kathy Ryan

Suzy Hansen is contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and has written for many other publications. In 2007, she was awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs to do research in Turkey. She currently lives in Istanbul.

Letters to a Young Muslim

Letters to a Young Muslim

Picador
Paperback
272 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-11985-8

Omar Saif Ghobash

“Ghobash encourages the reader to accept a modern, enlightened path that embraces diversity, not just within Islam but among all religions . . . It is this sort of wisdom that creates hope for a world in which people are smart enough to work together toward a common good rather than claw at one another while slowly sinking in quicksand.”

—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The New York Times Book Review

In a series of personal letters to his sons, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a short and highly readable manifesto that tackles our current global crisis with the training of an experienced diplomat and the personal responsibility of a father. Today’s young Muslims will be tomorrow’s leaders, and yet too many are vulnerable to extremist propaganda that seems omnipresent in our technological age. The burning question, Ghobash argues, is how moderate Muslims can unite to find a voice that is true to Islam while actively and productively engaging in the modern world. What does it mean to be a good Muslim? What is the concept of a good life? And is it acceptable to stand up and openly condemn those who take the Islamic faith and twist it to suit their own misguided political agendas? These letters serve as a clear-eyed inspiration for the next generation of Muslims to understand how to be faithful to their religion and still navigate through the complexities of today’s world. They also reveal an intimate glimpse into a world many are unfamiliar with and offer to provide an understanding of the everyday struggles Muslims face around the globe.

Ghobash, Omar Saif (c) Sigrid Estrada.jpg

© Sigrid Estrada

Omar Saif Ghobash is the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Russia. In addition to his post in Moscow, Ambassador Ghobash sponsors the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and founded the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in collaboration with the Booker Prize in London. Ambassador Ghobash studied law at Oxford and math at the University of London.

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I Was Told to Come Alone

I Was Told to Come Alone

St. Martin’s Griffin 
Paperback
368 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250180575
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My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad

Souad Mekhennet

“Much more than a book of journalism, admirable as hers is: it is a remarkable record of a Muslim woman struggling to understand those who kill in the name of her religion, and to explain their actions to the uncomprehending Western world to which she belongs.”

The Economist

In this compelling and evocative memoir, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post, journeys behind the lines of jihad—starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized, the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Mekhennet’s background has given her unique access to some of the world’s most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. Mekhennet—“a brave, resourceful, canny and tireless reporter” (The Washington Post)—is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines.

© Stocks Photography

© Ben Kilb

Souad Mekhennet is a correspondent for The Washington Post’s national security desk, and she has reported on terrorism for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, and NPR. She is the co-author of The Eternal Nazi, Children of Jihad, and Islam. She was a 2012 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and she is a visiting fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Policy at Harvard, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the Geneva Center for Security Policy.