Category Archives: Uncategorized

Give Us the Ballot

The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America

Ari Berman

Give Us the Ballot

Picador
Paperback
384 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-09472-8

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Nonfiction
A New York Times Notable Book of 2015
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2015
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015
An NPR Best Book of 2015

Ari Berman charts both the transformation of American democracy under the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and the counterrevolution that has sought to limit it from the moment the act was signed into law. The VRA is widely regarded as the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement, and yet—more than fifty years later—the battles over race, representation, and political power continue, as lawmakers devise new strategies to keep minorities out of the voting booth, while the Supreme Court has declared a key part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. Through meticulous research, in-depth interviews, and incisive on-the-ground reporting, Give Us the Ballot offers the first comprehensive history of its kind, and provides new insight into one of the most vital political and civil rights issues of our time.

Ari Berman.jpg

(c) Ports Bishop

Ari Berman is a political correspondent for The Nation and an investigative journalism Fellow at the Nation Institute. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times and Rolling Stone, and he is a frequent commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010. He lives in New York City.

Adnan’s Story

Adnan's Story

St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover
416 pages • $26.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-11984-1

The Search for Truth and Justice
After Serial

Rabia Chaudry

“Chaudry’s book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how media—particularly social media—came to play such a powerful role in this case . . . But it’s the mix of media skills and legal education that makes her book such an illuminating firsthand report from the front lines of social media change.”—The
Baltimore Sun

In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentences to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig’s investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners. But Serial did not tell the whole story. Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State’s case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys cell phone evidence—among many other points—and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan’s Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.

© Ayesha Ahmed Photography

Rabia Chaudry is an attorney, a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and a national security fellow at the New America Foundation. She is the co-host of Undisclosed, one of the top-ranked podcasts in the iTunes store. She is a frequent public speaker, and her writing has appeared in numerous outlets including Time, The Huffington Post, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Continue reading

Letters to a Young Muslim

Letters to a Young Muslim

Picador
Hardcover
272 pages • $22.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-11984-1

Omar Saif Ghobash

From the Ambassador of the UAE to Russia comes a bold and intimate exploration of what it means to be a Muslim in the twenty-first century.

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.

Continue reading

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

Flatiron Books
Hardcover
288 pages • $25.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-10599-8

One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival

Melissa Fleming

“I think Melissa Fleming is one of the most important people in the world. As the world’s foremost advocate for refugees, she has worked tirelessly to put a human face on the greatest crisis of our time. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea provides a portrait of the refugee crisis that cannot be matched by any amount of cable news coverage.”—Brandon Stanton, author of Humans of New York: Stories 

Melissa Fleming shares the harrowing journey of Doaa Al Zamel, a young Syrian refugee in search of a better life. Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt to flee for Europe, joining the ranks of the thousands of refugees who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean on overcrowded and run-down ships to seek asylum overseas and begin a new life. After four days at sea, their boat is sunk by another boat filled with angry men shouting threats and insults. With no land in sight and surrounded by bloated, floating corpses, Doaa is adrift with a child’s inflatable water ring around her waist, while two little girls cling to her neck. Doaa must stay alive for them. She must not lose strength. She must not lose hope.

© Alessandra Thomsen

Melissa Fleming is Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and one of the world’s experts on refugees. She is a frequent contributor for The New York TimesThe Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is her first book.

Walking to Listen

Walking to Listen

Bloomsbury
Hardcover
400 pages • $28.00
ISBN: 978-1-632-86700-1

4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time

Andrew Forsthoefel

A memoir of one young man’s coming of age on a cross-country trek—told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America.

At twenty-three, Andrew Forsthoefel walked out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read “Walking to Listen.” He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to being his adult life, but he didn’t know how. So he decided he’d walk. And listen. It would be a cross-country quest for guidance, and everyone he met would be his guide. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn’t know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself. Ultimately, it’s the stories of others living all along the roads of America that carry this journey and sing out in a hopeful, heartfelt book about how a life is made, and how our nation defines itself on the most human level.

Forsthoefel, Andrew, (c) Luke Forsthoefel.jpg

© Luke Forsthoefel

Andrew Forsthoefel is a writer, radio producer, and public speaker. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2011, he spent nearly a year walking across the United States. He first recounted part of that journey in a radio story featured on This American Life. He now facilitates workshops on walking and listening as practices in personal transformation, interconnection, and conflict resolution, and is currently based in Northampton, Massachusetts.

We Gon’ Be Alright

We Gon' Be Alright

Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-312-42948-5

Notes on Race and Resegregation

Jeff Chang

“If future generations ever need an account of America’s current, tumultuous moment, Chang’s book is a good place to start.”—Philip Eil, Salon

In these provocative, powerful essays, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.

© Jeremy Keith Villaluz

Jeff Chang is also the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Who We Be. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and the winner of the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He is the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.

White Rage

White Rage

Bloomsbury
Hardcover
256 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-632-86412-3

The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

Carol Anderson, Ph.D.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award                 in Criticism

“An extraordinarily timely and urgent call to confront the legacy of structural racism bequeathed by white anger and resentment, and to show its continuing threat to the promise of American democracy.”—The New York Times Book Review

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post showing that this was, instead, “white rage at work.” Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House. Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

© Dave Wetty @ Cloud Prime Photography

Carol Anderson, Ph.D. is professor of African American studies at Emory University. She is the author of many books and articles, including Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 and Eyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights: 1944-1955. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.