Tag Archives: america

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.

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.

We Gon’ Be Alright has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

American University (DC); Rhode Island School of Design

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.

Consequence

Consequence

Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover
256 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-627-79513-5

Paperback available in April 2017

A Memoir

Eric Fair

“An important personal perspective is now provided by Eric Fair’s candid and chilling new book, Consequence, which is at once an agonized confession of his own complicity as an interrogator at Abu Ghraib and an indictment of the system that enabled and tried to justify torture . . . [A] profoundly unsettling book.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 

Consequence is the story of Eric Fair, a kid who grew up in the shadows of crumbling Bethlehem Steel plants nurturing a strong faith and a belief that he was called to serve his country. It is a story of a man who chases his own demons from Egypt, where he served as an Army translator, to a detention center in Iraq, to seminary at Princeton, and eventually, to a heart transplant ward at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, after several months as an interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq, Fair’s nightmares take new forms: first, there had been the shrinking dreams; now the liquid dreams begin. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment, Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as “enhanced interrogation,” it is his desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Fair’s memoir is both a brave, unrelenting confession and a book that questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.

© Amy Cramer

Eric Fair an Army veteran, worked in Iraq as a contract interrogator in 2004. He won a Pushcart prize for his 2012 essay “Consequence,” which was published first in Ploughshares and then in Harper’s Magazine. His op-eds on interrogation have also been published in The Washington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Consequence has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Ethical Culture Fieldston Upper School (NY)
Continue reading

The Book of Isaias

The Book of Isaias

St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover
272 pages • $26.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-08306-7

A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America

Daniel Connolly

“The Book of Isaias is a compassionate and well-told tale from Tennessee. Daniel Connolly has placed his reporting muscles at the service of a hard-working Mexican family and their smart son, and borne witness to their noble struggles.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

In a green town in the middle of America, a bright 18-year-old Hispanic student named Isaias Ramos sets out on the journey to college. Isaias is the hope of Kingsbury High in Memphis, a school where many students have difficulty reading. But Kingsbury’s dysfunction, expensive college fees, and forms printed in a language that’s foreign to his parents are all obstacles in the way of getting him to a university. Isaias also doubts the value of college and says he might go to work in his family’s painting business after high school, despite his academic potential. Is Isaias making a rational choice? Or does he simply hope to avoid pain by deferring dreams that may not come to fruition? This is what journalist Daniel Connolly attempts to uncover in The Book of Isaias as he follows Isaias, peers into a tumultuous final year of high school, and, eventually, shows how adults intervene in the hopes of changing Isaias’s life. Every day, children of immigrants make decisions about their lives that will shape our society and economy for generations. This engaging, poignant book captures an American microcosm and illustrates broader challenges for our collective future.

© Jacobo Parra

Daniel Connolly has reported on Mexican immigration to the U.S. South for several news organizations, including the Associated Press and The Commercial Appeal (Memphis). The winner of numerous journalism prizes, he has received grants and fellowships from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Center for Journalists, and the Fulbright program. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Sellout

The Sellout

Picador
Paperback
304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-08325-8

A Novel

Paul Beatty

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize 

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

The Sellout is a comic masterpiece, but it’s much more
than just that—it’s one of the smartest and most honest reflections on race and identity in America in a very long time, written by an author who truly understands what it means to talk about the history of the country.”—NPR

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians. Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

Paul Beatty

© Hannah Assouline

Paul Beatty is the author of the novels TuffSlumberland, and The White Boy Shuffle, and the poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.