Tag Archives: Current Topics

We Are the Weather

We Are the Weather

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Hardcover
288 pages • $25.00
ISBN: 9780374280000
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Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Jonathan Safran Foer

“Jonathan Safran Foer’s second book of nonfiction is an eye-opening collection of mostly short essays expressing both despair and hope over the climate crisis, especially around individual choice.”

The New York Times Book Review

Some people reject the fact, overwhelmingly supported by scientists, that our planet is warming because of human activity. But do those of us who accept the reality of human-caused climate change truly believe it? If we did, surely we would be roused to act on what we know. Will future generations distinguish between those who didn’t believe in the science of global warming and those who said they accepted the science but failed to change their lives in response? In We Are the Weather, Jonathan Safran Foer explores the central global dilemma of our time in a surprising, deeply personal, and urgent new way. The task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves—with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Only collective action will save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat—and don’t eat—for breakfast.

Jonathan Safran Foer

© Jeff Mermelstein

Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Here I Am, and of the nonfiction book Eating Animals. His work has received numerous awards and has been translated into thirty-six languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

We Are the Weather has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Lenoir-Rhyne University (NC)

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The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez

Picador
Paperback
432 pages • $20.00
ISBN: 9781250251237
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A Border Story

Aaron Bobrow-Strain

The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez is an illuminating work of literature, not an ideological tract.”

—Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times Book Review

When Aida Hernandez was born in 1987 in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the nearby U.S. border was little more than a worn-down fence. Eight years later, Aida’s mother took her and her siblings to live in Douglas, Arizona. By then, the border had become one of the most heavily policed sites in America. Undocumented, Aida fought to make her way. She learned English, watched Friends, and, after having a baby at sixteen, dreamed of teaching dance and moving with her son to New York City. But life had other plans. Following a misstep that led to her deportation, Aida found herself in a Mexican city marked by violence, in a country that was not hers. To get back to the United States and reunite with her son, she embarked on a harrowing journey. The daughter of a rebel hero from the mountains of Chihuahua, Aida has a genius for survival—but returning to the United States was just the beginning of her quest. Taking us into detention centers, immigration courts, and the inner lives of Aida and other daring characters, The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez reveals the human consequences of militarizing what was once a more forgiving border. With emotional force and narrative suspense, Aaron Bobrow-Strain brings us into the heart of a violently unequal America. He also shows us that the heroes of our current immigration wars are less likely to be perfect paragons of virtue than complex, flawed human beings who deserve justice and empathy all the same.

Bobrow-Strain, Aaron by Hana Bobrow-Strain

© Hana Bobrow-Strain

Aaron Bobrow-Strain is a professor of politics at Whitman College, where he teaches courses dealing with food, immigration, and the U.S.-Mexico border. His writing has appeared in The Believer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Salon, and Gastronomica. He is the author of White Bread and Intimate Enemies. In the 1990s, he worked on the U.S.-Mexico border as an activist and educator. He is a founding member of the Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition in Washington State.

Don’t Label Me

Don't Label Me

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
320 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250182852
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An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times

Irshad Manji

“Profound and nuanced . . . [A] jubilantly intelligent and quintessentially human and optimistic book, one that is fundamentally important in a dangerously polarized and divided time.”

The Toronto Star

In these United States, discord has hit emergency levels. Civility isn’t the reason to repair our caustic chasms. Diversity is. Don’t Label Me shows that America’s founding genius is diversity of thought, which is why social justice activists won’t win by labeling those who disagree with them. At a time when minorities are fast becoming the majority, a truly new America requires a new way to tribe out. Enter Irshad Manji and her dog, Lily. Raised to believe that dogs are evil, Manji overcame her fear of the “other” to adopt Lily. She got more than she bargained for. Defying her labels as an old, blind dog, Lily engages Manji in a taboo-busting conversation about identity, power, and politics. They’re feisty. They’re funny. And in working through their challenges to one another, they reveal how to open the hearts of opponents for the sake of enduring progress. Readers who crave concrete tips will be delighted. Studded with insights from epigenetics and epistemology, layered with the lessons of Bruce Lee, Ben Franklin, and Audre Lorde, punctuated with stories about Manji’s own experiences as a refugee from Africa, a Muslim immigrant to the U.S., and a professor of moral courage, Don’t Label Me makes diversity great again.

“Why do diversity initiatives so often fail or backfire? Because we’ve been doing diversity wrong. Irshad Manji shows us a different way to think about identity; one that is humble, loving, humane, and therefore likely to work for many more people. In a time of rising national polarization and distrust, Don’t Label Me is among the most important books for Americans to read now.”Jonathan Haidt, New York University Stern School of Business, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind 

Irshad Manji

© Rene Clement

Recipient of Oprah Winfrey’s first Chutzpah Award for boldness, Irshad Manji is the founder of Moral Courage College, which teaches people how to do the right thing in the face of fear. She is also the Director for Courage, Curiosity, and Character at Let Grow, a nonprofit promoting independence and resilience in kids. A prize-winning professor, Manji currently lectures with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights. She lives in New York.

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White Rage

White Rage

Bloomsbury
Paperback
304 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781632864130
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The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

Carol Anderson

With a New Afterword by the Author
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“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, Editor’s Choice

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 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.

White Rage has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

The University of Northern Iowa

Somewhere in the Unknown World

Somewhere in the Unknown World

Metropolitan Books
Paperback
272 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9781250296856
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A Collective Refugee Memoir

Kao Kalia Yang

Available in October 2020

Back in the 1980s, Minnesota’s University Avenue was barely clinging to life. Lined with church thrift stores, boarded windows, and prostitutes leaning against streetlights, the sidewalks were thick with bloody, discarded needles. Today, University Avenue is a bustling commercial center, a hub of Halal butchers, Mexican carnicerias, grocery stores selling delicacies to new arrivals from Ethiopia and Bosnia, Iraq and China. A dying strip of America has been revived by the stateless. As the country’s doors are closing and nativism is on the rise, Kao Kalia Yang—herself a refugee from Laos—set out to tell the stories of the refugees to whom University Avenue is now home. Here are people who have summoned the energy and determination to make a new life even as they carry an extraordinary burden of hardship, loss, and emotional damage: Irina, an ex-Soviet, who still hoards magical American fruit—bananas!—under her bed; the Thai brothers of Vinai and their business selling purified water to gullible immigrants; the Kareni boys, who have brought Minnesota to basketball glory. In Yang’s exquisite, poetic, and necessary telling, the voices of refugees from all over the world restore humanity to America’s strangers and redeem its long history of welcome.

Kao Kalia Yang (c) Shee Yang

© Shee Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is the author of The Song Poet, which received the 2017 Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, and the PEN USA Literary Award. Her book The Latehomecomer also received the Minnesota Book Award. Yang, a regular contributor to NPR’s On Belief, lives in Minneapolis.

Factfulness

Factfulness

Flatiron Books
Paperback
352 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 9781250123824
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Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Hans Rosling
with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.”

—Former U.S. President Barack Obama

When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. In Factfulness, Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future.

Hans Rosling was a medical doctor, professor of international health and renowned public educator. He was an adviser to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and co-founded Médecins sans Frontières in Sweden and the Gapminder Foundation. His TED talks have been viewed more than 35 million times, and he was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Hans died in 2017.

Ola Rosling  and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans’s son and daughter-in-law, are co-founders of the Gapminder Foundation. They have both received international awards for their work.

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

The University of South Carolina; Stockton University (NJ); Skidmore College (NY); Fresno State University (CA); Pennsylvania State University – New Kensington; Bellarmine University (KY)

When They Call You a Terrorist

When They Call You a Terrorist

St. Martin’s Press
Paperback
288 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 9781250306906
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A Black Lives Matter Memoir

Patrisse Khan-Cullors & asha bandele

With a foreword by Angela Davis

When They Call You a Terrorist is more than just a reflection on the American criminal justice system. It’s a call to action for readers to change a culture that allows for violence against people of color.”

Time

From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a powerful memoir, part personal history, part equal rights movement. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’s story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Patrisse, along with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi—the other leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement—have been regularly called terrorists and a serious threat to America; recently, a petition asked the White House to label the Black Lives Matter movement as a “terrorist group.” But in truth, they are loving, courageous women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.

Patrisse Khan-Cullors (c) Curtis Moore

© Curtis Moore

asha bandele (c) Michael Hnatov Photography

© Michael Hnatov Photography

Patrisse Khan-Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, California. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, public speaker, and the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize recipient.

asha bandele is the award-winning author of The Prisoner’s Wife and four other works. Honored for her work in journalism and activism, asha is a mother, a former senior editor at Essence, and a senior director at the Drug Policy Alliance.

When They Call You a Terrorist has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

University of Richmond; Northern Illinois University; East Los Angeles College (CA)

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Automating Inequality

Automating Inequality

Picador
Paperback
288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250215789
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How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Virginia Eubanks

Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award

“Riveting (an accomplishment for a book on technology and policy). Its argument should be widely circulated, to poor people, social service workers and policymakers, but also throughout the professional classes. Everyone needs to understand that technology is no substitute for justice.”

The New York Times Book Review

Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health, and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems—rather than humans—control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor. In Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In the process, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values.

Virginia Eubanks

© Sadaf Rassoul Cameron

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Digital Dead End and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. Today, she is a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, New York.

The Stressed Years of Their Lives

The Stressed Years of Their Lives

St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover
336 pages • $28.99
ISBN: 9781250113139
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Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years

B. Janet Hibbs, Ph.D., M.F.T and Anthony Rostain, M.D., M.A.

“I can think of no better guide than The Stressed Years of
Their Lives for overwhelmed parents and stressed-out kids for navigating these turbulent times. This is required reading for the college set.”

—Brigid Schulte, author of The New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed

With campus hazards like binge drinking and sexual assault making routine headlines and the skyrocketing rate of college mental health problems, parents are rightly concerned about “letting go.” The transitional years of late adolescence and young adulthood are a time when mood disorders, substance abuse, and other serious mental health challenges emerge. When family psychologist Dr. Hibbs’s own son came home from college mired in a dangerous depressive spiral, she turned to Dr. Rostain, a nationally recognized expert in child and adolescent psychiatry. He understands the arcane rules governing privacy and parental involvement in students’ mental health care on college campuses—the same rules that sometimes hold parents back from getting good care for their kids. Now these two doctors have combined their expertise in adolescent and young adult mental health care. From their years of clinical and personal experience, they have assembled a practical and compassionate guide for every parent of a college or college-bound student who wants to know what’s normal, what’s not, and how to help and intervene before it’s too late.

B Janet Hibbs

© Michael David Robinson

Anthony Rostain

© University of Pennsylvania

B. Janet Hibbs, Ph.D., M.F.T. has held faculty positions for more than 15 years in graduate programs for psychologists and marital and family therapists. She is the author of Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage.

Anthony Rostain, M.D., M.A. is a nationally-recognized expert in child and adolescent psychiatry, and a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Losing Earth

9780374191337_FC

Picador
Paperback
224 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250251251
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A Recent History
Nathaniel Rich

“A gripping piece of history . . . Rich’s writing is compelling and clear, even as he lays out details of 1980s international environmental policy.”

—NPR

By 1979, we knew nearly everything we understand today about climate change—including how to stop it. Over the next decade, a handful of scientists, politicians, and strategists, led by two unlikely heroes, risked their careers in a desperate, escalating campaign to convince the world to act before it was too late. Losing Earth is their story, and ours. The New York Times Magazine devoted an entire issue to Nathaniel Rich’s
groundbreaking chronicle of that decade, which became an instant journalistic phenomenon—the subject of news coverage, editorials, and conversations all over the world. In its emphasis on the lives of the people who grappled with the great existential threat of our age, it made vivid the moral dimensions of our shared plight. Now expanded into book form, Losing Earth tells the human story of climate change in even richer, more intimate terms. It reveals, in previously unreported detail, the birth of climate denialism and the genesis of the fossil fuel industry’s coordinated effort to thwart climate policy through misinformation propaganda and political influence. The book carries the story into the present day, wrestling with the long shadow of our past failures and asking crucial questions about how we make sense of our past, our future, and ourselves. Like John Hersey’s Hiroshima and Jonathan Schell’s The Fate of the Earth, Losing Earth is the rarest of achievements: a riveting work of dramatic history that articulates a moral framework for understanding how we got here, and how we must go forward.

Nathaniel Rich

© Meredith Angelson

Nathaniel Rich is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and his essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, Rolling Stone, and The Daily Beast. He is also the author of three novels—King Zeno, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor’s Tongue—and a book about film noir, San Francisco Noir: The City in Film Noir from 1940 to the Present. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and young son.