Tag Archives: Current Topics

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

MCD Books
Hardcover
208 pages • $25.00
ISBN: 9780374191337
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Paperback available in March 2020

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.

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

Picador
Paperback
336 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250062185
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An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

“In her timely, meticulously researched and well-written book, Kolbert combines scientific analysis and personal narratives to explain it to us. The result is a clear and comprehensive history of earth’s previous mass extinctions—and the species we’ve lost—and an engaging description of the extraordinarily complex nature of life. Most important, Kolbert delivers a compelling call to action.”

The New York Times Book Review

Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

© Barry Goldstein

Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

The Sixth Extinction has been adopted for 18 First-Year Experience programs at:

American University (DC); Colgate University (NY); Lafayette College (PA); Linfield College (OR); Occidental College (CA); Feather River College (CA); Millsaps College (MS); Montclair State University’s Presidential Scholars Program (NJ); NYU-Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Piedmont Virginia Community College; Rowan University (NJ); Saint Francis High School (CA); Stanford University (CA);  Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); University of Michigan – Flint; University of Vermont; Villanova University (PA); Williams College (MA)

Grace Will Lead Us Home

Grace Will Lead Us Home

St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover
320 pages • $28.99
ISBN: 9781250117762
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Paperback Available in June 2020

The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness

Jennifer Berry Hawes

“[A] soul-shaking chronicle of the 2015 Charleston massacre
and its aftermath . . . Hawes is so admirably steadfast in her commitment to bearing witness that one is compelled to consider the story she tells from every possible angle.”

The New York Times Book Review

On June 17, 2015, twelve members of the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, welcomed a young white man to their evening Bible study. He arrived with a pistol, 88 bullets, and hopes of starting a race war. Dylann Roof’s massacre of nine innocents during their closing prayer horrified the nation. Two days later, some relatives of the dead stood at Roof’s hearing and said, “I forgive you.” That grace offered the country a hopeful ending to an awful story. But for the survivors and victims’ families, the journey had just begun. In Grace Will Lead Us Home, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes provides a definitive account of the tragedy’s aftermath. With unprecedented access to the grieving families and other key figures, Hawes offers a nuanced and moving portrait of the events and emotions that emerged in the massacre’s wake. An unforgettable and deeply human portrait of grief, faith, and forgiveness, Grace Will Lead Us Home is the story of how, beyond the headlines, a community of people begins to heal.

Jennifer Berry Hawes

© Grace Beahm

Jennifer Berry Hawes writes for the Charleston-based Post and Courier, where she spent a decade covering religion and now works on a team that handles in-depth investigative reporting projects for the newspaper. Her work has won many honors including a Pulitzer Prize, a George Polk Award, a National Headliner Award, and a Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma. She lives in Charleston.

This Land is Our Land

This Land is Our Land

Farrar, Straus &Giroux
Hardcover
320 pages • $27.00
ISBN: 9781250112880
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Paperback Available in April 2020

An Immigrant’s Manifesto

Suketu Mehta

This Land is Our Land offers a meticulously researched and deeply felt corrective to the public narrative of who today’s migrants are, why they are coming, and what economic and historical forces have propelled them from their homes into faraway lands.”

—Lauren Markham, The New York Times Book Review

There are few subjects that prompt more discussion and rancor these days than immigration. In This Land Is Our Land, Suketu Mehta offers a reality-based polemic that vitally clarifies the debate. Drawing on his own experience as an Indian-born teenager growing up in New York City and on years of reporting around the globe, Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. As he explains, the West is being destroyed not by immigrants but by fear of immigrants. Ranging from Dubai to New York City, Mehta contrasts the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of laborers, domestic workers, and others. Throughout, Mehta shows why more people are on the move today than ever before. As civil strife and climate change reshape large parts of the planet, it is little surprise that borders have become so porous. But Mehta also stresses the destructive legacies of colonialism and global inequality in large swaths of the world: when today’s immigrants are asked, “Why are you here?” they can justly respond, “We are here because you were there.” And now that they are here, Mehta contends, they bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish. This Land Is Our Land is an urgent and necessary intervention, and a literary argument of the highest order.

Suketu Mehta

© Anya White

Suketu Mehta is the author of Maximum City, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Time, and GQ. He has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and an O. Henry Prize. He was born in Calcutta and lives in New York City, where he is an associate professor of journalism at New York University.

In the Dream House

In the Dream House

Graywolf Press
Hardcover
272 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
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A Memoir

Carmen Maria Machado

“Forget everything you think you know about memoir when reading Carmen Maria Machado’s brilliant, twisting, provocative entry in the genre.”

Nylon

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it’s that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope—the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado’s dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.

Carmen Maria Machado

© Art Streiber-August

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of  Her Body and Other Parties, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. She lives in Philadelphia with her wife.