Tag Archives: social issues

In the Country We Love

In the Country We Love

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
272 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-13496-7 


En el país que amamos: Mi familia divida
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-62779-833-4

My Family Divided

Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford

“[Guerrero] writes frankly and affectingly about how she made her way on her own; she also shares fond memories of her family’s life together in America.”—The Washington Post 

Diane Guerrero, the television actress from the megahit Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career for herself, without the support system of her family. In the Country We Love is a moving, heartbreaking story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience in the face of the nightmarish struggles of undocumented residents in this country. There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., many of whom have citizen children, whose lives here are just as precarious, and whose stories haven’t been told. Written with bestselling author Michelle Burford, this memoir is a tale of personal triumph that also casts a much-needed light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families likes the author’s and on a system that fails them over and over.

© Stocks Photography

© Marcus Branch

Diane Guerrero is an actress on the hit shows Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. She volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center, as well as with Mi Familia Vota, an organization that promotes civic involvement. She has been named an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization by the White House. She lives in New York City.

Michelle Burford is a founding editor of  O, The Oprah Magazine and writer of many best-selling books including memoirs by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, singer Toni Braxton, and Cleveland kidnap survivor Michelle Knight.

In the Country We Love has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Bethel College; California State University – East Bay; Metropolitan State University of Denver

White Rage

White Rage

Bloomsbury
Paperback
304 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 978-1-632-86413-0

The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

Carol Anderson

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

“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 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

Locking Up Our Own

Locking Up Our Own

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover
320 pages • $27.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-18997-6

Crime and Punishment in Black America

James Forman Jr.

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
Hardcover
448 pages • $28.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-28045-1

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.

Thank You for Your Service

Thank You for Your Service

Picador
Paperback
272 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-12146-2

David Finkel

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

A New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award Finalist

“The stories of the soldiers and their families portrayed in Thank You for Your Service possess a visceral and deeply affecting power on their own that will haunt readers long after they have finished this book.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, Finkel shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous “surge,” a grueling fifteen-month tour of Baghdad that changed all of them forever. In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel follows many of those same men as they return home and struggle to reintegrate—both into their family lives and into American society at large. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done. This book is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?

David Finkel © Lucian Perkins

© Lucian Perkins

David Finkel is the award-winning author of The Good Soldiers. A staff writer for The Washington Post, he is also the leader of the Post’s national reporting team. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2006, and the MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2012. Finkel lives in Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.

Thank You For Your Service has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Adelphi University (NY); Louisiana State University, Ogden Honors College; University of Delaware

Blackballed

Blackballed

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
288 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-13154-6

The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses

Lawrence Ross

“Racism, Ross argues, has been a fact of life for black students on predominantly white campuses for nearly 200 years . . . [Ross] calls for efforts to make campuses more welcoming to black students, increases in the numbers of black students and faculty members, reform of the Greek system, and far more diversity training for all members of the campus community.”

—The Washington Post

“College” is a word that means many things to many people: a space for knowledge, a place to gain lifelong friends, and an opportunity to transcend one’s socioeconomic station. Today, though, this word also recalls a slew of headlines that have revealed a dark and persistent world of racial politics on campus. Does this association disturb our idealized visions of what happens behind the ivied walls of higher learning? It should—because campus racism on college campuses is as American as college football on Fall Saturdays.

Blackballed is a book that rips the veil off America’s hidden secret: America’s colleges have fostered a racist environment that makes them a hostile space for African American students. It exposes the white fraternity and sorority system, with traditions of racist parties, songs, and assaults on black students; and the universities themselves, who name campus buildings after racist men and women. It also takes a deep dive into anti-affirmative action policies, and how they effectively segregate predominately white universities, providing ample room for white privilege. A bold mix of history and the current climate, Blackballed is a call to action for universities to make radical changes to their policies and standards to foster a better legacy for all students.

© Jeff Lewis Photography

Lawrence Ross is a bestselling author, lecturer, writer, filmmaker, social media and consumer trends expert. He is the author of The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities and has written regular pieces for CNN, The Grio, The Root, Ebony, and USA Today. He lives in Westchester, California.

A Murder Over a Girl

A Murder Over a Girl

Picador
Paperback
288 pages • $27.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-11815-8

Justice, Gender, Junior High

Ken Corbett

“Corbett’s relentlessly open mind is rewarding for the reader. His compassion, in the end, leads him to places he did not expect to go.”

—The New York Times Book Review

On Feb. 12, 2008, at E. O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, California, fourteen-year-old Brandon McInerney shot and killed his classmate, Larry King, who had recently begun to call himself “Leticia” and wear makeup and jewelry to school. Profoundly shaken by the news, and unsettled by media coverage that sidestepped the issues of gender identity and of race integral to the case, psychologist Ken Corbett traveled to Los Angeles to attend the trial. As visions of victim and perpetrator were woven and unwoven in the theater of the courtroom, a haunting picture emerged not only of the two young teenagers, but also of spectators altered by an atrocity and of a community that had unwittingly gestated a murder. Drawing on firsthand observations, extensive interviews and research, as well as on his decades of academic work on gender and sexuality, Corbett holds each murky facet of this case up to the light, exploring the fault lines of memory and the lacunae of uncertainty behind facts. Deeply compassionate, and brimming with wit and acute insight, A Murder Over a Girl is a riveting and stranger-than-fiction drama of the human psyche.

© Matthu Placek

Ken Corbett is Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He maintains a private practice in New York City and consults internationally. His writings and interviews about gender, sexuality, art, and psychotherapy appear in academic journals as well as in magazines, newspapers, websites, and on television.