Sociology

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land

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$15.95

The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn't stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all. Accomack was desolate--there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning.

"One of the year's best and most unusual true-crime books" (Christian Science Monitor), American Fire brings to vivid life the reeling county of Accomack. "Ace reporter" (Entertainment Weekly) Monica Hesse spent years investigating the story, emerging with breathtaking portraits of the arsonists--troubled addict Charlie Smith and his girlfriend, Tonya Bundick. Tracing the shift in their relationship from true love to crime spree, Hesse also conjures the once-thriving coastal community, decimated by a punishing economy and increasingly suspicious of their neighbors as the culprits remained at large. Weaving the story into the history of arson in the United States, the critically acclaimed American Fire re-creates the anguished nights this quiet county lit up in flames, evoking a microcosm of rural America--a land half-gutted before the fires began.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781631494512
Publication Date: 
2018-05-22
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Are Prisons Obsolete

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$11.95
With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly, the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable.
In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781583225813
Publication Date: 
2003-08-05
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Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

$27.00
James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In our own moment, when that confrontation feels more urgently needed than ever, what can we learn from his struggle?

"In the midst of an ugly Trump regime and a beautiful Baldwin revival, Eddie Glaude has plunged to the profound depths and sublime heights of Baldwin's prophetic challenge to our present-day crisis."--Cornel West

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude Jr., in a moment when the struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the election of Donald Trump, a president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. From Charlottesville to the policies of child separation at the border, his administration turned its back on the promise of Obama's presidency and refused to embrace a vision of the country shorn of the insidious belief that white people matter more than others.

We have been here before: For James Baldwin, these after times came in the wake of the civil rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.

In the story of Baldwin's crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography--drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews--with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude's endeavor, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780525575320
Publication Date: 
2020-06-30
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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

"[Caste] should be at the top of every American's reading list."--Chicago Tribune

"As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power--which groups have it and which do not."

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593230251
Publication Date: 
2020-08-04
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CHAIN (P)

$15.99

On the production line in American packinghouses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Under pressure to increase supply, the supervisors of meat processing plants have routinely accelerated production, leading to inhumane conditions, increased accidents, and food of questionable, often dangerous quality. In The Chain, acclaimed journalist Ted Genoways uses the story of Hormel Foods and its most famous product, Spam--a recession-era staple--to probe the state of the meatpacking industry, from Minnesota to Iowa and Nebraska. Interviewing scores of line workers, union leaders, hog farmers, and local politicians and activists, Genoways reveals an industry pushed to its breaking point.

A searching expose in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, Rachel Carson, and Eric Schlosser, The Chain is a mesmerizing story and an urgent warning about the hidden costs of the food we eat.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780062288769
Publication Date: 
2015-10-20
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COLOR OF LAW (P)

$14.36
$17.95
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New York Times Bestseller - Notable Book of the Year - Editors' Choice Selection
One of Bill Gates' "Amazing Books" of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly's 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Hillman Prize for Nonfiction
Gold Winner - California Book Award (Nonfiction)
Finalist - Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
Finalist - Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize

This "powerful and disturbing history" exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).

ISBN/SKU: 
9781631494536
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

$18.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE - NAMED ONE OF TIME'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE - One of the most acclaimed books of our time, this modern classic "has set a new standard for reporting on poverty" (Barbara Ehrenreich, The New York Times Book Review).

In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as "wrenching and revelatory" (The Nation), "vivid and unsettling" (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY President Barack Obama - The New York Times Book Review - The Boston Globe - The Washington Post - NPR - Entertainment Weekly - The New Yorker - Bloomberg - Esquire - BuzzFeed - Fortune - San Francisco Chronicle - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Politico - The Week - Chicago Public Library - BookPage - Kirkus Reviews - Library Journal - Publishers Weekly - Booklist - Shelf Awareness

WINNER OF: The National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction - The PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction - The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction - The Hillman Prize for Book Journalism - The PEN/New England Award - The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize

FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE AND THE KIRKUS PRIZE

"Evicted stands among the very best of the social justice books."--Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth

"Gripping and moving--tragic, too."--Jesmyn Ward, author of Salvage the Bones

"Evicted is that rare work that has something genuinely new to say about poverty."--San Francisco Chronicle

ISBN/SKU: 
9780553447453
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Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

$15.95
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."

Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Dr. Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." His many books include Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his autobiography, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.

Frank Barat is a human rights activist and author. He was the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and is now the president of the Palestine Legal Action Network. His books include Gaza in Crisis and Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781608465644
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How to Be an Antiracist

$18.90
$27.00
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning comes a "groundbreaking" (Time) approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society--and in ourselves.

"The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind."--The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - Time - NPR - The Washington Post - Shelf Awareness - Library Journal - Publishers Weekly - Kirkus Reviews

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism--and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas--from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities--that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Praise for How to Be an Antiracist

"Ibram X. Kendi's new book, How to Be an Antiracist, couldn't come at a better time. . . . Kendi has gifted us with a book that is not only an essential instruction manual but also a memoir of the author's own path from anti-black racism to anti-white racism and, finally, to antiracism. . . . How to Be an Antiracist gives us a clear and compelling way to approach, as Kendi puts it in his introduction, 'the basic struggle we're all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.' "--NPR

"Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. How to Be an Antiracist punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is--and what we should do about it."--Time

ISBN/SKU: 
9780525509288
Publication Date: 
2019-08-13
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How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

$25.99
"A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."--Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review

Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity . . . doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance.

So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious--and overdrawn--resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind's role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress.

Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781612197494
Publication Date: 
2019-04-01
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