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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Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between the Police and Black America

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$24.00
The recent killings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Ferguson, and elsewhere are just the latest examples of the longstanding rift between law enforcement and people of color. In this revealing journey to the heart of a growing crisis, CBS News Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent Jeff Pegues provides unbiased facts, statistics, and perspectives from both sides of the community-police divide. Pegues has rare access to top law enforcement officials throughout the country, including former FBI Director James Comey and police chiefs in major cities. He has also interviewed police union leaders, community activists, and others at the heart of this crisis--people on both sides who are trying to push American law enforcement in a new direction.

How do police officers perceive the people of color who live in high-crime areas? How are they viewed by the communities that they police? Pegues explores these questions and more through interviews not only with police chiefs, but also officers on the ground, both black and white. In addition, he goes to the front lines of the debate as crime spikes in some of the nation's major cities. What he found will surprise you as police give a candid look at how their jobs have changed and become more dangerous.

Turning to possible solutions, the author summarizes the best recommendations from police chiefs, politicians, and activists. Readers will not only be informed but learn what they can do about tensions with police in their communities.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781633882577
Publication Date: 
2017-05-09
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Brave New Weed

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$25.99

The former editor-in-chief of Details and Star adventures into the fascinating "brave new world" of cannabis, tracing its history and possible future as he investigates the social, medical, legal, and cultural ramifications of this surprisingly versatile plant.

Pot. Weed. Grass. Mary Jane. We all think we know what cannabis is and what we use it for. But do we? Our collective understanding of this surprising plant has been muddled by politics and morality; what we think we know isn't the real story.

A war on cannabis has been waged in the United States since the early years of the twentieth century, yet in the past decade, society has undergone a massive shift in perspective that has allowed us to reconsider our beliefs. In Brave New Weed, Joe Dolce travels the globe to "tear down the cannabis closet" and de-mystify this new frontier, seeking answers to the questions we didn't know we should ask.

Dolce heads to a host of places, including Amsterdam, Israel, California, and Colorado, where he skillfully unfolds the odd, shocking, and wildly funny history of this complex plant. From the outlandish stories of murder trials where defendants claimed "insanity due to marijuana consumption" to the groundbreaking success stories about the plant's impressive medicinal benefits, Dolce paints a fresh and much-needed portrait of cannabis, our changing attitudes toward it, and the brave new direction science and cultural acceptance are leading us.

Enlightening, entertaining, and thought-provoking, Brave New Weed is a compelling read that will surprise and educate proponents on both sides of the cannabis debate.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780062499912
Publication Date: 
2016-10-04
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But What If We're Wrong?

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$16.00
The tremendously well-received New York Times bestseller by cultural critic Chuck Klosterman, exploring the possibility that our currently held beliefs and assumptions about the world will eventually be proven wrong -- now in paperback.

But What If We're Wrong? is a book of original, reported, interconnected pieces, which speculate on the likelihood that many universally accepted, deeply ingrained cultural and scientific beliefs will someday seem absurd. Covering a spectrum of objective and subjective topics, the book attempts to visualize present-day society the way it will be viewed in a distant future. Klosterman cites original interviews with a wide variety of thinkers and experts -- including George Saunders, David Byrne, Jonathan Lethem, Alex Ross, Kathryn Schulz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Junot Diaz, Amanda Petrusich, Ryan Adams, Dan Carlin, Nick Bostrom, and Richard Linklater. Klosterman asks straightforward questions that are profound in their simplicity, and the answers he explores and integrates with his own analysis generate the most thought-provoking and propulsive book of his career.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780399184130
Publication Date: 
2017-04-25
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COLOR OF LAW (P)

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$17.95
New/Used: New

In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north.

As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. "The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book" (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein's invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781631494536
Publication Date: 
2018-05-01
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Democracy in Black

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$16.00
A powerful polemic on the state of black America that savages the idea of a post-racial society.

America's great promise of equality has always rung hollow in the ears of African Americans. But today the situation has grown even more dire. From the murders of black youth by the police, to the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, to the disaster visited upon poor and middle-class black families by the Great Recession, it is clear that black America faces an emergency--at the very moment the election of the first black president has prompted many to believe we've solved America's race problem.

Democracy in Black is Eddie S. Glaude Jr.'s impassioned response. Part manifesto, part history, part memoir, it argues that we live in a country founded on a "value gap"--with white lives valued more than others--that still distorts our politics today. Whether discussing why all Americans have racial habits that reinforce inequality, why black politics based on the civil-rights era have reached a dead end, or why only remaking democracy from the ground up can bring real change, Glaude crystallizes the untenable position of black America--and offers thoughts on a better way forward. Forceful in ideas and unsettling in its candor, Democracy In Black is a landmark book on race in America, one that promises to spark wide discussion as we move toward the end of our first black presidency.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780804137430
Publication Date: 
2017-01-10
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

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$17.00
$12.75
$12.75 - $17.00
WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION

In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they 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 21st-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.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION - WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION - WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION - FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE - WINNER OF THE 2017 HILLMAN PRIZE FOR BOOK JOURNALISM - WINNER OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HEARTLAND PRIZE

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by 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 - Bookpage - Kirkus Reviews - Amazon - Barnes and Noble Review - Apple - Library Journal - Chicago Public Library - Publishers Weekly - Booklist - Shelf Awareness

ISBN/SKU: 
9780553447453
Publication Date: 
2017-02-28
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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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Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America

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$18.00
Following the death of her father, journalist and hospice volunteer Ann Neumann sets out to examine what it means to die well in the United States.

When Ann Neumann's father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, she left her job and moved back to her hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She became his full-time caregiver--cooking, cleaning, and administering medications. When her father died, she was undone by the experience, by grief and the visceral quality of dying. Neumann struggled to put her life back in order and found herself haunted by a question: Was her father's death a good death?

The way we talk about dying and the way we actually die are two very different things, she discovered, and many of us are shielded from what death actually looks like. To gain a better understanding, Neumann became a hospice volunteer and set out to discover what a good death is today. She attended conferences, academic lectures, and grief sessions in church basements. She went to Montana to talk with the attorney who successfully argued for the legalization of aid in dying, and to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to listen to "pro-life" groups who believe the removal of feeding tubes from some patients is tantamount to murder. Above all, she listened to the stories of those who were close to death.

What Neumann found is that death in contemporary America is much more complicated than we think. Medical technologies and increased life expectancies have changed the very definition of medical death. And although death is our common fate, it is also a divisive issue that we all experience differently. What constitutes a good death is unique to each of us, depending on our age, race, economic status, culture, and beliefs. What's more, differing concepts of choice, autonomy, and consent make death a contested landscape, governed by social, medical, legal, and religious systems.

In these pages, Neumann brings us intimate portraits of the nurses, patients, bishops, bioethicists, and activists who are shaping the way we die. The Good Death presents a fearless examination of how we approach death, and how those of us close to dying loved ones live in death's wake.

From the Hardcover edition.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780807076996
Publication Date: 
2017-02-07
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