A penetrating collection that is certain to challenge the readers’ views of those living in poverty.
An anthology presented by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project that explores social inequality and economic injustice in the U.S.
The EHRP is “a nonprofit organization that keeps journalists, essayists, and photographers in the national conversation on economic injustice.” Edited by executive director Quart and managing director Wallis, this collection of essays, poems, and photographs, originally published in leading magazines and journals, highlights the valuable insights gained by these journalists in confronting their own hardships. By publishing these works, the EHRP seeks to mobilize people “to fight for economic justice.” The book is divided into five sections: The Body, Home, Family, Work, and Class. These emotionally charged and heart-wrenching narratives are both wide-ranging and powerfully rendered. Journalists from a variety of backgrounds share their experiences, including a woman who was forced to perform her own abortion following the shutdown of clinics in Texas and a 40-something man who donated plasma in order to pay the rent. One woman was homeless for two years, and she demonstrates the anxiety of feeling constantly on alert as well as the cyclical effects sleep deprivation has on homeless individuals. Another journalist shares how her assumptions about people without houses changed following her experience taking in a couple in Los Angeles. Other topics include inequalities in maternal health care for the uninsured and underinsured; the dangers low-wage workers are often expected to endure, which were particularly evident during the Covid-19 pandemic; struggles with racial identity; and the power of shared community. In addition to the editors, other contributors include Camonghne Felix, Kim Kelly, Elizabeth Rubin, Michelle Tea, Mitchell S. Jackson, and Astra Taylor. “The writers represented here,” writes Quart, “may have lost their jobs, their homes, or even the narrative thread of their lives, but in confronting those hardships they have gained valuable insights into problems facing millions in this country.”A penetrating collection that is certain to challenge the readers’ views of those living in poverty.
Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2023
Page Count: 368
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023
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by Walter Isaacson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 12, 2023
Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.
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New York Times Bestseller
A warts-and-all portrait of the famed techno-entrepreneur—and the warts are nearly beyond counting.
To call Elon Musk (b. 1971) “mercurial” is to undervalue the term; to call him a genius is incorrect. Instead, Musk has a gift for leveraging the genius of others in order to make things work. When they don’t, writes eminent biographer Isaacson, it’s because the notoriously headstrong Musk is so sure of himself that he charges ahead against the advice of others: “He does not like to share power.” In this sharp-edged biography, the author likens Musk to an earlier biographical subject, Steve Jobs. Given Musk’s recent political turn, born of the me-first libertarianism of the very rich, however, Henry Ford also comes to mind. What emerges clearly is that Musk, who may or may not have Asperger’s syndrome (“Empathy did not come naturally”), has nurtured several obsessions for years, apart from a passion for the letter X as both a brand and personal name. He firmly believes that “all requirements should be treated as recommendations”; that it is his destiny to make humankind a multi-planetary civilization through innovations in space travel; that government is generally an impediment and that “the thought police are gaining power”; and that “a maniacal sense of urgency” should guide his businesses. That need for speed has led to undeniable successes in beating schedules and competitors, but it has also wrought disaster: One of the most telling anecdotes in the book concerns Musk’s “demon mode” order to relocate thousands of Twitter servers from Sacramento to Portland at breakneck speed, which trashed big parts of the system for months. To judge by Isaacson’s account, that may have been by design, for Musk’s idea of creative destruction seems to mean mostly chaos.Alternately admiring and critical, unvarnished, and a closely detailed account of a troubled innovator.
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
Page Count: 688
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
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BOOK TO SCREEN
by Thomas Sowell ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 19, 2023
For those satisfied with blame-the-victim tidbits of received wisdom.
The noted conservative economist delivers arguments both fiscal and political against social justice initiatives such as welfare and a federal minimum wage.
A Black scholar who has lived through many civil rights struggles, Sowell is also a follower of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, who insisted that free market solutions are available for every social problem. This short book begins with what amounts to an impatient declaration that life isn’t fair. Some nations are wealthy because of geographical advantages, and some people are wealthy because they’re smarter than others. “Some social justice advocates may implicitly assume that various groups have similar developed capabilities, so that different outcomes appear puzzling,” he writes. In doing so, he argues, they fail to distinguish between equal opportunity and equal capability. Sowell is dismissive of claims that Black Americans and other minorities are systematically denied a level playing field: Put non-white kids in charter schools, he urges, and presto, their math scores will zoom northward as compared to those in public schools. “These are huge disparities within the same groups, so that neither race nor racism can account for these huge differences,” he writes, clearly at pains to distance himself from the faintest suggestion that race has anything to do with success or failure in America. At the same time, he isn’t exactly comfortable with the idea that economic inequalities exist, and he tries to finesse definitions to suit his convictions: “The terms ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ are misleading in another and more fundamental sense. These terms apply to people’s stock of wealth, not their flows of income.” As for crime? Give criminals more rights, he asserts, as with Miranda v. Arizona, and crime rates go up—an assertion that overlooks numerous other variables but fits Sowell’s ideological slant.For those satisfied with blame-the-victim tidbits of received wisdom.
Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2023
Page Count: 224
Publisher: Basic Books
Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2023
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