An impassioned book aiming to fuel informed participation, outrage, and dissent.

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DEMOCRACY NOW!

TWENTY YEARS COVERING THE MOVEMENTS CHANGING AMERICA

A 20-year chronicle of a radio, TV, and Internet broadcast program whose mission has been to expose, defy, and edify.

In 1996, award-winning journalist Amy Goodman (co-author: The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupation, Resistance, and Hope, 2012, etc.) began hosting Democracy Now!, a radio news hour on public broadcasting focused on the presidential race among Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, and Ross Perot. The show was slated to last nine months, ending with the election. Two decades later, it has emerged as an important source of news and analysis, broadcast on more than 1,400 public TV and radio stations around the world and on the Web. Goodman—with her co-authors, Mother Jones contributing writer David Goodman (co-author: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times, 2008, etc.) and Democracy Now! contributor Moynihan—celebrates the program’s “remarkable journey” with this angry, hard-hitting volume. From Clinton to the current presidential campaign, no politician escapes the authors’ critique. They skewer the George W. Bush administration for lies that led America into a useless war and propelled us into the “endless war” that has followed. They condemn Barack Obama’s reliance on drones, pointing to casualties among children and families. “Militant groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda,” the authors write, “couldn’t have a more effective recruiting tool than the indiscriminate bombing and drone strikes by the United States.” The authors also discuss military interventions; whistleblowers (Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning merit praise) and the government’s attempt to quash them; immigration policy; capital punishment; income inequality; responses to climate change; the “routine” indignities inflicted on gay men and lesbians and the brave LGBTQ resisters; police brutality and the nation’s ineffectual and racist prison system; the Black Lives Matter movement; and the scandal of psychologists’ sanctioning of torture. “Independent media is the oxygen of democracy,” the authors assert.

An impassioned book aiming to fuel informed participation, outrage, and dissent.

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2358-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A sharp, compelling, and impassioned book.

WHY I'M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE

A London-based journalist offers her perspective on race in Britain in the early 21st century.

In 2014, Eddo-Lodge published a blog post that proclaimed she was “no longer engaging with white people on the topic of race.” After its viral reception, she realized that her mission should be to do the opposite, so she actively began articulating, rather than suppressing, her feelings about racism. In the first chapter, the author traces her awakening to the reality of a brutal British colonial history and the ways that history continues to impact race relations in the present, especially between blacks and the police. Eddo-Lodge analyzes the system that has worked against blacks and kept them subjugated to laws that work against—rather than for—them. She argues that it is not enough to deconstruct racist structures. White people must also actively see race itself by constantly asking “who benefits from their race and who is disproportionately impacted by negative stereotypes.” They must also understand the extent of the privileges granted them because of their race and work through racist fears that, as British arch-conservative Enoch Powell once said, “the black man will [one day] have the whip hand over the white man.” Eddo-Lodge then explores the fraught question of being a black—and therefore, according to racist stereotype—“angry” female and the ways her “assertiveness, passion and excitement” have been used against her. In examining the relationship between race and class, the author further notes the way British politicians have used the term “white” to qualify working class. By leaving out reference to other members of that class, they “compound the currency-like power of whiteness.” In her probing and personal narrative, Eddo-Lodge offers fresh insight into the way all racism is ultimately a “white problem” that must be addressed by commitment to action, no matter how small. As she writes, in the end, “there's no justice, there's just us.”

A sharp, compelling, and impassioned book.

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4088-7055-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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