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IN THE SHADOW OF LIBERTY

THE INVISIBLE HISTORY OF IMMIGRANT DETENTION IN THE UNITED STATES

A grimly persuasive history, of broad interest to immigration rights activists and reformers.

A strong indictment of long-standing anti-immigrant practices in the U.S.

“Since its inception, immigrant detention has been an affront to basic ideals of justice and compassion,” writes Stanford historian Minian, author of Undocumented Lives. Even if the numbers of detained didn’t change much from Obama to Trump to Biden, the practice of separating families and detaining children apart from their parents was employed more vigorously in that middle term than on either side. The author chronicles how draconian measures such as imprisonment without due process and even torture have been in place since the 1980s, used as an instrument of policy “by design” to deter immigration with the promise that only trouble awaits. Minian examines immigrants from the 19th century to the present to note that, of course, this determent doesn’t really apply to white Europeans: The exclusions were intended for Chinese and other Asians, then Latinx people, then Jews, and so on. In one case study, the author writes about two Chinese deportees who saved American lives at danger to their own during the Boxer Rebellion, a story similar to that of recent Afghan military interpreters denied admission. In addition, countless Mexican farm workers kept the American agricultural economy afloat during the labor shortages of World War II, only to be deported or jailed afterward. “Before 1954, the government did not even consider that there were options other than detention for dealing with arriving migrants,” writes Minian. However, apart from a period where parole was an option, the government has ended up back where it started: jailing or interning people arriving from Cuba and Vietnam, building ever higher walls, militarizing the border, and reinforcing the fact that “if the United States is a nation of immigrants, then it is also a nation of prisoners.”

A grimly persuasive history, of broad interest to immigration rights activists and reformers.

Pub Date: April 16, 2024

ISBN: 9780593654255

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

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Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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