A compassionate, reasoned look at the left- and right-wing origins of anti-immigration sentiment.

THE HORSESHOE VIRUS

HOW THE ANTI-IMMIGRATION MOVEMENT SPREAD FROM LEFT-WING TO RIGHT-WING AMERICA

A political work examines anti-immigrant ideas and policies in America from the 19th century to the present.

As an Arizona state senator, Worsley (who also founded the company SkyMall) broke ranks with his fellow Republicans in his vocal opposition to a bill that would allow law enforcement to racially profile and arrest undocumented immigrants. A descendant of Europeans who joined the mass migration movement of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Utah, the author sees the immigration issue as personal. He also spent years as a missionary in South America and helped start multiple Latino Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregations in Mesa, Arizona. The book’s metaphor of describing anti-immigration ideas as a “horseshoe” contends that the “radical ends of the political spectrum often have more in common with each other than they do with the moderate political center.” Indeed, his well-researched history not only critiques today’s xenophobia from the right, particularly from President Donald Trump, but also ironically traces its ideological origins to the left. For example, notable early- 20th-century progressives, such as the leader of the conservationist movement, Madison Grant, and the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, included strict immigration restrictions and racist eugenics in their platforms. Worsley convincingly connects the pseudoscientific racism that permeated the anti-immigration wing of the Progressive Movement to today’s ethnocentrists, particularly John Tanton (the co-founder of the controversial Center for Immigration Studies), who deploy similar environmental and eugenicist arguments in their opposition to immigration. Moreover, even icons of the modern Democratic Party, such as Barbara Jordan—the first Black woman elected to Congress from the South—placed a dramatic reduction of total immigration as a centerpiece of their political agendas through the 1990s. Given Worsley’s proximity to Mesa’s immigrant community, he also provides a detailed look at how state and federal enforcement of racially motivated immigration policies have disrupted the lives of Arizona’s immigrant population. Though the book’s history of the Progressive Movement leaves out supporters of immigration (such as Jane Addams), the work is a solid primer for those looking for an accessible history of anti-immigration movements in the United States and their continued reverberations in contemporary politics.

A compassionate, reasoned look at the left- and right-wing origins of anti-immigration sentiment. (acknowledgements, endnotes, index)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64543-650-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: RealClear Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

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PERIL

An account of the last gasps of the Trump administration, completing a trilogy begun with Fear (2018) and Rage (2020).

One of Woodward and fellow Washington Post reporter Costa’s most memorable revelations comes right away: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling his counterpart in Beijing to assure him that even after Jan. 6 and what Milley saw as an unmistakable attempt at a coup d’état, he would keep Trump from picking a war with China. This depiction has earned much attention on the talking-heads news channels, but more significant is its follow-up: Milley did so because he was concerned that Trump “might still be looking for what Milley called a ‘Reichstag moment.’ ” Milley emerges as a stalwart protector of the Constitution who constantly courted Trump’s ire and yet somehow survived without being fired. No less concerned about Trump’s erratic behavior was Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, who studied the psychiatric literature for a big takeaway: “Do not humiliate Trump in public. Humiliating a narcissist risked real danger, a frantic lashing out if he felt threatened or criticized.” Losing the 2020 election was one such humiliation, and Woodward and Costa closely track the trajectory of Trump’s reaction, from depression to howling rage to the stubborn belief that the election was rigged. There are a few other modest revelations in the book, including the fact that Trump loyalist William Barr warned him that the electorate didn’t like him. “They just think you’re a fucking asshole,” Barr told his boss. That was true enough, and the civil war that the authors recount among various offices in the White House and government reveals that Trump’s people were only ever tentatively his. All the same, the authors note, having drawn on scores of “deep background” interviews, Trump still has his base, still intends vengeance by way of a comeback, and still constitutes the peril of their title.

A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982182-91-5

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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Red meat, and mighty tasty at that, for baseball fans with an appreciation for the past and power of the game.

THE BASEBALL 100

Longtime sports journalist Posnanski takes on a project fraught with the possibilities of controversy: ranking the 100 best baseball players of all time.

It would steal the author’s thunder to reveal his No. 1. However, writing about that player, Posnanski notes, “the greatest baseball player is the one who lifts you higher and makes you feel exactly like you did when you fell in love with this crazy game in the first place.” Working backward, his last-but-not-least place is occupied by Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, whose valiant hitting rivaled Pete Rose’s, mostly a base at a time. As for Rose, who comes in at No. 60, Posnanski writes, “here’s something people don’t often say about the young Pete Rose, but it’s true: The guy was breathtakingly fast.” Thus, in his first pro season, Rose stole 30 bases and hit 30 triples. That he was somewhat of a lout is noted but exaggerated. Posnanski skillfully weaves statistics into the narrative without spilling into geekdom, and he searches baseball history for his candidate pool while combing the records for just the right datum or quote: No. 10 Satchel Paige on No. 15 Josh Gibson: “You look for his weakness, and while you’re looking for it he’s liable to hit 45 home runs.” Several themes emerge, one being racial injustice. As Posnanski notes of “the greatest Negro Leagues players....people tend to talk about them as if there is some doubt about their greatness.” There’s not, as No. 94, Roy Campanella, among many others, illustrates. He was Sicilian, yes, but also Black, then reason enough to banish him to the minors until finally calling him up in 1948. Another significant theme is the importance of fathers in shaping players, from Mickey Mantle to Cal Ripken and even Rose. Posnanski’s account of how the Cy Young Award came about is alone worth the price of admission.

Red meat, and mighty tasty at that, for baseball fans with an appreciation for the past and power of the game.

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982180-58-4

Page Count: 880

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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