An essential work of detection, uncovering crimes at the highest level of the Trump White House.

A newsworthy book that centers on revelations gained by way of the higher-tech end of the Jan. 6 committee.

“We’re in an information war, and it’s house-to-house fighting,” write Riggleman, a former Republican representative who lost his Virginia seat in a primary election to a Trumpian candidate to his right, and political journalist Walker. Using his skills as a one-time intelligence officer, Riggleman ferreted out phone and text records to make some critical discoveries. One was the oversize role of Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in the conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Even though dozens of her texts have been recovered and entered into the record, “we are still learning about just how deeply Ginni Thomas was involved in trying to thwart the will of the American voters.” Given Clarence’s sole vote to conceal records from the committee, the authors suggest that he is implicated in the coup attempt. So, too, was an army of lawyers, right-wing media, and members of the government and Congress itself. “The January 6th plot had a political arm, a media arm, a military arm, and a legal one,” write the authors, delivering evidence that some military personnel were ready to join the effort to overturn the government. Perhaps more disturbing is Riggleman’s discovery that the coup was directed by phone calls from within the White House—and, he hazards, very probably by Trump himself: “You can see the signals through all of Trump’s noise. We know what he is.” Readers may want to skip over the memoir bits of the narrative. Some passages highlight Riggleman’s talent to explain how and why people can be manipulated, but they don’t do much to advance the story. Still, what a story it is.

An essential work of detection, uncovering crimes at the highest level of the Trump White House.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-86676-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022


From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

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


A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.

Black Americans declare their love.

This anthology brings together dozens of love letters by prominent Black Americans. The entries, interspersed with illustrations, address an eclectic mix of topics arranged under five categories: Care, Awe, Loss, Ambivalence, and Transformation. In their introduction, editors Brown and Johnson note the book’s inspiration in the witnessing of violence directed at Black America. Reckonings with outrage and grief, they explain, remain an urgent task and a precondition of creating and sustaining loving bonds. The editors seek to create “a site for our people to come together on the deepest, strongest emotion we share” and thus open “the possibility for shared deliverance” and “carve out a space for healing, together.” This aim is powerfully realized in many of the letters, which offer often poignant portrayals of where redemptive love has and might yet be found. Among the most memorable are Joy Reid’s “A Love Letter to My Hair,” a sensitive articulation of a hard-won sense of self-love; Morgan Jerkins’ “Dear Egypt,” an exploration of a lifelong passion for an ancient world; and VJ Jenkins’ “Pops and Dad,” an affirmation that it “is beautiful to be Black, to be a man, and to be gay.” Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts’ “Home: A Reckoning” is particularly thoughtful and incisive in its examination of a profound attachment, “in the best and worst ways,” to Louisville, Kentucky. Most of the pieces pair personal recollections with incisive cultural commentary. The cumulative effect of these letters is to set forth a panorama of opportunities for maintaining the ties that matter most, especially in the face of a cultural milieu that continues to produce virulent forms of love’s opposite. Other contributors include Nadia Owusu, Jamila Woods, Ben Crump, Eric Michael Dyson, Kwame Dawes, Jenna Wortham, and Imani Perry.

A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781638931201

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Get Lifted Books/Zando

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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