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DEMOCRACY IN BLACK

HOW RACE STILL ENSLAVES THE AMERICAN SOUL

A powerful and thoughtful call for “a revolution of value and a radical democratic awakening” aimed at ending America’s...

Glaude (Chair, African American Studies/Princeton Univ.; African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction, 2014, etc.) explores the worsening state of racial inequality under the nation’s first black president.

In an illuminating analysis of the crisis in black communities in the wake of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and others, the author argues that African-Americans have suffered “tremendously” during the presidency of Barack Obama, whose “snake oil” promises of hope and change must be viewed against the devastating effects of a “Great Black Depression.” Hardest hit by the 2008 recession, writes Glaude, African-Americans lost more than 50 percent of their wealth by 2011. They lost homes, savings, and jobs, with national black unemployment reaching 16 percent in 2010. Illustrating the effects through the stories of black families in cities around the country, the author describes the increasing poverty of black communities that have become “opportunity deserts,” where hardship and joblessness create “isolated places for disposable people.” Most white Americans remain “willfully ignorant” of such places because of a “value gap” (the belief that white people are more valued than others) and “racial habits” (unthinking behaviors that sustain the value gap). White people must examine their assumptions—that black people are dangerous—and change the country’s policies and structured racism. “White fear blinds us to the humanity of the people right in front of us,” writes Glaude, who finds plenty of blame to go around—from Obama’s disappointing lack of action in support of blacks to the failures of traditional black liberal leadership. What is required, claims the author in this forceful book, is a new grass-roots movement based on the capacities of ordinary black people and built on the successes of “black lives matter” protests.

A powerful and thoughtful call for “a revolution of value and a radical democratic awakening” aimed at ending America’s persistent racial crisis.

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8041-3741-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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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.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

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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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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