by Glenn Greenwald ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 6, 2021
A courageous advocate for journalistic and democratic integrity strikes again.
In his latest explosive exposé, Greenwald turns to his adopted Brazil and the corrupt machinations of its highest leaders.
Having lived there since 2005 with his Brazilian partner and husband, David, a politician, and two adopted children, the American-born author has been deeply ensconced in the life of his adopted country for years. In 2018, they were alarmed by the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president, a process that was markedly similar to the aggressive nationalist trends that carried Donald Trump into office in the U.S. Like Trump, Bolsonaro, along with many of his elected officials, openly expressed authoritarian, anti-democratic, pro-military, anti–LGBTQ+ rhetoric. Contacted on Mother’s Day 2019 by an anonymous Brazilian hacker then living in the U.S. who targeted Greenwald because of his involvement in the Edward Snowden intelligence leaks, the author agreed to receive reams of files that revealed years of corruption by state and national figures. Making sense of the files, Greenwald uncovered a vast web of corruption that was integral in getting Bolsonaro and his party elected by eliminating the opposition—namely, former two-term president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the center-left political leader of the Workers’ Party. Greenwald published articles on the hacks in June 2019, helping to vindicate Lula, but he was met with a violent backlash by Bolsonaro and his thuggish establishment. Nonetheless, he was undeterred. “I believe we righted wrongs, reversed injustices, and exposed grave corruption,” he writes. “In many ways, I regard the dangers and threats we faced as vindication that we fulfilled our core function as journalists: to unflinchingly confront those who wield power with transparency, accountability, and truth.” Though some of the details may not be as revelatory to American readers as those involving Snowden and the National Security Agency, this is still a fascinating portrait of the importance of journalism in today’s tumultuous political world.A courageous advocate for journalistic and democratic integrity strikes again.
Pub Date: April 6, 2021
Page Count: 280
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Review Posted Online: March 9, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021
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by Matthew Desmond ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2023
A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.
A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.
“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.
Pub Date: March 21, 2023
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023
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by Ta-Nehisi Coates ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 8, 2015
This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
New York Times Bestseller
Pulitzer Prize Finalist
National Book Award Winner
The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.
Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”
Pub Date: July 8, 2015
Page Count: 176
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Review Posted Online: May 5, 2015
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015
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