WHEN WE FIGHT, WE WIN!

TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE ACTIVISTS THAT ARE TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD

Organizers will find much of this helpful and instructive, but for lay readers, it preaches to the choir.

A radical activist handbook reinforces the adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words.

This celebration of what the book calls “transformative organizing” represents a collaboration between social activist Jobin-Leeds, the co-chair of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and the AgitArte artistic collective, with the former providing the textual narrative and the latter responsible for the visual complement: posters, photographs, and other pieces of art that are generally more galvanizing than the prose. There occasionally seems to be a disconnect, as well, as a chapter on “The Fight for the Soul of Public Education” finds the narrative focusing on Chicago, “the epicenter of this battle,” while illustrations highlight activism in Puerto Rico (where AgitArte is co-based), California, and Arizona. In addition to public education, the book highlights gay, prison, immigration, economic, and environmental activism, but one of its main lessons is that issues and answers are never confined to such neat categorical boxes. Thus, marchers for immigration reform take inspiration from the civil rights freedom marchers and talk of “coming out” as “illegals” like their LGBT counterparts. Similarly, the chapter on the Occupy movement addresses issues of racial and gender underrepresentation, as activist Joel Olson proclaims, “the key to building the 99 percent is Left colorblindness, and the key to overcoming it is to put the struggles of communities of color at the center of this movement.” As the afterword by Antonia Darder summarizes, “the underlying problem must be understood as racism in a capitalist society.” Where the art is consistently and effectively provocative, much of the prose is perfunctory, featuring lots of quotes, guides, and summaries rather than more vivid storytelling that might prove more of a match for the art.

Organizers will find much of this helpful and instructive, but for lay readers, it preaches to the choir.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62097-093-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 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.

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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

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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