Some scholarly jargon may limit the audience, but Hackworth provides a sturdy exploration of a continuing problem.

MANUFACTURING DECLINE

HOW RACISM AND THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT CRUSH THE AMERICAN RUST BELT

A monograph about how Rust Belt cities are struggling primarily because of racist (and often conservative) politicians.

Hackworth (Geography and Planning/Univ. of Toronto; Faith Based: Religious Neoliberalism and the Politics of Warfare in the United States, 2012, etc.) is no ideologue. His extensive academic research led him to what seems an undeniable conclusion: that certain elected and appointed politicians, in city after city, have intentionally suppressed the futures of black residents (and other people of color) to bolster white supremacy. Detroit is perhaps the most egregious example of what the author terms “organized deprivation,” but he also looks at Saginaw and Flint, Michigan, Youngstown, Ohio, Rochester, New York, and other cities and towns. Permeating the narrative is the concept of blacks being viewed as “the other” by whites in power. Hackworth attacks scholars who believe that class differences, rather than racial differences, serve as the primary explanation for urban decline across the Rust Belt. To bolster his quantitative findings, the author explains how black residents have suffered due to overt, law-based discrimination; the flight of white residents and white-owned businesses from neighborhoods with a significant concentration of blacks; state legislatures approving budgets that starve so-called inner cities; actions by police and municipal fee collectors that harm black residents unduly; and judges in local courts who fail to rule in favor of illegal discrimination claims by black residents. Certain results are obvious, Hackworth states, especially the prevalence of substandard housing for blacks, plus widespread lack of employment opportunities that pay a livable wage. Hackworth includes 75 pages of endnotes and bibliographic references to back up his research findings, and the text is peppered with charts. Although some of it might prove difficult for nonacademics, it’s timely reading for troubled times.

Some scholarly jargon may limit the audience, but Hackworth provides a sturdy exploration of a continuing problem.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-231-19373-3

Page Count: 344

Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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

NIGHT

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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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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