A powerful history showing that White supremacist ideas of freedom are deeply embedded in American politics.



A broad-ranging history of resistance to the federal government, especially in matters of civil rights reforms.

“Federal power has proven itself, quite consistently, by design and by practice, to be inadequate to the basic claims of citizenship of its people,” writes Cowie, a professor of history at Vanderbilt. The “design” aspect figures in the constant struggle between federal authority and states’ rights. Before the passage of the 14th Amendment, for instance, the Bill of Rights did not apply to state governments, only to what Congress could or could not do. Even the powers of the 14th Amendment, Cowie notes, were trimmed by the Supreme Court—a fact that makes his book timely given current court decisions against past civil rights rulings—which required Congress to establish martial law in the South in order to effect even the small gains of Reconstruction. Provocatively, Cowie argues that resistance to federal authority, as exemplified by Alabama Gov. George Wallace and his “segregation forever” vow, is almost always cloaked in the language of tyranny and freedom—and the freedom demanded by those resisters is won at the loss of freedom of some citizens, almost always members of ethnic minorities. Cowie adds that federal officials have often acquiesced to the demands of the “freedom” crowd, as when Franklin Roosevelt overlooked Jim Crow racism in order to keep White Southern voters: “By successfully wrestling key exemptions for agricultural and domestic workers from federal regulation, much of the Southern racial and agricultural order remained relatively untouched by the long arm of the New Deal.” Toward the end of a lucid narrative that spans three centuries, the author argues that the federal government has been an unreliable ally and sometimes an open enemy of the rights of non-White people. Even so, without federal power, as current events richly suggest, even those tenuous rights would almost certainly be diminished or eliminated.

A powerful history showing that White supremacist ideas of freedom are deeply embedded in American politics.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2022

ISBN: 9781541672802

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Basic Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: tomorrow

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A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.


A follow-up to the bestselling Mrs. Kennedy and Me.

Teaming up again with his co-author (now wife) on previous books, Hill, a distinguished former Secret Service agent, remembers his days traveling the world as Jacqueline Kennedy’s trusted bodyguard. After John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Hill received a medal for valor in protecting the president and his wife, Jackie, from Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullets. Later, the medal vanished along with photos of the author's travels with Mrs. Kennedy as a Secret Service bodyguard. Hill recounts how his search for an old award he never wanted yielded an even greater treasure: forgotten images of his globe-trotting adventures with the first lady. The photographs—some in color, some in black and white—immediately transported the bewitched author back to the glittering heyday of Camelot. Images of Jackie in Paris brought memories of the president’s first major state excursion to France, in 1961, where the otherwise very private first lady was “the center of all attention.” Numerous other diplomatic trips followed—to England, Greece, India, Pakistan, and across South America. Everything Jackie did, from visiting ruined temples to having lunch with Queen Elizabeth, was headline news. Hill dutifully protected her from gawkers and paparazzi not only on public occasions, but also more private ones such as family retreats to the Amalfi Coast and the Kennedys’ country home in Middleburg, Virginia. In three short years, the never-romantic bond between the two deepened to a place “beyond friendship” in which “we could communicate with each other with a look or a nod….She knew that I would do whatever she asked—whether it was part of my job as a Secret Service agent or not.” Replete with unseen private photos and anecdotes of a singular relationship, the book will appeal mostly to American historians but also anyone interested in the private world inhabited by one of the most beguiling but enigmatic first ladies in American history.

A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982181-11-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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Everything about Sabathia is larger than life, yet he tells his story with honesty and humility.


One of the best pitchers of his generation—and often the only Black man on his team—shares an extraordinary life in baseball.

A high school star in several sports, Sabathia was being furiously recruited by both colleges and professional teams when the death of his grandmother, whose Social Security checks supported the family, meant that he couldn't go to college even with a full scholarship. He recounts how he learned he had been drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round over the PA system at his high school. In 2001, after three seasons in the minor leagues, Sabathia became the youngest player in MLB (age 20). His career took off from there, and in 2008, he signed with the New York Yankees for seven years and $161 million, at the time the largest contract ever for a pitcher. With the help of Vanity Fair contributor Smith, Sabathia tells the entertaining story of his 19 seasons on and off the field. The first 14 ran in tandem with a poorly hidden alcohol problem and a propensity for destructive bar brawls. His high school sweetheart, Amber, who became his wife and the mother of his children, did her best to help him manage his repressed fury and grief about the deaths of two beloved cousins and his father, but Sabathia pursued drinking with the same "till the end" mentality as everything else. Finally, a series of disasters led to a month of rehab in 2015. Leading a sober life was necessary, but it did not tame Sabathia's trademark feistiness. He continued to fiercely rile his opponents and foment the fighting spirit in his teammates until debilitating injuries to his knees and pitching arm led to his retirement in 2019. This book represents an excellent launching point for Jay-Z’s new imprint, Roc Lit 101.

Everything about Sabathia is larger than life, yet he tells his story with honesty and humility.

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-13375-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Roc Lit 101

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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