Next book



Of interest to students of ethnic and economic equity and social justice.

A survey of an economy tilted strongly in favor of the ultrawealthy, who are overwhelmingly White.

For corporate America, writes civil rights attorney Freeman, the damage wrought by systemic racism is a feature, not a bug. Addressing fellow White readers, he advances the familiar but still important observation that, shielded by all manner of psychic and social defenses and avoidance strategies, that audience has trouble discussing such issues as racial inequality and White privilege: “As a result, we, as a whole, continue to demonstrate a shocking lack of awareness about the realities of racial inequality in this country.” Among the lowest of earners, as a class, are former prisoners, who are disproportionately Black and Latinx; they also make up a large percentage of those paid at “poverty or near-poverty wages,” with fewer opportunities for advancement. Freeman takes a broad view of the relevant issues: Education is a key vehicle for economic improvement, of course, and the rush to privatize schools is meant to divert tax money from public schools to private ones. “Of the fifty wealthiest individuals listed by Forbes in 2017,” he writes, “at least forty-two of them have been directly connected to school privatization efforts.” Moreover, he notes, these individuals support not just causes and organizations, but “ecosystems of organizations” whose net effect is to support White supremacy. Other elements of this unequal system are social control by policing, harsh anti-immigrant policies, and like measures. Overall, Freeman’s book is less vigorously written than Dorothy Brown’s The Whiteness of Wealth, which covers much of the same ground in a more compelling fashion. Usefully, though, Freeman closes with the provocative call to amend the Constitution to recognize rights to education, health care, equal pay for equal work, and other public goods.

Of interest to students of ethnic and economic equity and social justice.

Pub Date: April 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1501755132

Page Count: 312

Publisher: ILR Press/Cornell Univ.

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

Next book


Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Next book


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 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Close Quickview