Wonkish but of broad interest to students of geopolitics, international affairs, and economics.

THE NATIONALIST REVIVAL

TRADE, IMMIGRATION, AND THE REVOLT AGAINST GLOBALIZATION

The longtime political journalist limns the rise of Trumpian nationalism in the face of a bewilderingly global world.

The word “cosmopolitan” is freighted, but Talking Points Memo editor at large Judis (The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, 2016, etc.) does not hesitate to put it to work in characterizing the current political rift between left and right not as a battle between nationalists and liberals but as one between nationalists and cosmopolitans, namely metropolitan or college town–dwelling elites who own a passport, have graduated from good schools, and make up the upper rungs of the professions. “When Trump supporters blame America’s ills on liberals,” writes the author, “they are generally talking about cosmopolitans.” The words aside, the central point is that Trump’s left-leaning opponents tend to favor open borders, his supporters walls and immigration bans. Trump was able to leverage these worldviews—social psychologies, even, to trust Judis—to present the case that Americans were being robbed of their patrimony. “He had been complaining since the late 1980s,” notes Judis, “about America losing out on trade to Japan and then China and being taken advantage of by its allies in Europe.” After surveying its history, the author argues that some form of nationalism is useful as a “framework within which citizens and their governments deliberate about what to do—and justify what they have done." In this regard, a nationalist ideology need not necessarily be bigoted or exclusive; Judis argues that nationalism is “an essential ingredient of political democracies” while allowing that it can also underlie authoritarianism and fascism. Against this background, the author proposes that Trumpian nationalism, a zero-sum game in which there are only winners and losers, need not be the only alternative to an internationalism by which nations cede sovereignty, as with the European Union. Indeed, he suggests, international cooperation is best effected by sovereign nations at whose helm is a single great power, as with Great Britain in the 19th century and—well, perhaps China in the 21st.

Wonkish but of broad interest to students of geopolitics, international affairs, and economics.

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9997454-0-3

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Columbia Global Reports

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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