A concise and intriguing survey of the relentless fight for social change.

RAD AMERICAN HISTORY A-Z

MOVEMENTS AND MOMENTS THAT DEMONSTRATE THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE

From the Rad Women series

An examination of social movements that changed U.S. history and culture.

The team of Schatz and Stahl, collaborators on the Rad Women series that explores the impacts of women and progressive movements, in their latest entry present challenges to the status quo in U.S. history. In addition to centering little-known incidents, the focus is on grassroots organizations and underrepresented individuals who pushed for change and responded to injustice. When familiar narratives are included, it is with an original perspective. The creators are clear about their point of view: “These are the stories and truths that many people would prefer to deny, the details that often get ignored, glossed over, sanitized, or left out—especially in history books.” The role of Harriet Tubman as a spy and operative in the Civil War’s Combahee River Raid highlights another side of her work as a liberator of enslaved persons. A look at Jane Addams and Hull House shines a light on support for immigrants in the late 19th century. Details about the Black Lives Matter and the Youth Climate movements provide useful context about contemporary activism. Attention is also paid to the arts, including music, theater, and visual art. The lively writing and the complementary black-and-white illustrations make this an enticing read. Useful sidebars and additional definitions expand upon the main text.

A concise and intriguing survey of the relentless fight for social change. (notes on the illustrations, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-5683-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Broad, deep, and on a significant topic but more utilitarian than inspirational.

DRAWING THE VOTE

A GRAPHIC NOVEL HISTORY FOR FUTURE VOTERS

A history of U.S. voting rights and the unrelenting barrage of challenges to them, with a chapter that updates the original 2020 edition.

Despite an occasional bobble (no, all the states did not send representatives to the Constitutional Convention, and the Shelby County vs. Holder decision, devastating as it was, was not responsible for “overturning” the Voting Rights Act), college professor Jenkins delivers a broadly comprehensive overview that takes readers from “No taxation without representation!” to the events of Jan. 6, 2021 and beyond, with updates covering the failure of the Arizona recount and the recent flurry of legislation designed to further depress our already chronically low levels of voter participation. The additions lend currency to the story, but apathetic readers are more likely to catch a spark from other histories, such as Susan Goldman Rubin’s Give Us the Vote! (2020). The graphic format does little to animate this account, as aside from some redrawn historical news photos, the drably duotone art runs to clumsily rendered portraits of figures in static poses stiffly restating talking points, uttering (in)famous quotes (“Why do we want all these people from shithole countries?”)—or in a running conceit, imitating game show announcers: “Congratulations! John Adams, you’ve won the presidency!” The color scheme also minimizes differences in skin color, and visual elements frequently look crammed in among the fulsome blocks of lecture-y narrative.

Broad, deep, and on a significant topic but more utilitarian than inspirational. (voting information, source notes) (Graphic nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3999-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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