Enlightening and engaging perspectives on a remarkable political ascent.

AOC

THE FEARLESS RISE AND POWERFUL RESONANCE OF ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ

Fifteen writers reflect on the meteoric rise of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

When Ocasio-Cortez was elected as the U.S Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district in 2018, having defeated a 10-term incumbent, she made history as the youngest woman to serve in Congress. She also set the path for a new breed of young, social justice–minded politicians. Lopez, an Emmy-winning radio and TV journalist who anchors WCBS NewsRadio in New York City, assembles a bright and uniformly compelling collection of thought pieces on AOC. Her contributors—from the arts, media, and political landscapes—closely examine the essential qualities of AOC’s broad appeal. The right voice at the right moment, AOC embodies a growing progressive movement in the U.S. Deeply conscious of working-class values and environmental concerns, she’s a feminist with nimble social media skills, effectively communicating her message to an expanding mass of supporters. Among the many memorable essays are “In No Uncertain Terms,” in which Peru-born novelist Natalia Sylvester digs into AOC’s Latin roots and demonstrates how she and AOC share an imperfect yet emotionally engaging bilingualism; Pedro Regalado’s precise consideration of “the complexity of Ocasio-Cortez’s Latina background” within the historical context and expanding strength of Puerto Rican activism in New York; and Nathan J. Robinson’s eloquent summary of AOC’s enduring influence. “[Her] democratic socialism is a threat to the established order,” writes Robinson, “because she presents a vision of a possible politics where young people, working people, women, and people of color all create a humane and decent society together, one where everyone is clothed, housed, fed, and given quality healthcare, and you don’t have to be a billionaire to serve in public office….She is the expression of a profound and new kind of socialist politics, one that may very well change the world.” Other contributors include Rebecca Traister, Jennine Capó Crucet, and Carmen Rita Wong.

Enlightening and engaging perspectives on a remarkable political ascent. (8-page b/w insert)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25741-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

TANQUERAY

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2022

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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