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HOW TO STAND UP TO A DICTATOR

THE FIGHT FOR OUR FUTURE

An indispensable journalist presents an impassioned, well-informed warning about vital global issues.

A Filipino journalist who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize describes her ongoing fight against political corruption and online disinformation.

For years, Ressa has been a brave and consistent critic of technology’s increasing power in affecting people’s behavior, and she and the news site she co-founded in 2012, Rappler, have been consistently targeted by the regimes of Rodrigo Duterte and his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Like Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov, with whom she shared the Nobel, the author has battled the information warfare tactics of dictators and remains under constant threat of harassment and arrest. In this engaging work, Ressa shares the story of her life and career, beginning with her immigration to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1973, when she was 10. Her early years in the U.S., she writes, were defined by three lessons: Always choose to learn, embrace your fear, and stand up to bullies. These lessons would follow her into a successful career as a journalist—first at CNN, where she served as the bureau chief in Manila and then Jakarta, followed by a role heading the news division at the Philippines network ABS-CBN. When she resigned over an ethics issue in 2010, she and some journalist friends began work on Rappler, with the intention of injecting the positive elements of social media into old-fashioned journalism. Increasingly, however, evenhanded journalists—who once served as reliable “gatekeepers of facts and information”—were being pushed aside by unscrupulous tech companies and manipulated by populist politicians like Duterte and Trump via bots, fake accounts, and disinformation campaigns. These nefarious tactics led to the author’s profound disillusionment with Facebook, in particular, which she now calls “one of the gravest threats to democracies around the world.” Her courageous work has garnered well-deserved international attention, and her book serves as a readable, urgent plea for journalistic integrity, vigilance, and transparency. Amal Clooney, who serves as one of Ressa’s attorneys, provides the foreword.

An indispensable journalist presents an impassioned, well-informed warning about vital global issues.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-325751-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH A JEW

An important dialogue at a fraught time, emphasizing mutual candor, curiosity, and respect.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Two bestselling authors engage in an enlightening back-and-forth about Jewishness and antisemitism.

Acho, author of Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, and Tishby, author of Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, discuss many of the searing issues for Jews today, delving into whether Jewishness is a religion, culture, ethnicity, or community—or all of the above. As Tishby points out, unlike in Christianity, one can be comfortably atheist and still be considered a Jew. She defines Judaism as a “big tent” religion with four main elements: religion, peoplehood, nationhood, and the idea of tikkun olam (“repairing the world through our actions”). She addresses candidly the hurtful stereotypes about Jews (that they are rich and powerful) that Acho grew up with in Dallas and how Jews internalize these antisemitic judgments. Moreover, Tishby notes, “it is literally impossible to be Jewish and not have any connection with Israel, and I’m not talking about borders or a dot on the map. Judaism…is an indigenous religion.” Acho wonders if one can legitimately criticize “Jewish people and their ideologies” without being antisemitic, and Tishby offers ways to check whether one’s criticism of Jews or Zionism is antisemitic or factually straightforward. The authors also touch on the deteriorating relationship between Black and Jewish Americans, despite their historically close alliance during the civil rights era. “As long as Jewish people get to benefit from appearing white while Black people have to suffer for being Black, there will always be resentment,” notes Acho. “Because the same thing that grants you all access—your skin color—is what grants us pain and punishment in perpetuity.” Finally, the authors underscore the importance of being mutual allies, and they conclude with helpful indexes on vernacular terms and customs.

An important dialogue at a fraught time, emphasizing mutual candor, curiosity, and respect.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781668057858

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon Element

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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