THE STEAL

THE ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN THE 2020 ELECTION AND THE PEOPLE WHO STOPPED IT

One of the best books in the growing library surrounding the 2020 election—must reading for politics observers.

A steely-eyed dissection of the Trumpian “stop the steal” conspiracy and its madcap fomenters.

Bowden is known for writing on war (Black Hawk Down) and crime (Killing Pablo). In this first-rate collaboration with journalist Teague, he combines both in examining the pitched battles mounted by Trump supporters to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The authors open with an incident when, in Atlanta, an overflowing urinal flooded a room below where ballots were being tallied; the count ceased and the ballots were placed in water-safe containers—only to be replaced, Trump supporters insisted, with ballots for Biden. The same was alleged to be true in other battleground states, including Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, where, admittedly, a few mistakes occurred owing to confusion in procedures for mail-in ballots. Regarding these mistakes, the authors write, “In an ordinary election, they might result in an angry letter to a precinct captain. But this year, they, like the leaky urinal in Atlanta, were all going to become a big deal.” They were a big deal because Trump had bellowed for months that if he lost the election, it would be because the Democrats cheated—the same tactic he deployed in 2016 when he anticipated a defeat to Hillary Clinton. “Never in America’s history…had a losing presidential candidate argued that the whole nation had been swindled,” write Bowden and Teague, relying on intrepid on-the-ground reporting. Nonetheless, millions of Americans believed that it was rigged—though fewer than one might think, while meanwhile, millions more loyal Republicans (including the attorney for Maricopa County, Arizona, a son of Watergate mastermind G. Gordon Liddy) accepted the fact that Biden won. The fight will continue, write the authors, even as wise voices hopefully prevail, such as another GOP loyalist who commented, “Harm does come from witch hunts, even if you’re not a witch.”

One of the best books in the growing library surrounding the 2020 election—must reading for politics observers.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8021-5995-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2022

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

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 18


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Close Quickview