Many of the groups the authors investigate will find further fodder for their tirades, and liberals will doubtless get...




A dissection of the language of the far right, showing the continued, although masked, biases inherent in their message.

After a quick history of civil rights and racist attitudes, Hughey (Sociology/Univ. of Conn.; The White Savior Film: Content, Critics, and Consumption, 2014, etc.) and Parks (Law/Wake Forest Univ.; co-editor: Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, the Demands of Transcendence, 2011, etc.) show the process that continues the message while avoiding political incorrectness. There are four dimensions at play: black dysfunction, white patriotism, white paternalism and white victimhood. The authors show how these dimensions have grown sociologically and legally over the years, especially since the election of the first black president, Barack Obama. The “Southern strategy” was a child of the ultraconservative Dixiecrats in response to Harry Truman’s civil rights program. They laid the groundwork for the advent of the tea party, birthers and the radical right. All of these groups exhibit elements of racism and are anti-immigrant, pro-gun, anti-deficit, anti-Semitic and pro-religion in government. Hughey and Parks demonstrate the different ways in which outright hostility can be masked by implicit racial biases and coded words and phrases—e.g., welfare queen, inner city, states’ rights, entitlement society, welfare state and liberal bias. Decrying Obama as the affirmative action president, the disrespect of journalists and talking heads like Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, as well as the use of dehumanizing symbols are all methods of this so-called principled conservatism, a term the authors reject outright—“the banner of ‘post-racialism’ is devoid of ethical currency.”

Many of the groups the authors investigate will find further fodder for their tirades, and liberals will doubtless get angry, but all should learn that there’s a limit to the insults American intelligence will tolerate.

Pub Date: May 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8147-6054-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: New York Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.


Based on eight years of reporting and thousands of hours of interaction, a journalist chronicles the inner worlds of three women’s erotic desires.

In her dramatic debut about “what longing in America looks like,” Taddeo, who has contributed to Esquire, Elle, and other publications, follows the sex lives of three American women. On the surface, each woman’s story could be a soap opera. There’s Maggie, a teenager engaged in a secret relationship with her high school teacher; Lina, a housewife consumed by a torrid affair with an old flame; and Sloane, a wealthy restaurateur encouraged by her husband to sleep with other people while he watches. Instead of sensationalizing, the author illuminates Maggie’s, Lina’s, and Sloane’s erotic experiences in the context of their human complexities and personal histories, revealing deeper wounds and emotional yearnings. Lina’s infidelity was driven by a decade of her husband’s romantic and sexual refusal despite marriage counseling and Lina's pleading. Sloane’s Fifty Shades of Grey–like lifestyle seems far less exotic when readers learn that she has felt pressured to perform for her husband's pleasure. Taddeo’s coverage is at its most nuanced when she chronicles Maggie’s decision to go to the authorities a few years after her traumatic tryst. Recounting the subsequent trial against Maggie’s abuser, the author honors the triumph of Maggie’s courageous vulnerability as well as the devastating ramifications of her community’s disbelief. Unfortunately, this book on “female desire” conspicuously omits any meaningful discussion of social identities beyond gender and class; only in the epilogue does Taddeo mention race and its impacts on women's experiences with sex and longing. Such oversight brings a palpable white gaze to the narrative. Compounded by the author’s occasionally lackluster prose, the book’s flaws compete with its meaningful contribution to #MeToo–era reporting.

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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


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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