Dumper's partiality toward the Palestinians is obvious, and this book provides a solid counterpoint to Caroline...

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JERUSALEM UNBOUND

GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY, AND THE FUTURE OF THE HOLY CITY

After almost 25 years of studying Jerusalem, Dumper (Middle East Politics/Univ. of Exeter; The Future for Palestinian Refugees, 2007, etc.) lays out a clear picture, with plenty of maps, showing the rat’s maze of boundaries in the holy city.

These borders include not just the Green Line of the 1949 Armistice, the post–Six Day War border, the municipal boundary or the 2003 barrier erected by the Israeli government. There are also unseen borders in the education and electoral policies. The strongest barrier is the classification of Palestinians as either “citizens,” with a right to vote, or “permanent residents,” who are effectively treated as immigrants in their own land. All live under policies that exclude them from certain employment and residential zones and subject them to confiscation of land and property. In addition, their infrastructure and public services are inferior while police surveillance is increased. The author tries to explain both sides of the conflict in deciding whether to separate the city or find a way to share its administration. As part of the project Conflict in Cities and the Contested States, Dumper has seen solutions in divided cities that could lead to some degree of success in this seemingly intractable situation. There is no doubt that the key to peace is Jerusalem, and the author points out the most contentious issues—among, them, Israeli security concerns, the question of the sites holy to three different religions and Palestinian sovereignty east of the 1949 line. The many borders are all fluid; they are not irreversible, and when there is an incentive for the Israeli government to concede territory, there may be peace—though the author realistically states that it won’t be soon.

Dumper's partiality toward the Palestinians is obvious, and this book provides a solid counterpoint to Caroline Glick’s recent manifesto, The Israeli Solution.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-231-16196-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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

THREE WOMEN

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.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

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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