Next book

ANGRY WHITE MEN

AMERICAN MASCULINITY AT THE END OF AN ERA

Another worthwhile examination of important issues affecting men and, by extension, everyone else, from an author known for...

A study of what Kimmel (Sociology and Gender Studies/Stony Brook Univ.; Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, 2008, etc.) calls “aggrieved entitlement” and how it leads to the angry rhetoric and violence endemic to the United States today.

The author is no stranger to thinking and writing about men in their cultural climate; in his latest book, he turns his gaze to the pervasive anger specifically white men experience. White men, he claims, have held the upper hand for so long that equalizing the playing field results in explosive rage over their situation rather than the quieter despair, anxiety and frustration that other men feel. “Theirs is the anger of the entitled: we are entitled to those jobs, those positions of unchallenged dominance,” writes Kimmel. “And when we are told we are not going to get them, we get angry.” From there, the author moves through manifestations of this rage, such as domestic violence, mass murder and involvement in white-supremacy activities. Kimmel’s writing is open and engaging, reminiscent of a conversation with friends in a bar. This makes some of the disturbing content easier to digest and his arguments palatable even to those inclined to disagree with him. Though he admits his left-leaning bias, he writes, “I try to look into the hearts and minds of the American men with whom I most disagree politically….I do so not with contempt or pity, but with empathy and compassion.” For the most part, the author succeeds, but he does himself a disservice by alienating readers, with an overwhelmingly liberal introduction and first chapter, who might otherwise see merit in his conclusion that these “angry white men have some justified grievances—even though they often aim their arrows at the wrong targets.”

Another worthwhile examination of important issues affecting men and, by extension, everyone else, from an author known for his insight into the subject.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56858-696-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Nation Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

Next book

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 21


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

Next book

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
  • 21


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