Both a convincing discussion and a call to reformative action for LGBT equality across economic sectors of the world.

THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR LGBT EQUALITY

WHY FAIR AND EQUAL TREATMENT BENEFITS US ALL

A treatise on how restricting LGBT rights negatively impacts global economies.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Queer Action/Queer Ideas series, economics professor Badgett presents a persuasive case for LGBT rights within financial arenas and how those promote broader liberties. Drawing from a wealth of research studies, the author scrutinizes the tangible losses from unfair discriminatory practices. Her argument centers around the conviction that LGBT inclusion and unilateral equality are critical to the long-term prosperity of businesses and the economy. While LGBT discrimination erodes community morale incrementally over time, the same is true “from an economic perspective”—eventually, “it adds up.” Examining education, employment, and health care, for example, Badgett clearly outlines the tremendous humanitarian benefits of workplace equality, anti-bullying school regulations, and other initiatives that pave the way to greater economic growth, improved employee retention and productivity, diversified workforces, and a healthier populace. She describes how these ideas are already gaining momentum around the world, with global brands proudly aligning with their LGBT employees with respect to fairness practices and tolerance regulations. The author is at her analytical best in her discussions of the toll inequality takes on commerce. She shows how exclusionary practices rob businesses of vital personnel and damage reputations, citing World Bank studies, interviews, and personal anecdotes from local sources alongside countries like Canada, India, South Africa, and the Philippines. In the final chapter, Badgett offers logical action items for business leaders and prospective activists as well as for readers already involved in social reform advocacy. Though the opinions and language of economists and human rights advocates may differ, the base-line goals are inclusion and equality for the LGBT community. The author’s concise, sound arguments demonstrate why it is necessary to “expand freedom and equality” across the globe.

Both a convincing discussion and a call to reformative action for LGBT equality across economic sectors of the world.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8070-3560-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A top-notch political memoir and serious exercise in practical politics for every reader.

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A PROMISED LAND

In the first volume of his presidential memoir, Obama recounts the hard path to the White House.

In this long, often surprisingly candid narrative, Obama depicts a callow youth spent playing basketball and “getting loaded,” his early reading of difficult authors serving as a way to impress coed classmates. (“As a strategy for picking up girls, my pseudo-intellectualism proved mostly worthless,” he admits.) Yet seriousness did come to him in time and, with it, the conviction that America could live up to its stated aspirations. His early political role as an Illinois state senator, itself an unlikely victory, was not big enough to contain Obama’s early ambition, nor was his term as U.S. Senator. Only the presidency would do, a path he painstakingly carved out, vote by vote and speech by careful speech. As he writes, “By nature I’m a deliberate speaker, which, by the standards of presidential candidates, helped keep my gaffe quotient relatively low.” The author speaks freely about the many obstacles of the race—not just the question of race and racism itself, but also the rise, with “potent disruptor” Sarah Palin, of a know-nothingism that would manifest itself in an obdurate, ideologically driven Republican legislature. Not to mention the meddlings of Donald Trump, who turns up in this volume for his idiotic “birther” campaign while simultaneously fishing for a contract to build “a beautiful ballroom” on the White House lawn. A born moderate, Obama allows that he might not have been ideological enough in the face of Mitch McConnell, whose primary concern was then “clawing [his] way back to power.” Indeed, one of the most compelling aspects of the book, as smoothly written as his previous books, is Obama’s cleareyed scene-setting for how the political landscape would become so fractured—surely a topic he’ll expand on in the next volume.

A top-notch political memoir and serious exercise in practical politics for every reader.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6316-9

Page Count: 768

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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