Ardent testimony to the significance of Harris’ triumph.

DEAR KAMALA

WOMEN WRITE TO THE NEW VICE PRESIDENT

Grateful letters on the occasion of a historic election.

After Barack Obama was elected, Brooks-Bertram, an activist, historian, and co-founder of the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, gathered and published a compendium of letters to Michelle Obama, and she followed with a collection to support the first Black woman superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools. Kamala Harris’ election as vice president inspires her latest effort, a volume of “greetings, advice, warnings, prayers, requests, affirmations, and demands” from 100 women around the world, including activists, professionals, civil rights leaders, and Girl Scouts. “I am going to reach for my dreams because of Kamala and not be criticized as a black girl,” writes a ninth grade Girl Scout from New York. “One piece of advice I would give you is to not listen to people who say you can’t do it,” counsels a fifth grade Girl Scout from California. The letters are consistently ebullient, celebratory, and hopeful. A retired community activist from Atlanta exults, “My heart got that burst of pride that comes when one of my own children does something that makes me particularly proud to be their mother.” A Jamaican immigrant living in NYC: “Your drive, leadership and fortitude is so needed in this country right now, and I know that you will be able to accomplish your goals despite roadblocks that will come your way….I also hope that you and Joe Biden will reestablish The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.” Many writers urge Harris to address the nation’s many ills: systemic racism, White supremacy, climate change, the criminal justice system, and the racial, economic, housing, and medical disparities that have accelerated during the pandemic. “You have the opportunity to be a light in the darkness,” notes a business leader from Oklahoma. “You have our support behind you,” says a director and cinematographer, “but please, vote for us as we voted for you.”

Ardent testimony to the significance of Harris’ triumph.

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68435-162-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Red Lightning Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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A sharp, entertaining view of the news media from one of its star players.

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GOING THERE

The veteran newscaster reflects on her triumphs and hardships, both professional and private.

In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Couric (b. 1957) transforms the events of her long, illustrious career into an immensely readable story—a legacy-preserving exercise, for sure, yet judiciously polished and insightful, several notches above the fray of typical celebrity memoirs. The narrative unfolds through a series of lean chapters as she recounts the many career ascendency steps that led to her massively successful run on the Today Show and comparably disappointing stints as CBS Evening News anchor, talk show host, and Yahoo’s Global News Anchor. On the personal front, the author is candid in her recollections about her midlife adventures in the dating scene and deeply sorrowful and affecting regarding the experience of losing her husband to colon cancer as well as the deaths of other beloved family members, including her sister and parents. Throughout, Couric maintains a sharp yet cool-headed perspective on the broadcast news industry and its many outsized personalities and even how her celebrated role has diminished in recent years. “It’s AN ADJUSTMENT when the white-hot spotlight moves on,” she writes. “The ego gratification of being the It girl is intoxicating (toxic being the root of the word). When that starts to fade, it takes some getting used to—at least it did for me.” Readers who can recall when network news coverage and morning shows were not only relevant, but powerfully influential forces will be particularly drawn to Couric’s insights as she tracks how the media has evolved over recent decades and reflects on the negative effects of the increasing shift away from reliable sources of informed news coverage. The author also discusses recent important cultural and social revolutions, casting light on issues of race and sexual orientation, sexism, and the predatory behavior that led to the #MeToo movement. In that vein, she expresses her disillusionment with former co-host and friend Matt Lauer.

A sharp, entertaining view of the news media from one of its star players.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-53586-1

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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A cogent “horror story” about the plot to reanimate mid-20th-century White male supremacy at the expense of abortion access.

THE LIE THAT BINDS

Incisive look at the destructive path of anti-abortion ideology in the U.S.

Even though most Americans believe in a woman’s right to choose—“consistent research has shown that more than 7 in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion”—the radical right has succeeded in steadily eroding reproductive freedoms since Roe v. Wade. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America leaders Hogue and Langford, the campaign against abortion is but a means to an end for the architects of the pro-life movement. Their true aim is the uncontested dominion of White Christian men. The battle began in 1954, when Brown v. Board of Education struck down “state laws used by segregationists to maintain structural inequality in the nation’s schools.” In 1976, the IRS rescinded the tax-exempt status of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s segregationist Bob Jones University. What has followed, argue the authors convincingly, is more than a half-century of machinations designed “to halt progressive cultural change and maintain power for a privileged minority.” Anti-abortion rhetoric is just a weapon, driven by design, propaganda, disinformation, and cowed Republican politicians—hallmarks of the Trump era. Hogue and Langdon make a strong case that the rises of Trump, fake news, and science skepticism are not flukes but rather the culmination of a dogged campaign by forces still smarting from desegregation and second- and third-wave feminism. The reproductive freedom of American women is the victim of an “anti-democratic power grab on a historic scale.” The authors build a chilling case that the startling 2019 wave of abortion bans across the nation should serve as a canary in the coal mine for citizens concerned with democracy and a catalyst for bolder messaging, better strategic planning, and sustained action to combat disinformation.

A cogent “horror story” about the plot to reanimate mid-20th-century White male supremacy at the expense of abortion access.

Pub Date: July 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947492-50-9

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Strong Arm Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2020

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