A passionately articulate memoir and political manifesto.

USE THE POWER YOU HAVE

A BROWN WOMAN'S GUIDE TO POLITICS AND POLITICAL CHANGE

The first Indian American woman elected to the House of Representatives chronicles the path that led her to commit to fight for a more inclusive society.

In 1982, Jayapal came to the U.S. to begin her studies at Georgetown. After graduating, she decided to “fulfill my promise to my father by parlaying my liberal arts degree…to the top investment banks in New York City as the foundation of other success.” Realizing investment banking was not right for her, she “did the next most expected thing” and went to business school. Jayapal also tutored poor children on Chicago’s South Side, where she discovered that her true calling was to help the underserved. An internship with a nonprofit organization serving refugees in Thailand and a fellowship to study villages in India followed. Her political activism emerged in the wake of 9/11, when she became the force behind the campaign to make Seattle and Washington state at large “Hate Free Zones.” Jayapal quickly learned “how to build movements and apply political pressure,” even if that meant going to jail. Within a decade, she became a vocal advocate for Seattle’s Sanctuary Cities ordinances and the Fight for $15 movement. In 2014, she was elected to the Washington Senate on a progressive platform. She caught the attention of Bernie Sanders, who helped her fundraise for a successful 2016 House run. Now a tireless fighter for everything from immigration and Medicare reform to livable incomes for all, Jayapal sets forth a vision to create “an America more just…than the one we were handed.” At the end, she offers a list of political lessons for all, but especially for female change-makers of color. Passionate and unapologetically leftist, this hopeful book not only chronicles an immigrant’s political successes, but, more significantly, the enduring faith in American democracy that inspired them.

A passionately articulate memoir and political manifesto.

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62097-143-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

THE WAR ON THE WEST

A British journalist fulminates against Black Lives Matter, critical race theory, and other threats to White privilege.

“There is an assault going on against everything to do with the Western world—its past, present, and future.” So writes Spectator associate editor Murray, whose previous books have sounded warnings against the presumed dangers of Islam and of non-Western immigration to the West. As the author argues, Westerners are supposed to take in refugees from Africa, Asia, and Latin America while being “expected to abolish themselves.” Murray soon arrives at a crux: “Historically the citizens of Europe and their offspring societies in the Americas and Australasia have been white,” he writes, while the present is bringing all sorts of people who aren’t White into the social contract. The author also takes on the well-worn subject of campus “wokeness,” a topic of considerable discussion by professors who question whether things have gone a bit too far; indeed, the campus is the locus for much of the anti-Western sentiment that Murray condemns. The author’s arguments against reparations for past damages inflicted by institutionalized slavery are particularly glib. “It comes down to people who look like the people to whom a wrong was done in history receiving money from people who look like the people who may have done the wrong,” he writes. “It is hard to imagine anything more likely to rip apart a society than attempting a wealth transfer based on this principle.” Murray does attempt to negotiate some divides reasonably, arguing against “exclusionary lines” and for Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s call for a more vigorous and welcoming civil culture. Too often, however, the author falters, as when he derides Gen. Mark Milley for saying, “I want to understand white rage. And I’m white”—perhaps forgetting the climacteric White rage that Milley monitored on January 6, 2021.

A scattershot exercise in preaching to the choir.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-316202-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2022

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A deceptively slender but rich argument in favor of conserving liberal ideals—and liberal government.

LIBERALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS

The renowned political scientist and philosopher considers classical liberalism and the broad range of enemies arrayed against it.

“By ‘liberalism,’ ” writes Fukuyama, “I refer to the doctrine…that argued for the limitation of the powers of governments through law and ultimately constitutions, creating institutions protecting the rights of individuals living under their jurisdiction.” Born of events such as the English civil war and the Enlightenment, this liberalism also encouraged diversity of thought, religion, and ethnicity, placing it squarely in the crosshairs of today’s authoritarian nationalists, not least Donald Trump. Fukuyama has often been identified with conservative causes, but his thinking here is democratic to the core, and he has no use for such pathetic lies as Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen. That said, the author notes that liberalism has many enemies on both the left and the right for numerous real yet correctable failings. The neoliberalism that has emerged over the past couple of generations has accelerated inequality, and numerous institutions have been eroded while others, such as the Electoral College, have been revealed to be anti-democratic. Both left and right, the author argues, have trouble accepting that governing over diversity, the hallmark of liberalism, means governing over many ethnic and national groups, strata of income, and competing interests. He adds, however, “Left-of-center voters…remain much more diverse” in political outlook. Essential to a liberal society, Fukuyama insists, is the right to vote: “Voting rights are fundamental rights that need to be defended by the power of the national government.” While he insists that individual rights take precedence over group rights, he also observes that the social contract demands citizen participation. To the conservative charge that the social contract is one thing but the “common moral horizon” another, he answers that yes, liberalism does not insist on a single morality—which “is indeed a feature and not a bug.”

A deceptively slender but rich argument in favor of conserving liberal ideals—and liberal government.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-374-60671-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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