A powerful and well-reasoned call to action.

THE CLIMATE SWERVE

REFLECTIONS ON MIND, HOPE, AND SURVIVAL

A clear argument that “confronting the full danger of nuclear and climate devastation enables us to sustain rather than destroy our species.”

Renowned psychiatrist Lifton (Witness to an Extreme Century, 2011, etc.), a winner of the National Book Award, explains his use of the term “swerve” to describe “a significant, if not always logical or clear, shift in the way people experience their world.” In this instance, the shift reflects the recognition of the dangers posed by global warming. The author is best known for his study of how decent people come to accept an apocalyptic view of the future and even condone atrocities such as the bombing of Hiroshima. He compares the attempt to normalize the use of nuclear weapons to the current claim that climate change is a hoax. “Like global warming,” writes Lifton, “those weapons raised doubts about the future of our species.” Failing to accept the reality of global warming, Donald Trump and his corporate backers continue to encourage the reckless consumption of fossil fuels. The author points out that nuclear radiation is also an environmental issue even though the threats posed by nuclear weapons and global warming are significantly different. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused sudden “unprecedented slaughter and suffering,” while the effects of climate change are incremental. However, in both instances, acceptance of existing political power structures has led to widespread failure to act in a timely fashion. The similarity between them is in the quality of the responses they evoke; they both reflect a dangerous human tendency to “suppress and distort our perceptions of their danger” by “normalizing” them. Lifton argues forcefully for a significant swerve in popular understanding of the catastrophic potential of global warming, and he cites the 1982 million-person anti–nuclear weapons march in New York City as an example of the level of response needed regarding climate change today.

A powerful and well-reasoned call to action.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62097-347-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 15

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • National Book Award Winner

  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

more