A study that’s well-suited to scientists and CTS-afflicted people, but the general public may not find it entirely...


Exploring What It Effectively Means to Manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome's


A debut work that offers insight into the psychological impact of suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

More than 1 million cases of CTS were reported in the workplace in 2008, says Rostkowski, a CTS sufferer who asserts that she was fired from a job because of it. Her personal story, in part, led her to conduct the scientific study she describes in this book—a dissertation she presented as part of the requirements for a Ph.D. in organization and management. The author says that, in order to maintain her objectivity, she focused her research only on how CTS relates to employers’ return-to-work programs, because the organization that fired her, she says, had no such program. This results in a very narrow study, but it does reveal the psychological and psychosomatic implications of CTS victims’ treatment in the workplace. The study’s objective—to determine the reasons why CTS-afflicted employees complete or don’t complete return-to-work programs—may be less interesting to general readers than the feelings expressed by the 12 study participants, whom Rostkowski extensively interviewed. Questions such as, “What are some of the comments that your co-workers made to you today that you feel were in direct correlation with your injury?” and “What factors related to your injury make you feel that your work situation has changed because you got injured?” lead to frank and sobering responses: “I worked day and night to get this promotion and I feel it was all for nothing now,” said one study participant. “Every day I think, how long before they replace me. I look at my wrist and think, my own body did this to me.” These responses enrich the document with a much-needed human element. However, average readers’ eyes may glaze over when they wade through the study’s parameters and literature review.

A study that’s well-suited to scientists and CTS-afflicted people, but the general public may not find it entirely digestible.

Pub Date: Dec. 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5049-6890-4

Page Count: 182

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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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 clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.


Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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