Though it runs a touch long, this is a work of exemplary reporting.



As Arizona goes, so goes the nation, according to this searing book of reportage from Phoenix.

Joe Arpaio liked to call himself “America’s toughest sheriff.” A New England transplant to Phoenix, he ran for sheriff at an age when most of his peers were retiring, winning on a law-and-order ticket that targeted undocumented immigrants. Journalists Sterling and Joffe-Block were there for much of Arpaio’s 24-year tenure, during which he became infamous for housing inmates in tents in the summer heat and serving them “gloppy, tasteless, and sometimes moldy” food. As the authors note, Arpaio was an early ally of Donald Trump. Importantly, he also set the stage for Trump by making villains of undocumented workers and by ignoring numerous court orders to cease race-based policing. In the end, that led to a conviction for contempt of court, which might have earned Arpaio jail time but instead led to a Trump pardon. Inarguably, Arpaio’s strong-arm tactics had an effect: “One estimate found that about 92,000 unauthorized immigrants of working age—about 17 percent of that cohort—left Arizona between 2008 and 2009.” Sterling and Joffe-Block diligently chronicle the work of immigration rights activists and undocumented workers while also focusing closely on Arpaio, who, like Trump, professed to despise the press while craving its attention. They also turn in shocking stories of official malfeasance, including a case where a sheriff’s deputy victimized innocent suspects and malefactors alike, stealing a garage full of evidence, including Schedule 1 narcotics. Yet he was kept on the force because he produced “high stats,” immigrant arrests that enhanced Arpaio’s bragging rights. Finally turned out of office, Arpaio lost a primary race for U.S. Senate to a Republican candidate who herself lost because Arizona was turning blue—one reason for which, the authors hint, was a direct repudiation of Arpaio and his policies.

Though it runs a touch long, this is a work of exemplary reporting.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-520-29408-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Univ. of California

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller


A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Did you like this book?

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.


The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

Did you like this book?