While its visually focused approach doesn’t dig deep, this book deftly spotlights lesser-known figures from Portland’s past.



From the Images of America series

Two historians offer a brief look at the role women have played in the evolution of Portland, Oregon.

Prince (Culture Wars in British Literature, 2012, etc.) and debut author Schaffer highlight the many notable ways women have shaped Oregon’s largest city in this informative book, part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. The authors’ aim was “to do our part to mend the telling of Portland’s history,” which has traditionally focused on men. In particular, they draw attention to the lives of Native Americans and other women of color. They begin with the “forgotten history” of the city before the arrival of white settlers in the 1840s and continue through the post–World War II era into the present. Separate chapters cover women in the arts from the 1890s onward (such as noted children’s author Beverly Cleary) and women in politics from the 1920s to today. As with other volumes in this series, the emphasis is on historical photographs, newspaper clippings, and other documents, which are accompanied by short captions. The result is a visually interesting but necessarily scattershot history. Still, the authors have wisely chosen to concentrate on certain themes, such as the fight for women’s suffrage or women’s work on the homefront during World War II, which helps to provide an overarching context to the text and images. In some cases, more details would have been helpful in understanding the broader historical events that provided the backdrop to the women’s actions. For example, a number of African American women who fought for civil rights are admirably profiled, but a statement that Oregon’s 1953 law banning discrimination in public accommodations put it “a decade ahead of the nation in passing civil rights laws” downplays the state’s troubling history of racial exclusion. Yet the authors are to be commended for their efforts to document the experiences of a diverse group of Portland women. Many of them seem ripe for a more in-depth exploration, such as Lucy A. Mallory, a suffragist and writer whom Tolstoy once called the “greatest woman in America.”

While its visually focused approach doesn’t dig deep, this book deftly spotlights lesser-known figures from Portland’s past.

Pub Date: June 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4671-2505-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Arcadia Books

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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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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