It Has Come to My Attention; Book Prizes and Finalists, 2015. Part B.
The Transformation of the African-American Intelligentsia, 1880 to 2012 by Martin Kilson. Harvard University Press, 2014. A modern African-American intelligentsia evolved in the face of institutionalized racism. The contrasting approaches of W.E.B. Du
Bois and Booker T. Washington to black intellectual leadership. American Book Award
This Changes Everything; Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein. Simon & Schuster, 2015, paper. Not just another issue brought to our attention by well-meaning environmentalists, climate change is effecting an array of issues confronting late capitalism – widening inequalities, vast amounts of money entering the system of democratic election, and faltering local economies among others. American Book Award
The Universal Tone; Bringing My Story to Light by Carlos Santana, with Ashley Kahn & Hal Miller. Back Bay Press, 2015, paper. The journey of Santana from his teens playing in Tijuana through his appearance at Woodstock and an illustrious career that followed. American Book Award
Southside Buddhist by Ira Sukrungruang. University of Tampa Press, 2014, paper. Personal essays about his growing up on Chicago streets that contemplate the complexities of the Thai immigrant life. American Book Award
The People’s Platform; Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor. Picador Press, 2015, paper. Hailed as a democratizing force, the Internet amplifies the real-world inequalities as much as it ameliorates them. A handful of giant companies, recently made fabulously rich, remain our gatekeepers. American Book Award
Negroland; A Memoir by Margo Jefferson. Pantheon Press. Mostly upper-class black ways of being and performing. A warning: she wants nothing from the reader but their attention: you don’t have to like what you read. National Book Critics Circle.
Romantic Outlaws; The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelly by Charlotte Gordon .A dual biography of this mother-daughter pair responsible for A Vindication of the Rights of Women. National Book Critics Circle.
Dreamland; The True Talk of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. Bloomsbury, 2016, paper. The spread of OxyContin addiction has been compared to the crack cocaine phenomenon of the 1980s but the difference is that it arose from the prescription pad and the marketing machine of its maker.
Roads Taken; The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way by Hasia Diner. Yale University Press, paper. 2016. They entered the homes of our great-grandparents to convince them of their need for possessions; they knew their customers well. National Jewish Book Awards
Young Lions; How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel by Leah Garrett. Northwestern University Press, 2015, paper. A tour of this literary terrain so familiar and yet gone unnoticed is its chapter in American Jewish cultural participation. National Jewish Book Awards.
Lincoln and the Jews; A History by Jonathan Sarna & Benjamin Shapell. Thomas Dunne Books. By the 1860s Jews from central Europe were finding new lives in eastern cities, and Lincoln embraced they as refugees but also valuable citizens. National Jewish Book Awards.