NEW BOOKS: American Studies.

A Mind to Stay; White Plantation, Black Homeland by Sydney Nathans. Harvard University Press, 2017.A alternative narrative of the Great Migration, enslaved families who became the emancipated owners of land they had worked while in bondage to their white owners.

Pillars of Justice; Lawyers and the Liberal Tradition by Owen Fiss. Harvard University Press, 2017. How thirteen different lawyers shaped the legal world during the past half century. Thurgood Marshall, for example, but other less-well-known names.

The Age of Responsibility; Luck, Choice, and the Welfare State by Yascha Mounk. Harvard University Press., 2017.  We are going to be discussing this quandary for the next four to eight years.

Who Gets In? Strategies for Fair and Effective College Admissions by Rebecca Zwick. Harvard University Press, 2017. A look at the high-stakes competition for admission to prestigious schools and state universities. That competition is affecting parental strategies for gaining their kids’ admission to the right grade school.

 (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love; Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work by Brooke Duffy. Yale University Press, 2017. Enterprising women are intrigued by the notion of a career in the social media economy. Sadly they are not being paid for these “passion projects.”

Vulgar Tongues; An Alternative History of English Slang by Max. Décharné. Pegasus, 2017, From Elizabethan highwaymen to American hip-hop.

Knowledge for Sale; The Neo-Liberal Takeover of Higher Education by Lawrence Busch. MIT Press, 2017. A challenge to the market-driven approach to college education, with the caution that whatever the eventual makeover of higher education, finding a job will certainly be more difficult than was the case in the twentieth century.

Dumbing Us Down; The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Gatto & Zazhary Slayback. New Society, 2017 paper. A fierce attack on public schooling or any formal schooling, for that matter.

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? By Mumia Abu-Jamal. City Lights, 2017 paper. An indictment of the history of police violence against people of color, from slavery to today’s Black Lives Matter.

Wild Ride; Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky. Penguin, 2017. The company’s rapid growth from murky origins to plans for expansion into other industries.

The Conservative Heart; How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America by Arthur Brooks. Broadside, 2017 paper. Building a society that can flourish economically while also being inclusive.

Ronald Reagan; New Deal Republican by Henry Olsen. Broadside, 2017. There are strong resemblances between the Reagan and Roosevelt administrations. Olsen argues that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was basically a conservative response to the Great Depression.

An Unlikely Union; The Love-Hate Story of New York’s Irish and Italians by Paul Moses. New York University Press, 2017 paper. Sometimes they fought in the streets, sometimes it was a competition between two crooners Frank Sinatra (Italian) and Bing Crosby (Irish).

Everything Under the Heavens; How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power by Howard French. Knopf, 2017. An investigation of China’s ideological development as this emerging power becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.

From Head Shops to Whole Foods; The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs by Joshua Davis. A look at various social movements that have come and gone and how American capitalism has taken advantage of those opportunities. The latest, medical marijuana. Unshackling Amrica

Fraud; An American History from Barnum to Madoff by Edward Balleisen. Princeton University Press, 2017. The nineteenth-century was the golden age of business fraud. We have moved on to Ponzi schemes, credit default swaps that are more appropriate to our century and American capitalism has followed.

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