New Books: Thursday, September 10

The library is now open for limited patron access. There are four marked parking spaces outside; please park in one of these if you’d like to come in to browse. If all four spaces are full, please wait until one becomes available, in order to allow us to keep safe social distances inside. There is also a space designated for curbside book delivery, and another for anyone who needs to use a computer. Please use these spaces as appropriate, or wait in another spot until one becomes available. Thank you for your help as we work to make the library a safe place for all!

Here are a few more of the new books we’ve gotten in since we closed for the pandemic:

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is “undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.” Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue a tenth-anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today.

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Dog Whistle Politics

In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney López offers an account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations control over financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives.

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Begin Again

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., in the after times, when the promise of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America were challenged by the election of Donald Trump. We have been here before: For James Baldwin, the after times came in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin was transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair. In the story of Baldwin’s crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography — drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews — with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude’s attempt, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America

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