Staff Pick

A seasoned journalist in the U.K., Gary Younge decided to see how many children in America were killed by gunfire over the course one calendar day, November 23rd 2013. Heartbreaking and infuriating all at once, we are allowed inside the lives of parents who have lost their children too early in life. Each story not only looks at the prevalence of gun culture in America, but also examines how our society writ-large either helps us or fails us, by researching the life circumstances of the ten children who died on that random day.  This book is a good choice for anyone who questions whether and how gun control measures can reduce gun violence, and what the social realities are at the heart of this contentious issue.

Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9781568589756
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bold Type Books - October 4th, 2016

Staff Pick

Monique Morris’s book is a superb examination of the policies and cultural practices of our educational and criminal justice systems that continue to fail Black girls today. Focused on the cultural sexualization of black girls, Morris’s narrative is personal, powerful, and thoroughly researched. Michelle Alexander (author of The New Jim Crow) called Pushout a “powerful indictment of the cultural beliefs, policies and practices that criminalize and dehumanize Black girls in America.” Highlighting another side of persistent racial inequities, Morris’s book is an essential and important read.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620970942
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: New Press - March 29th, 2016

Staff Pick

This informative tome retells American history, showing how paradoxical attitudes towards the white underclass have held firm over nearly 400 years. On the one hand, poor whites have long been seen as an undesirable group condemned by heredity to feeblemindedness, sloth, and animalistic behavior. From the colonial period through the early 20th century elites used language borrowed from animal husbandry to describe poor whites as an inferior breed. This abhorrent classist bias culminated the emerging “science” of eugenics and the Supreme Court infamously sanctioning forcible sterilization in Buck vs. Bell (1927), a case that was brought by a poor white maid who resisted the State of Virginia’s efforts to sterilize her.  However in contradiction with the denigration and dehumanization of poor whites, they also have long been idealized, from Jefferson’s belief in the innate nobility of America’s yeoman farmers through the examples of Presidents like Jackson, Lincoln, and most recently Bill Clinton, who rose from humble origins in rural backwaters. Isenberg also examines changing depictions of poor whites in the popular culture and media over the years, and when eventually Sarah Palin and Honey Boo Boo find their way into this fascinating book, you won’t be surprised, given the historical continuities Isenberg so compellingly describes.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670785971
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Viking - June 21st, 2016

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143129677
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - April 4th, 2017