* Nominated for a 2013 Edgar Award
* Book of the Year (Non-fiction, 2012) The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor
Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in a case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.
In 1949, Florida’s orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor with the help of Sheriff Willis V. McCall, who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old girl cried rape, McCall pursued four young blacks who dared envision a future for themselves beyond the groves. The Ku Klux Klan joined the hunt, hell-bent on lynching the men who came to be known as “the Groveland Boys.”
Associates thought it was suicidal for Marshall to wade into the “Florida Terror,” but the young lawyer would not shrink from the fight despite continuous death threats against him.
Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI’s unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund files, Gilbert King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader.
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
New African American Books: Adult Nonfiction
By Tim Cocks LAGOS (Reuters) –
Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, widely seen as the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. From the publication of his first novel, “Things Fall Apart”, over 50 years ago, Achebe shaped an understanding of Africa from an African perspective more than any other author. As a novelist, poet, broadcaster and lecturer, Achebe was a yardstick against which generations of African writers have been judged. For children across Africa, his books have for decades been an eye-opening introduction to the power of literature. …
For more, see Yahoo News.
Unlike the more forthrightly mythic origins of other urban centers — think Rome via Romulus and Remus or Mexico City via the god Huitzilopochtli — Los Angeles emerged from a smoke-and-mirrors process that is simultaneously literal and figurative, real and imagined, material and metaphorical, physical and textual. Through penetrating analysis and personal engagement, Vincent Brook uncovers the many portraits of this ever-enticing, ever-ambivalent, and increasingly multicultural megalopolis. Divided into sections that probe Los Angeles’s checkered history and reflect on Hollywood’s own self-reflections, the book shows how the city, despite considerable remaining challenges, is finally blowing away some of the smoke of its not always proud past and rhetorically adjusting its rear-view mirrors.
Part I is a review of the city’s history through the early 1900s, focusing on the seminal 1884 novel Ramona and its immediate effect, but also exploring its ongoing impact through interviews with present-day Tongva Indians, attendance at the 88th annual Ramona pageant, and analysis of its feature film adaptations.
Brook deals with Hollywood as geographical site, film production center, and frame of mind in Part II. He charts the events leading up to Hollywood’s emergence as the world’s movie capital and explores subsequent developments of the film industry from its golden age through the so-called New Hollywood, citing such self-reflexive films as Sunset Blvd., Singin’ in the Rain, and The Truman Show.
Part III considers LA noir, a subset of film noir that emerged alongside the classical noir cycle in the 1940s and 1950s and continues today. The city’s status as a privileged noir site is analyzed in relation to its history and through discussions of such key LA noir novels and films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Crash.
In Part IV, Brook examines multicultural Los Angeles. Using media texts as signposts, he maps the history and contemporary situation of the city’s major ethno-racial and other minority groups, looking at such films as Mi Familia (Latinos), Boyz N the Hood (African Americans), Charlotte Sometimes (Asians), Falling Down (Whites), and The Kids Are All Right (LGBT).
Land of Smoke and Mirrors: A Cultural History of Los Angeles
What is America becoming? Or, more importantly, what can she be if we reclaim a vision for the things that made her great in the first place? In America the Beautiful, Dr. Ben Carson helps us learn from our past in order to chart a better course for our future. From his personal ascent from inner-city poverty to international medical and humanitarian acclaim, Carson shares experiential insights that help us understand … what is good about America … where we have gone astray … which fundamental beliefs have guided America from her founding into preeminence among nations Written by a man who has experienced America’s best and worst firsthand, America the Beautiful is at once alarming, convicting, and inspiring. You’ll gain new perspectives on our nation’s origins, our Judeo-Christian heritage, our educational system, capitalism versus socialism, our moral fabric, healthcare, and much more. An incisive manifesto of the values that shaped America’s past and must shape her future, America the Beautiful calls us all to use our God-given talents to improve our lives, our communities, our nation, and our world.
America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great
Here are the upcoming bestsellers for African American books (from Amazon.com).
- Face Off (The Baddest Chick) Part 4 by Nisa Santiago
(Melodrama Publishing, 2013-04-02, Paperback)
Clash of the Twins The relentless rivals Apple and Kola are back in business, and it’s about to get real. With her traumatic experiences in Mexico over, Apple is back to being the baddest. Now she’s determined to make her tormentors pay for the torture she endured, and no one is prepared for the terrifying takedown she’s planning for those she once loved. Kola is dominating the streets of Miami, but the haters and South Beach cartels are itching to see her leave, dead or alive. When she finds betrayal in an unlikely place, she’s motivated to come out on top and put Miami on notice. Apple and Kola rage fiery warfare against the enemies determined to bring them down. But now, both contenders stronger than ever, will have to Face Off once and for all.
- Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
(Random House, 2013-04-02, Hardcover)
The story of Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life has been chronicled in her multiple bestselling autobiographies. But now, at last, the legendary author shares the deepest personal story of her life: her relationship with her mother. For the first time, Angelou reveals the triumphs and struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an indomitable spirit whose petite size belied her larger-than-life presence—a presence absent during much of Angelou’s early life. When her marriage began to crumble, Vivian famously sent three-year-old Maya and her older brother away from their California home to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. The subsequent feelings of abandonment stayed with Angelou for years, but their reunion, a decade later, began a story that has never before been told. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to simply call “Lady,” revealing the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them. Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, the love that fostered Maya Angelou’s rise from immeasurable depths to reach impossible heights.
- Stepping Stone (Crosstown to Oblivion) by Walter Mosley
(Tor Books, 2013-04-02, Kindle Edition)
Stepping Stone is but one of six fragments in the Crosstown to Oblivion short novels in which Mosley entertainingly explores life’s cosmic questions. From life’s meaning to the nature of good and evil, these tales take us on speculative journeys beyond the reality we have come to know. In each tale someone in our world today is given insight into these long pondered mysteries. But how would the world really receive the answers? Truman Pope has spent his whole life watching the world go by–and waiting for something he can’t quite put into words. A gentle, unassuming soul, he has worked in the mailroom of a large corporation for decades without making waves, until the day he spots a mysterious woman in yellow. A woman nobody else can see. Soon Truman’s quiet life begins to turn upside-down. An old lover surfaces from his past even as he finds his job in jeopardy. Strange visions haunt his days and nights, until he begins to doubt his sanity. Is he losing his mind, or is he on the brink of a startling revelation that will change his life forever–and transform the nature of humanity?
- Honor Thy Thug by Wahida Clark
(Cash Money Content, 2013-04-23, Hardcover)
Urban lit’s favorite ride or die couple, Trae and Tasha, are back as they fight to hold onto their volatile relationship which gets closer to exploding with each passing day. Their friends, Angel and Kaylin, are caught up in their own drama which pits brother against brother in a final showdown. Faheem and his wife Jaz, face their worst nightmare which almost takes them totally out of the game. Meanwhile, Kyron, who brought Trae to the brink of murder and Tasha to the edge of insanity, is back and hell bent on revenge. When Trae makes the deadly decision to work for the most violent Chinese crime organization in the city and renew a business relationship with Charli Li, the one woman who can never be trusted, his rocky marriage and life are threatened. Tasha is forced to step in, and things get really crazy. Can Trae escape the grips of the mob with his life and hold on to his wife? Honor Thy Thug will leave you gasping for more.
- Decadence by Eric Jerome Dickey
(Dutton Adult, 2013-04-23, Hardcover)
New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey returns to the life of Nia Simone Bijou (of Pleasure fame) as she embarks on a quest to enhance her artistic gifts through heightened sensory experience, Hollywood-style. Four years have passed since the events of Pleasure, and Nia’s success as a writer has grown, bringing her from Atlanta to Los Angeles. But she remains on a quest to quiet her inner storm, to draw on her well of emotions and explore them fully before leaving this season of her life and moving on to what could be the next stage: marriage and motherhood. Drawn to an exclusive pleasure palace, where patrons try on roles as they actively shun their respective realities, Nia’s ability to balance truth and fantasy becomes increasingly blurred. What has happened to the compartments she has so carefully created for the different aspects of her life? Will her relationship with the mysterious, often unavailable Prada survive the countless temptations? Will her successful literary career be given over to impulse indulgence? Does decadence know any bounds? When Nia’s past comes back to mingle with her present, and when her staid public persona clashes with her fantasy life of decadence, readers will be stunned by the outcome. Eric Jerome Dickey’s newest tale of excess—and its sky-high costs—is a thrilling portrait of a glittering world.
- Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry
(Yale University Press, 2013-04-30, Paperback)
“The insight and grace with which Harris-Perry tackles the thorny issue of African American women’s identity politics makes it a must-read.”—Jordan Kisner, Slate
- The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm’s Way by Alice Walker
(New Press, The, 2013-04-09, Hardcover)
In her newest collection of wide-ranging meditations on our intertwined personal, spiritual, and political destinies, Alice Walker writes that we are beyond a rigid category of color, sex, or spirituality if we are truly alive.” For the millions of her devoted fansand for readers of Walker’s bestselling 2006 book We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For in particularhere is a new gift of words” (Essence) that invites readers on a journey of political awakening and spiritual insight.The Cushion in the Road revisits themes the Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist, poet, essayist, and activist has addressed throughout her career: racism, Africa, solidarity with the Palestinian people, the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, Cuba, healthcare, and the work of Aung San Suu Kyi. In doing so, Walker explores her conflicting impulses to retreat into inner contemplation and to remain deeply engaged with the world. Through the evocative image of the meditation cushion in the road, she finds a delicate balance between these two paths and invites her readers to do so, too.Rich with humor, wisdom, and Walker’s unique eye for the telling details of human experience and the natural world, The Cushion in the Road shows Walker at the height of her literary powers, reveals the depths of her spiritual and political understandings, and will surely be an inspiration for all.
- Betrayed by Patricia Haley
(Urban Books, 2013-04-30, Paperback)
- An Accidental Affair by Eric Jerome Dickey
(NAL Trade, 2013-04-02, Paperback)
New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey once again “pushes romance and deceit to the next level” (USA Weekend) in this tantalizing tale of a high-profile marriage rocked by scandal, obsession, and murder. Screenwriter James Thicke is a man whose mysterious past runs as deep as his violent streak. Now he and his volatile movie star wife, Regina Baptiste, have channeled their passions into an electrifying new project: a film rumored to cross the boundaries of on-screen sexuality. But it’s James’s limits that are about to be tested—by a surreptitiously filmed video of his wife with her co-star Johnny Bergs, in the most comprising of situations. Within hours, it goes viral. Regina claims she is innocent. But the humiliation and rage leave James with only one recourse—an act of violence that sends him on the run and into hiding. Seething with bitter betrayal, and a still-consuming love for his troubled wife, he nurses a slow-boiling desire for something more permanent: revenge. His need for vengeance takes James and Regina on a headlong odyssey of obsession, sexual impulse, blackmail, and murder. And getting back will be hell.
- Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation by Jonathan Rieder
(Bloomsbury Press, 2013-04-09, Hardcover)
I am in Birmingham because injustice is here, declared Martin Luther King, Jr. He had come to that city of racist terror convinced that massive protest could topple Jim Crow. But the insurgency faltered. To revive it, King made a sacrificial act on Good Friday, April 12, 1963: he was arrested. Alone in his cell, reading a newspaper, he found a statement from eight “moderate” clergymen who branded the protests extremist and “untimely.” King drafted a furious rebuttal that emerged as the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”-a work that would take its place among the masterpieces of American moral argument alongside those of Thoreau and Lincoln. His insistence on the urgency of “Freedom Now” would inspire not just the marchers of Birmingham and Selma, but peaceful insurgents from Tiananmen to Tahrir Squares. Scholar Jonathan Rieder delves deeper than anyone before into the Letter-illuminating both its timeless message and its crucial position in the history of civil rights. Rieder has interviewed King’s surviving colleagues, and located rare audiotapes of King speaking in the mass meetings of 1963. Gospel of Freedom gives us a startling perspective on the Letter and the man who wrote it: an angry prophet who chastised American whites, found solace in the faith and resilience of the slaves, and knew that moral appeal without struggle never brings justice.
- Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May
(Basic Books, 2013-04-09, Hardcover)
When the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 granted African Americans the right to vote, it seemed as if a new era of political equality was at hand. Before long, however, white segregationists across the South counterattacked, driving their black countrymen from the polls through a combination of sheer terror and insidious devices such as complex literacy tests and expensive poll taxes. Most African Americans would remain voiceless for nearly a century more, citizens in name only until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act secured their access to the ballot.In Bending Toward Justice, celebrated historian Gary May describes how black voters overcame centuries of bigotry to secure and preserve one of their most important rights as American citizens. The struggle that culminated in the passage of the Voting Rights Act was long and torturous, and only succeeded because of the courageous work of local freedom fighters and national civil rights leadersas well as, ironically, the opposition of Southern segregationists and law enforcement officials, who won public sympathy for the voting rights movement by brutally attacking peaceful demonstrators. But while the Voting Rights Act represented an unqualified victory over such forces of hate, May explains that its achievements remain in jeopardy. Many argue that the 2008 election of President Barack Obama rendered the act obsolete, yet recent years have seen renewed efforts to curb voting rights and deny minorities the act’s hard-won protections. Legal challenges to key sections of the act may soon lead the Supreme Court to declare those protections unconstitutional.A vivid, fast-paced history of this landmark piece of civil rights legislation, Bending Toward Justice offers a dramatic, timely account of the struggle that finally won African Americans the ballotalthough, as May shows, the fight for voting rights is by no means over.
- Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz by Russell Maroon Shoatz
(PM Press, 2013-04-01, Paperback)
During a lengthy incarceration spent mostly in solitary confinement, Russell Maroon Shoatz has developed into a prolific writer and powerful voice for the disenfranchised. This first published collection of his accumulated works showcases his sharp and profound understanding of the current historical moment, with clear proposals for how to move forward embracing new political concepts and practices. Informed by Shoatz’s experience as a leader in the Black Liberation Movement in Philadelphia, the pieces in this book put forth his fresh and self-critical retelling of the black liberation struggle in the United States and provide cutting-edge analysis of the prison-industrial complex. Innovative and revolutionary on multiple levels, the essays also discuss such varied topics as eco-socialism, matriarchy and eco-feminism, food security, prefiguration and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Including new essays written expressly for this volume, Shoatz’s unique perspective offers many practical and theoretical insights for today’s movements for social change.
- Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook (Literary Trails of North Carolina) by Georgann Eubanks
(The University of North Carolina Press, 2013-04-01, Paperback)
This concluding volume of the Literary Trails of North Carolina trilogy takes readers into an ancient land of pale sand, dense forests, and expansive bays, through towns older than our country and rich in cultural traditions. Here, writers reveal lives long tied to the land and regularly troubled by storms and tell tales of hardship, hard work, and freedom. Eighteen tours lead readers from Raleigh to the Dismal Swamp, the Outer Banks, and across the Sandhills as they explore the region’s connections to over 250 writers of fiction, poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction. Along the way, Georgann Eubanks brings to life the state’s rich literary heritage as she explores these writers’ connection to place and reveals the region’s vibrant local culture. Excerpts invite readers into the authors’ worlds, and web links offer resources for further exploration. Featured authors include A. R. Ammons, Gerald Barrax, Charles Chesnutt, Clyde Edgerton, Philip Gerard, Kaye Gibbons, Harriet Jacobs, Jill McCorkle, Michael Parker, and Bland Simpson. Literary Trails of North Carolina is a project of the North Carolina Arts Council.
- Native Apostles: Black and Indian Missionaries in the British Atlantic World by Edward E. Andrews
(Harvard University Press, 2013-04-01, Hardcover)
As Protestantism expanded across the Atlantic world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most evangelists were not white Anglo-Americans, as scholars have long assumed, but members of the same groups that missionaries were trying to convert. Native Apostles offers one of the most significant untold stories in the history of early modern religious encounters, marshalling wide-ranging research to shed light on the crucial role of Native Americans, Africans, and black slaves in Protestant missionary work. The result is a pioneering view of religion’s spread through the colonial world. From New England to the Caribbean, the Carolinas to Africa, Iroquoia to India, Protestant missions relied on long-forgotten native evangelists, who often outnumbered their white counterparts. Their ability to tap into existing networks of kinship and translate between white missionaries and potential converts made them invaluable assets and potent middlemen. Though often poor and ostracized by both whites and their own people, these diverse evangelists worked to redefine Christianity and address the challenges of slavery, dispossession, and European settlement. Far from being advocates for empire, their position as cultural intermediaries gave native apostles unique opportunities to challenge colonialism, situate indigenous peoples within a longer history of Christian brotherhood, and harness scripture to secure a place for themselves and their followers. Native Apostles shows that John Eliot, Eleazar Wheelock, and other well-known Anglo-American missionaries must now share the historical stage with the black and Indian evangelists named Hiacoomes, Good Peter, Philip Quaque, John Quamine, and many more.
- I’m Forever New York’s Finest part 3 by Kiki Swinson
(K.S. Publications, 2013-04-16, Paperback)
- The Underground Railroad in Dekalb County, Illinois by Nancy M. Beasley
(Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub, 2013-04-02, Paperback)
- He Don’t Play Fair by Clifford Spud Johnson
(Urban Books, 2013-04-01, Paperback)
27 year old Papio gets released from a Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno after serving just 3 years of a 30 year sentence, when his conviction for conspiracy to distribute 45 kilos of cocaine is overturned. Having some unfinished business in Oklahoma City, Papio stops there to romance a few women and collect on some debts before heading out West, avoiding contact with his infuriated Cuban connection by all means. Never settling for less than the best in hotels, luxury vehicles, and designer clothing follow Papio on his journey across the states that takes some unexpected twists and turns which make this tale extra Special! Don’t get caught up, because HE DON’T PLAY FAIR.
- The Lost Daughter: A Memoir by Mary Williams
(Blue Rider Press, 2013-04-09, Hardcover)
A daughter of the Black Panther movement tells her remarkable life story of being raised amid violence and near-poverty, adopted as a teenager by Jane Fonda, and finding her way back home. As she grew up in 1970s Oakland, California, role models for Mary Williams were few and far between: her father was often in prison, her older sister was a teenage prostitute, and her hot-tempered mother struggled to raise six children alone. When Mary was thirteen, a silver lining appeared in her life: she was invited to spend a summer at Laurel Springs Children’s Camp, run by Jane Fonda and her then husband, Tom Hayden. Mary flourished at camp, and over the course of several summers, she began confiding in Fonda about her difficulties at home. During one school year, Mary suffered a nightmare assault crime, which she kept secret until she told a camp counselor and Fonda. After providing care and therapy for Mary, Fonda invited her to come live with her family. Practically overnight, Mary left the streets of Oakland for the star-studded climes of Santa Monica. Jane Fonda was the parent Mary had never hadoutside the limelight and Hollywood parties, Fonda was a wonderful mom who helped with homework, listened to adolescent fears, celebrated achievements, and offered inspiration and encouragement at every turn. Mary’s life since has been one of adventure and opportunityfrom hiking the Appalachian Trail solo, working with the Lost Boys of Sudan, and living in the frozen reaches of Antarctica. Her most courageous trip, though, involved returning to Oakland and reconnecting with her biological mother and family, many of whom she hadn’t seen since the day she left home. The Lost Daughter is a chronicle of her journey back in time, an exploration of fractured family bonds, and a moving epic of self-discovery.
Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 – The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball by Michael LenehanMarch 25, 2013
Today basketball is played “bove the rim” by athletes of all backgrounds and colors. But 50 years ago it was a floor-bound game, and the opportunities it offered for African-Americans were severely limited.
A key turning point was 1963, when the Loyola Ramblers of Chicago took the NCAA men’ basketball title from Cincinnati, the two-time defending champions. It was one of Chicago’s most memorable sports victories, but Ramblers reveals it was also a game for the history books because of the transgressive lineups fielded by both teams.
Ramblers is an entertaining, detail-rich look back at the unlikely circumstances that led to Loyola’s historic championship and the stories of two Loyola opponents: Cincinnati and Mississippi State. Michael Lenehan’s narrative masterfully intertwines these stories in dramatic fashion, culminating with the tournament’s final game, a come-from-behind overtime upset that featured two buzzer-beating shots.
While on the surface this is a book about basketball, it goes deeper to illuminate how sport in America both typifies and drives change in the broader culture. The stark social realities of the times are brought vividly to life in Lenehan’s telling, illustrating the challenges faced in teams’ efforts simply to play their game against the worthiest opponents.
Ramblers: Loyola Chicago 1963 – The Team that Changed the Color of College Basketball
“Learn to love your white brothers and sisters, don’t drink from the cup of bitterness, hate and grudges”
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
No doubt Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream of racial harmony, racial unity, and bringing blacks and whites closer together. In chapter one,”We Still Angry,” you’ll read which of today’s civil rights leaders said, “Get ready, George Washington, there’s a new neighbor on the Potomac. Get ready Mr. Jefferson, there’s a new neighbor on the Potomac. Get ready Mr. Lincoln, there’s a new neighbor, and we (blacks) are all coming to help him move in. We brought our luggage, we brought our food. Guess who’s coming to dinner?” Those divisive words were spoken at a dedication ceremony for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. monument on August 28, 2011. That cup should have been emptied decades ago, but today’s black African American leaders and spokespeople are diligent in efforts to keep it overflowing. — Doug Saint Carter, Author
Black Americans In The 21st Century: Integrating Or Segregating
A web article looking back on the origins of black crime fiction.
When I was a teenager growing up in South Central Los Angeles in the ‘70s, there was a type of paperback novel you couldn’t find at the B. Dalton or Martindale’s. You found these books on the spinner rack in drugstores and bus station newsstands, and even in grocery stories. They had titles like Eldorado Red, Trick Baby, and Death for Hire. This was crime fiction with black protagonists and anti-heroes published by the L.A. based, white owned Holloway House whose specialty, in their words, was being “the world’s largest publisher of black experience paperbacks.”
It was not the black experience my librarian mother had introduced me to in the pages of Langston Hughes and Anne Perry, but it did reflect an undercurrent arising out of the tumult of the Black Power and Civil Rights era. Not to say that the aforementioned Eldorado Red—about heisters who take down a numbers house, written by former pimp and ongoing heroin addict Donald Goines—was full of role models to be emulated. But the energy that came out of those movements, the desire to take it to the man, such sentiment fueled in part the works of Goines and his Holloway House cohorts Roland Jefferson (The School on 103rd Street), Robert Beck, and Joe Nazel.
A narrative thriller about the battle royale surrounding Barack Obama’s quest for a second term amid widespread joblessness and one of the most poisonous political climates in American history.
In this sequel to his bestselling The Promise, Jonathan Alter digs into the back story of the campaign and Obama’s performance as president. This will be the most penetrating account of how Obama won or lost the election and how he confronted the implacable forces arrayed against him — a sluggish economy, vicious partisan opposition, his own failures as a politician and communicator.
The book will bring to life today’s climactic clash over the fate of the middle class and the future of the American Dream. On the ground and in the air, the 2012 election pits Obama’s still-formidable citizens’ army versus Mitt Romney’s Super PAC moneyed elite.
Alter takes readers deep inside Obama’s Chicago headquarters and Romney’s Boston-based campaign, as the candidates battle over jobs, their records, and who is more out of touch.
Alter explains why the 2012 election will be long remembered as a pivotal contest. At stake, he writes, is not just the presidency but the role of government and our definition of what we owe each other.
Obama has always believed he could hit the three-point shot at the buzzer. Alter takes us on the court with the president as he tries to nail the last big shot of his political career.
The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
A decade in the making, Emily Raboteau‘s Searching for Zion takes readers around the world on an unexpected adventure of faith. Both one woman’s quest for a place to call “home” and an investigation into a people’s search for the Promised Land, this landmark work of creative nonfiction is a trenchant inquiry into contemporary and historical ethnic displacement.
At the age of twenty-three, award-winning writer Emily Raboteau traveled to Israel to visit her childhood best friend. While her friend appeared to have found a place to belong, Raboteau could not yet say the same for herself. As a biracial woman from a country still divided along racial lines, she’d never felt at home in America. But as a reggae fan and the daughter of a historian of African-American religion, Raboteau knew of “Zion” as a place black people yearned to be. She’d heard about it on Bob Marley’s Exodus and in the speeches of Martin Luther King. She understood it as a metaphor for freedom, a spiritual realm rather than a geographical one. Now in Israel, the Jewish Zion, she was surprised to discover black Jews. More surprising was the story of how they got there. Inspired by their exodus, Raboteau sought out other black communities that left home in search of a Promised Land. Her question for them is same she asks herself: have you found the home you’re looking for?
On her ten-year journey back in time and around the globe, through the Bush years and into the age of Obama, Raboteau wanders to Jamaica, Ethiopia, Ghana, and the American South to explore the complex and contradictory perspectives of Black Zionists. She talks to Rastafarians and African Hebrew Israelites, Evangelicals and Ethiopian Jews, and Katrina transplants from her own family — people that have risked everything in search of territory that is hard to define and harder to inhabit. Uniting memoir with historical and cultural investigation, Raboteau overturns our ideas of place and patriotism, displacement and dispossession, citizenship and country in a disarmingly honest and refreshingly brave take on the pull of the story of Exodus.
Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora