Historical fiction obsession. The Problem With Cancer Memoirs. Popular accounts ignore the underlying race and class dynamics that determine vulnerability to the disease.
My frustration with Kalanithi’s memoir may lie with the genre itself. Memoir, by its nature, highlights the uniqueness of the writer’s experiences. I have spent many hours in a cancer ward. It’s a spotless, fluorescent-lit expanse divided into “pods,” a space-age terminology that is reassuringly high-tech. “You can’t coddle white brothers and sisters”: The fiery racial gospel of Michael Eric Dyson. Eloquence is essential to the cultivation of constructive citizenship and the emergence of productive leadership.
It is not coincidental that the window dressing of America’s current moment of structural decay is the degradation of language. Barack Obama, for eight years, performed his role as communicator-in-chief with an elegant array of rhetorical mastery at his disposal, from the pithy phrase to the professorial dissection of a sensitive subject. President Donald Trump suffers from such a limited vocabulary that he can describe everything in only the most extreme terms, regularly misspells common words on Twitter — his preferred medium of truncated communication — and has made our national discourse resemble a middle school reading of a “Beavis and Butt-head” transcript.
The debasement of language is not only influential but instrumental in the decline of political and cultural standards of belief and behavior. Donald Trump needs to read this book: What he doesn’t understand about jihadists and counterterrorism will make America less safe. Last week, President Donald Trump banned the entry of 212 million Muslims from seven countries, with the objective of saving the “Homeland” from “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Trump invokes this expression with a sneer, attacking the courage of those who argue for a more nuanced approach to the terrorist threats facing the United States. Sadly, Trump channels both Goebbels and Lenin, who knew that a good slogan almost always beats a hard truth, and that in politics nuance almost always loses. The ban will make America less safe, not more, for jihadists do not disguise themselves for years as helpless refugee families fleeing the Islamic State’s murder and rapine.
It directly substantiates the jihadist narrative that the United States is engaged in a war against Islam, will anger countless millions of Muslims hitherto well-disposed to the U.S. and will incite more extremists into jihadist to blow us up or slit our throats. None too soon, the eminent terrorism scholar Peter R. Gay penguins children’s story tops list of most censored books in US school libraries.
Social decay: what the conversation about Trump and the white working class misses. Reads: George Hodgman’s Bettyville. In tender and often hilarious prose, George Hodgman’s memoir, Bettyville (Viking, March 2015), describes his experience moving from Manhattan to his hometown of Paris, Missouri, to live with his aging and ill mother, Betty.
Hodgman, a writer and former Vanity Fair editor who spent much of his career in New York, chooses to transform his life by becoming his mother’s primary caregiver. In addition to being a heartwarming read, Hodgman’s memoir is deeply relevant: Currently there is increasing attention to the needs of elder care workers, and policy changes are slowly beginning to reflect those needs.
2016 Recap: Our Favorite Books. We’re taking a break this week to reflect on some of the best feminist writing of the last year.
Today, we’re recalling our favorite feminist books: most were published in 2016, but we’ve cheated and included a few great older ones, too. Let us know what we missed, in the comments! Dana: While Han Kang’s short, spare novel, The Vegetarian, has received almost universal acclaim, everyone seems to have a different idea of what it’s about: agency, subversion, eating disorders, mental illness, patriarchy, Korean family structure, suicide, rebellion. #Charlestonsyllabus. Prayer Vigil for the Nine Victims of the Charleston Shooting Here is a list of readings that educators can use to broach conversations in the classroom about the horrendous events that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17, 2015.
These readings provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance. All readings are arranged by date of publication.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive–you will find omissions. #Charlestonsyllabus was conceived by Chad Williams (@Dr_ChadWilliams), Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University. SCARY BOOKS. The Novels Everyone Should Read, Based on Top Book Lists and Prizes. White Trash. White Trash author Nancy Isenberg.
Authors: N-Z. Authors: A-M. Bettyville. Must-Read Feminist Books of 2014. At Ms., we’re often the first to know which highly anticipated feminist books are coming out and which feminist giants have taken to the pen again.
Countless new books pass through our editors’ hands, and then we pass our recommendations onto our readers. Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge. If you lived at Downton Abbey, you shopped at Selfridge’s.
Harry Gordon Selfridge was a charismatic American who, in twenty-five years working at Marshall Field’s in Chicago, rose from lowly stockboy to a partner in the business which his visionary skills had helped to create. At the turn of the twentieth century he brought his own American dream to London’s Oxford Street where, in 1909, with a massive burst of publicity, Harry opened Selfridge’s, England’s first truly modern built-for-purpose department store.
Designed to promote shopping as a sensual and pleasurable experience, six acres of floor space offered what he called “everything that enters into the affairs of daily life,” as well as thrilling new luxuries—from ice-cream soda to signature perfumes. Isaac's Storm. Johnstown Flood. Chapter 1 The sky was red.
God Help the Child. Photo. Essential reading: Jane Mayer's 'Dark Money' “Although nobody agrees with me, I am of the opinion that the only sound countries in the world are Germany, Italy, and Japan, simply because they are all working and working hard,” he wrote in a letter to a friend. Koch added, “The laboring people in those countries are proportionately much better off than they are any place else in the world.
When you contrast the state of mind of Germany today with what it was in 1925 you begin to think that perhaps this course of idleness, feeding at the public trough, dependence on government, etc., with which we are afflicted is not permanent and can be overcome.” Needless to say he had a profound influence on his sons, going so far as to hire an authoritarian German nanny to raise them—which may have a lot to do with who they have become. By the early 1970s the John Birch Society and the conservative movement itself had become sidelined, considered too extreme for American politics. The Journey Of August King. The Good Mother Myth. Anakin Tweet Tells Christians the Best $16 They Can Spend.
Anakin Tweet Tells Christians the Best $16 They Can Spend Previously I've written about Anakin, who has nearly 25K Twitter followers, right here. 50 Books That Every African American Should Read. Ralph Nader Lists 11 Books You Should Read. Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Is the Best Way to Spend Time on Your Toilet. Meet our new Ayn Rand: Ben Shapiro’s hamfisted propaganda fiction is even worse than you guessed. For decades now, conservatives have lamented the fact that while they’ve often won political races, they’ve “lost the culture.” This perceived injury is part of what motivates the charge against “politically correct” movies, television, literature, and visual art. The Future of Whiteness. I don’t like to overuse the term “must read” but Linda Martin Alcoff’s The Future of Whiteness (2015, Polity) is a must-read.
We live in the era of white reaction to non-whites getting equal rights, and changing demographics – by 2050 white Europeans will no longer be a majority – have created a frenzy of over-reaction on the right, and some problems on the left too, as Bernie Sanders found out when Black Lives Matter upstaged him and demanded to be heard. The Best Atheist Books of 2015.
Thank you for your interest in Patheos newsletters! Please enter your email address below and click the "Subscribe" button. New Book by Raphael Lataster and Richard Carrier: "Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists" Back in April of 2012 I wrote a post titled, Did Jesus Exist? Jim Jones, deadly white savior: The tragic legacy of the Jonestown massacre. White Nights, Black Paradise, a new novel available from Infidel Books this week, shares a vision of the Jonestown massacre that is rarely emphasized in mainstream literary narratives. One of the largest murder-suicides in modern history has lived on in the popular imagination as a uniquely American tragedy. Naomi Klein Brings 'This Changes Everything' To Michigan. Ms Klein’s presentation connected current practices in Michigan with disaster politics used in New Orleans.