News has never traveled more quickly that it does today. Voters who wish to stay up-to-date on the issues can get instant gratification from Twitter and other social media, but there's no substitute for the in-depth analysis a book can provide. Here's a sampling of new and forthcoming titles, all reviewed by PW, that tackle today's hot-button topics.
Edited by the three history professors who started the #CharlestonSyllabus Twitter hashtag, this compendium of works about African-American life, according to our starred review, is “throroughly remarkable” and “offers solid ground for the oft-requested national conversation about race.”
Our starred review said that Isenberg, a professor of history at Louisiana State University, "tackles a topic rarely addressed by mainstream American writing on race and class as she skillfully demonstrates that 'class defines how real people live." The author's expertise "particularly shines in the examinations of early America, and every chapter is riveting."
As Trillin, a regular contributor to the New Yorker since 1963, notes in his introduction, "today’s African-American students are more isolated than they were 40 years ago, education policy makers have abandoned integration as a cause, and a number of states have recently passed laws meant to suppress non-white votes," our starred review explained. "What’s shocking is how topical and relatively undated many of these essays seem today.
"Haag’s book will intrigue readers on all sides of the gun control debate," our starred review said. "In this fascinating account," she "traces the history of America’s gun-making business, arguing that 'the tragedy of American gun violence emerged from the banality of the American gun business.' ”
“Prompted by the many well-publicized police misconduct cases of recent years,” our review said, “this book outlines a blistering structural critique of U.S. law enforcement, along with a strategy for ‘fundamental’ and ‘radical’ change in how the country polices its citizens.”
"In this timely collection of essays and poems, Ward gathers the voices of a new generation whose essays work together as one to present a kaleidoscopic performance of race in America," our starred review said. "Readers in search of conversations about race in America should start here."
"Striking a tone that simultaneously infuriates and inspires," our review said, "journalist Jaffe gives a macro-level overview of recent protest movements, including Occupy Wall Street, the Wisconsin Capitol protesters, Black Lives Matter, and lesser-known social justice groups; some mention is made of protest parties of the right, such as the Tea Party, but the majority of the book focuses on movements associated with the left
"Poet and translator Phillips employs his considerable writing skills to chronicle the racism that held Forsyth County, Ga., in its grip for three quarters of the 20th century," as our starred review describes, praising the book as "a gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism," one that Phillips tells "with rare clarity and power."