Dorothy Day: Dissenting Voice of the American Century by John Loughery
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
“[A] masterpiece.” —The Guardian “A good biography holds your attention; a great one transcends its subject and sheds light on the myriad forces bearing down on an individual at a particular point in time. Dorothy Day belongs, luminously, to the second [category].” —Los Angeles Review of Books “A vivid account of her political and religious development.” —Karen Armstrong, The New York Times “Reviving a voice for our times.” —Samantha Power, The Washington Post “Magisterial and glorious.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The first full authoritative biography of Dorothy Day: American icon, radical pacifist, Catholic convert, and advocate for the homeless whom Pope Francis I compared to Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. After growing up in a conservative middle-class Republican household and working several years as a leftwing journalist, Dorothy Day converted to Catholicism and became an anomaly in American life for the next fifty years. As an orthodox Catholic, political radical, and a rebel who courted controversy, she attracted three generations of admirers. A believer in civil disobedience, Day went to jail several times protesting the nuclear arms race. She was critical of capitalism and US foreign policy, and as skeptical of modern liberalism as political conservatism. Her protests began in 1917, leading to her arrest during the suffrage demonstration outside President Wilson’s White House. In 1940 she spoke in Congress against the draft and urged young men not to register. She told audiences in 1962 that the US was as much to blame for the Cuban missile crisis as Cuba and the USSR. She refused to hear any criticism of the pope, though she sparred with American bishops and priests who lived in well-appointed rectories while tolerating racial segregation in their parishes. Dorothy Day is the exceptional biography of a dedicated modern-day pacifist, an outspoken advocate for the poor, and a lifelong anarchist. This definitive and insightful account is “a monumental exploration of the life, legacy, and spirituality of the Catholic activist” (Spirituality & Practice).
The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
An extraordinary debut in the tradition of classic works from authors such as Mark Kurlansky, Mary Roach, and Rose George. An exuberant and insightful work of popular history of how streets got their names, houses their numbers, and what it reveals about class, race, power, and identity. When most people think about street addresses, if they think of them at all, it is in their capacity to ensure that the postman can deliver mail or a traveler won’t get lost. But street addresses were not invented to help you find your way; they were created to find you. In many parts of the world, your address can reveal your race and class. In this wide-ranging and remarkable book, Deirdre Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King Jr., the wayfinding means of ancient Romans, and how Nazis haunt the streets of modern Germany. The flipside of having an address is not having one, and we also see what that means for millions of people today, including those who live in the slums of Kolkata and on the streets of London. Filled with fascinating people and histories, The Address Book illuminates the complex and sometimes hidden stories behind street names and their power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t—and why.
The Bona Fide Legend of Cool Papa Bell by Lonnie Wheeler
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
The ﬁrst full biography of the star Negro Leaguer and Hall of Famer James "Cool Papa" Bell (1903-1991) was a legend in black baseball, a lightning fast switch hitter elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. Bell's speed was extraordinary; as Satchel Paige famously quipped, he was so fast he could ﬂ ip a light switch and be in bed before the room got dark. In The Bona Fide Legend of Cool Papa Bell, experienced baseball writer and historian Lonnie Wheeler recounts the life of this extraordinary player, a key member of some of the greatest Negro League teams in history. Born to sharecroppers in Mississippi, Bell was part of the Great Migration, and in St. Louis, baseball saved Bell from a life working in slaughterhouses. Wheeler charts Bell's ups and downs in life and in baseball, in the United States, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, where he went to escape American racism and MLB's color line. Rich in context and suffused in myth, this is a treat for fans of baseball history.
White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Drawing on history, public opinion surveys, and personal experience, Robert P. Jones delivers a provocative examination of the unholy relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy, and issues an urgent call for white Christians to reckon with this legacy for the sake of themselves and the nation. As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked. But white Christians—from evangelicals in the South to mainline Protestants in the Midwest and Catholics in the Northeast—have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the dominant cultural power, they have constructed and sustained a project of protecting white supremacy and opposing black equality that has framed the entire American story. With his family’s 1815 Bible in one hand and contemporary public opinion surveys by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in the other, Robert P. Jones delivers a groundbreaking analysis of the repressed history of the symbiotic relationship between Christianity and white supremacy. White Too Long demonstrates how deeply racist attitudes have become embedded in the DNA of white Christian identity over time and calls for an honest reckoning with a complicated, painful, and even shameful past. Jones challenges white Christians to acknowledge that public apologies are not enough—accepting responsibility for the past requires work toward repair in the present. White Too Long is not an appeal to altruism. Drawing on lessons gleaned from case studies of communities beginning to face these challenges, Jones argues that contemporary white Christians must confront these unsettling truths because this is the only way to salvage the integrity of their faith and their own identities. More broadly, it is no exaggeration to say that not just the future of white Christianity but the outcome of the American experiment is at stake.
William Frantz Public School: A Story of Race, Resistance, Resiliency, and Recovery in New Orleans (History of Schools and Schooling) by Connie L. Schaffer
Publisher: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Why should you care about what happened to William Frantz Public School? Yes, Ruby Bridges entered the iconic doors of William Frantz in 1960, but the building's unique role in New Orleans school desegregation is only one part of the important history of this school. Many additional and equally important stories have unfolded within its walls and the neighborhoods surrounding it. These stories matter. It matters that society has historically marginalized Black students and continues to do so. It matters that attempts to dismantle systemic racism in schools and other institutions still face strong resistance, and these issues continue to deeply divide the United States. It matters that the building remains standing as an indomitable symbol of the resiliency of public education despite decades of waning support, misguided accountability, and a city devasted by Hurricane Katrina. It matters that opportunism, under the guise of recovery, reshaped public education in New Orleans. William Frantz Public School: A Story of Race, Resistance, Resiliency, and Recovery in New Orleansprovides more than an examination of education in one school and one city. It recounts a story that matters to anyone who cares about public education.
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