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by Les Leopold (Labor Institute Press). This highly useful guide to economic justice
explains with helpful facts and graphics that the wealth and power gap
richest 1% and the rest of us is not a “single issue” but is
closely tied to
issues such as racism, immigration, equality for women, incarceration,
change, health care, education, housing, trade policy, tax fairness, and
The Book of Harlan
by Bernice L. McFadden
Hidden history comes alive in this novel about an African American man from
Georgia who became a musician in Harlem, played in Paris, lived through the
horrors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and spent his final years in
turmoil of the 1960s.
South Haven by
Hirsh Sawhney (Akashic). A
son of Hindu immigrants from India grows up in a New England suburb, where
struggles to find his way after his mother dies, while his father becomes
immersed in anti-Muslim fundamentalism.
Rant, Chant, Chisme
by Amalia Ortiz (Wings Press). An outstanding collection by a feminist Chicana
performance poet from Texas artfully connects the personal and the
Someone Has to Die
by Timothy Sheard (Hard Ball Press). In this mystery novel, a hospital nurse is
wrongfully accused in the
death of a patient. Meanwhile, the hospital’s new corporate owner is
threatening to stop contributing to the workers’ health and pension
hero, a union steward and amateur detective, brings workers together to
The Lamentations of Zeno
by Ilija Trojanow (Verso). An irreverent scientist working as a travel guide
on a cruise ship in Antarctica contemplates dramatic action as the
his feelings about climate change increasingly clashes with the complacency
American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar (Little, Brown). This novelist,
who was raised in a Muslim family in Wisconsin,
explores the many different ways that Muslims in America face tensions
outside cultural pressures and their faith.
The Book of Unknown
Americans by Cristina Henriquez
(Knopf). A love story between two teenagers anchors this
novel about the experience of immigrants to the U.S. from Mexico and
Energy Revolution by Howard Johns (Permanent Publications). A British engineer and activist provides
news from around the world about the shift to renewable energy sources and
gives advice about how to help speed the transition.
The Hope in
Leaving by Barbara Williams
(Seven Stories). A successful actress and musical performer
has written a memoir of
her childhood that reads like a vivid novel about survival in poor logging
towns, a dysfunctional family, and a close relationship with a brother
suffering from mental illness.
Being in Pictures by Joanne Leonard (University of Michigan). A beautiful large format book presents nearly
photographs and collages produced over more than 40 years, together with
succinct, revealing text about Leonard’s journey as a person and an
Themes include the end of a marriage, a miscarriage, single motherhood, the
experience of being an identical twin, the decline of her parents, maleness
seen from a woman’s point of view, and much more.
Monique W. Morris (The New Press). Many black girls are criminalized by school
systems, facing the dual
threat of racism and sexism.
by Baz Dreisinger (Other Press). The founder of the Prison-to-College Pipeline
program spent two years visiting and sometimes working in prisons in nine
countries, including South Africa, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, and Norway.
Prisons are a mirror of each society’s culture, she writes, but her
also suggested some universal truths about incarceration, prevention,
intervention, and reintegration.
GMO Myths and Truths
by Claire Robinson, Michael
Antoniou, and John Fagan (Earth
Open Source). A detailed guide
the evidence and arguments about genetically modified crops and foods has
updated and condensed in this third edition.
Unequal Time by Dan Clawson and Naomi
Sage). Our laws and employment
relationships don’t take into account continual disruptions of work
schedules by illness and family responsibilities. The impacts fall
disproportionately on women and on people without wealth.
Don’t Quit by Don Stillman (Chelsea
Green). The former director of international affairs for the United Auto
Workers describes that union’s efforts to support workers’
struggles in other
countries, as well as support by unions from Brazil, South Africa, and
for auto worker organizing campaigns in the U.S.
Far Out edited
by Wendy Barker and Dave Parsons (Wings Press).
In this collection, poets writing now remember their experiences in the
The Second Mother. A Brazilian woman left her
daughter in her home village in order to find work in the city to support
both. For years, she has been a live-in housekeeper for a wealthy family
has internalized attitudes about class and her subservient place in the
A crisis develops when her daughter, aspiring to go to college, comes to
A Borrowed Identity.A
brilliant Palestinian teenager is sent by his family to a top Israeli
school where he develops several close relationships and has to make
about who he is.
A 14-year-old orphan girl
a priest on an island off the coast of Maine is prompted by a tragic
to start grappling with her own identity in this engaging feature
This moving documentary focuses
girl’s soccer team at a poor, mostly Latino public high school in
Chicago, so underfunded that students have to bring toilet paper to school.
Contrary to what Hollywood might have done with this subject, it shows not
the girls’ admirable determination and dedicated coach but also the
consequences of denying them the resources that more privileged kids are
Boone. Beautiful footage,
unusual editing, and the absence of narration or talking head interviews
this documentary convey the hard work and idealism of three young farmers
trying to make a go of it in southern Oregon.
Invisible Scars. A filmmaker who was
sexually abused by her father decided to talk openly about how that
her life, to interview other victims of abuse, to show how widespread the
problem is, and to explore how survivors are overcoming those
County by Don
Henley. The former member of the Eagles has written some good country
for Rain is about climate change: “I ain’t no wise man, but I
ain’t no fool,
and I believe that Mother Nature is taking us to school. Maybe we just took
much, and put too little back. It isn’t knowledge, it’s
humility we lack.” Waiting
Tables is about a single-mom waitress. No Thank You is about not being
by corporate and political sales pitches at a time when we have
“Space Age machinery
(but) Stone Age emotions.”