Bolton writes a book that reconfirms how much of a dim-sparked a-hole President Trump is — so what?

People want to read (or hear) musings of an official who’s made war his crystal meth — because of his ex-boss I won’t spend much time writing about Former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir. Besides, the book will be officially released this Tuesday, and […]

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Wordcraft: Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Listening to the replay of Tanya Free’s recent radio show reminded me that I should share my thoughts about Arlie Russell Hochschild’s National Book Award-Nominated work, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. (Ahem) I did commit to posting about each NBA shortlisted finalist entry … During the latter part of […]

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WordCraft: The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky

The 2016 National Book Award-winning poetry book, The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky, describes a depressing and violent world of wars, societal dismemberment from the assault of free trade agreements, migrant crises, inequality, xenophobia, and dictatorial oligarchs. Borzutzky’s prescription for living in this mad world is to take on a “spiritual mission in […]

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A STATE-SANCTIONED LYNCHING: 10 TAKEAWAYS FROM READING HEATHER ANN THOMPSON’S BLOOD IN THE WATER

“A state-sanctioned lynching” and “Bipartisan political cover-up” are only two of the screaming thoughts I had while reading Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, by historian Heather Ann Thompson. Blood in the Water is a National Book Award finalist for Nonfiction this year. Of equal wrecking power are the […]

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7 WAYS COLSON WHITEHEAD’S UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IS PURE DOPENESS

I expect Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award-nominated novel, The Underground Railroad, to win plenty of kudos for its ability to convey a layered story of metaphoric Afro-mysticism surrounding Black slaves, particularly a young woman named Cora, who are pursuing freedom from the antebellum South. Abolitionists, pro-slavery supporters and the ideological permutations in-between help to frame […]

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SUNDAY SMACK: DID US GOVERNMENT COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?

I just completed my second reading of John A. Williams’ novel Clifford’s Blues — a well-written but far from feel-good story of a black, gay jazz musician imprisoned in Nazi Germany.  The book frequently mentions the gruesome medical experiments performed on prisoners by Nazi physicians — which made me think of the 1932–1972 Tuskegee, Alabama syphilis […]

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SUNDAY SMACK: TREASON OR SLAVERY?

This week’s Sunday Smack inspiration comes from reading Eric Foner’s Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, where I was reminded of how the British promised Africans enslaved in America their freedom in return for fighting against George Washington’s patriots during America’s war for independence. That would mean any slave who fought […]

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