Check out my new picks of the week in the Library Lounge “New Arrivals” section!
Johnny Cash: the Life and Legacy of the Man in Black by Alan Light – “Johnny Cash established himself as a true original through a combination of rebellion, determination, and faith. He was a spokesperson for the underdog, with music that transcended genre and spoke to the core of the American spirit. ‘Johnny Cash: The Life and Legacy of the Man in Black’ offers an intimate look at one of music’s greatest icons through more than 100 pieces of revelatory and largely unpublished material from the Cash family archives, including handwritten notes and lyric sheets; personal photographs of Cash with his family, traveling, and performing onstage; and beloved objects from his home and private recording studio. Alan Light, one of America’s leading music journalists, traces Cash’s story from the musician’s origins in rural Arkansas to his early recordings with Sun Records; from his battles with drug dependency to his celebrated romance with June Carter; and from his revolutionary creative breakthroughs, including ‘At Folsom Prison’ and ‘American Recordings,’ to his death and ongoing cultural impact. Rich and insightful, ‘Johnny Cash’ is ideal for all those who want to better know one of the world’s most beloved and influential musicians.”–Back cover.
A Home for Surrealism: Fantastic Painting in Midcentury Chicago edited by Janine Mileaf and Susan F. Rossen – “Chicago has for decades been one of the most prominent cities where European surrealism is avidly collected and displayed. However, there has yet to be a scholarly exhibition and catalog that addresses the local manifestations of this international mode of art. ‘A Home for Surrealism’ focuses on a select group of painters whose work in the 1940s and ’50s both transformed the domestic and domesticated the surrealist, particularly in Chicago. Working independently, but within a chain of social and artistic relationships, this group explored the interior as a site of projected imagination and fantasy, and the self as the generator of such altered perception. Including contributions by Robert Cozzolino, Adam Jolles, and Joanna Pawlik, the book provides a richly illustrated account of an international movement’s unlikely–but somehow ever so fitting–home in America.”–Distributor description.
How to be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal M. Fleming – “How could the same nation that twice voted for an erudite black president then elect an overt racist who can rarely string together coherent sentences? What explains the fact that Democrats who ignored mass deportations under Obama suddenly care now that a Republican is in charge? Why do people still believe that interracial love (or sex) can end racism when thousands of years of intergender love and sex have quite obviously failed to end patriarchy? And why do so many journalists think their job is to report ‘both sides’ of white supremacy? Combining no-holds-barred social critique, humorous personal anecdotes, and the latest scholarship on systemic racism, sociologist Crystal M. Fleming provides a fresh and irreverent take on everything that’s wrong with our ‘national conversation about race.’ Accessibly writing about critical race theory, and breaking through the half-truths and misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted how race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics, Fleming draws on her own experiences as a queer black millennial, college professor, and researcher. Fleming explains how systemic racism socializes all of us to absorb racial stupid ideas, and she shares concrete steps for detecting and dismantling racial oppression. At turns humorous, informative, and biting, ‘How to Be Less Stupid About Race’ is the class your high school and college never offered, the book you wish your racist grandpa or clueless boss would read. It’s a truth bomb and an unforgettable call to action for anyone who wants to challenge white supremacy.”–Book jacket.
Is Voting for Young People? by Martin P. Wattenberg – “In 2008, everyone expected young people to turn out to vote in record numbers for the first youthful, hip, new media-savvy, African American presidential candidate in history. They didn’t. When Obama ran for re-election, he targeted young voters and they still didn’t come to the polls in overwhelming numbers. What will happen in 2016, another potential history-making election? ‘Is Voting for Young People?’ explores the reasons why young people are less likely to follow politics and vote in the United States (as well as in many other established democracies) no matter who the candidates are, whether they tweet or blog, or what the issues may be. This brief, accessible, and provocative book suggests ways of changing that, and now includes a new chapter on young people’s role in the 2008, 2012, and 2014 elections, looking ahead to 2016. New to the Fourth Edition: A new introduction placing current youth voting trends in context with recent elections. A new Chapter 8 covering the elections of 2008, 2012, and 2014–looking ahead to 2016. Updated voting data on 2012 and 2014 elections. A new concluding chapter offering recommendations for improving young voter turnout.”–Publisher description.
Jerome Robbins: a Life in Dance by Wendy Lesser – “Jerome Robbins (1918-1998) was born Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz and grew up in Weehawken, New Jersey, where his Russian-Jewish immigrant parents owned the Comfort Corset Company. Robbins, who was drawn to dance at a young age, resisted the idea of joining the family business. In 1936 he began working with Gluck Sandor, who ran a dance group and convinced him to change his name to Jerome Robbins. He went on to become a choreographer and director who worked in ballet, on Broadway, and in film. His stage productions include West Side Story, Peter Pan, and Fiddler on the Roof. In this deft biography, Wendy Lesser presents Jerome Robbins’s life through his major dances, providing a sympathetic, detailed portrait of her subject.”–Book jacket.
The Woman’s Hour: the Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss – “The nail-biting climax of one of the greatest political battles in American history: the ratification of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote. Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don’t want black women voting. And then there are the ‘Antis’–women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge in a boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel’s, and the Bible. Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, along with appearances by Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Frederick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘The Woman’s Hour’ is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.”–Publisher description.
The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer by Charles Graeber – “For decades, scientists have puzzled over one of medicine’s most confounding mysteries: Why doesn’t our immune system recognize and fight cancer the way it does other diseases, like the common cold? As it turns out, the answer to that question can be traced to a series of tricks that cancer has developed to turn off normal immune responses–tricks that scientists have only recently discovered and learned to defeat. The result is what many are calling cancer’s ‘penicillin moment,’ a revolutionary discovery in our understanding of cancer and how to beat it. In ‘The Breakthrough,’ Graeber guides readers through the revolutionary scientific research bringing immunotherapy out of the realm of the miraculous and into the forefront of twenty-first-century medical science. As advances in the fields of cancer research and the human immune system continue to fuel a therapeutic arms race among biotech and pharmaceutical research centers around the world, the next step–harnessing the wealth of new information to create modern and more effective patient therapies–is unfolding at an unprecedented pace, rapidly redefining our relationship with this all-too-human disease. Groundbreaking, riveting, and expertly told, ‘The Breakthrough’ is the story of the game-changing scientific discoveries that unleash our natural ability to recognize and defeat cancer, as told through the experiences of the patients, physicians, and cancer immunotherapy researchers who are on the front lines. This is the incredible true story of the race to find a cure, a dispatch from the life-changing world of modern oncological science, and a brave new chapter in medical history.”–Book jacket.
The Screwtape Letters: and Screwtape Proposes a Toast by C.S. Lewis ; with annotations by Paul McCusker – “A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a senior tempter in the service of ‘Our Father Below.’ At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. ‘The Screwtape Letters’ is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation–and triumph over it–ever written. Now, for the first time, ‘The Screwtape Letters’ is presented with its full text alongside helpful annotations provided by Lewis enthusiast and dramatist Paul McCusker. The notes include literary, theological, and biographical information to enhance Lewis’s core themes and demystify complex ideas. McCusker also guides readers to concepts and references from the beloved author’s other treasured volumes to deepen and enrich this timeless classic. The annotated edition is the ultimate guide for understanding the heavenly truths buried in these epistles from below.”–Book jacket.
Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America by Nathaniel Frank – “The right of same-sex couples to marry provoked decades of intense conflict before it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. Yet some of the most divisive contests shaping the quest for marriage equality occurred not on the culture-war front lines but within the ranks of LGBTQ advocates. Nathaniel Frank tells the dramatic story of how an idea that once seemed unfathomable–and for many gays and lesbians undesirable–became a legal and moral right in just half a century. ‘Awakening’ begins in the 1950s, when millions of gays and lesbians were afraid to come out, let alone fight for equality. Across the social upheavals of the next two decades, a gay rights movement emerged with the rising awareness of the equal dignity of same-sex love. A cadre of LGBTQ lawyers soon began to focus on legal recognition for same-sex couples, if not yet on marriage itself. It was only after being pushed by a small set of committed lawyers and grassroots activists that established movement groups created a successful strategy to win marriage in the courts. Marriage equality proponents then had to win over members of their own LGBTQ community who declined to make marriage a priority, while seeking to rein in others who charged ahead heedless of their carefully laid plans. All the while, they had to fight against virulent antigay opponents and capture the American center by spreading the simple message that love is love, ultimately propelling the LGBTQ community–and America–immeasurably closer to justice.”–Publisher description.
Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp – “Warrior. Actor. Friend. Heroine. Traveler. Sister. Magician. Lover. Biker. In this stunning anthology, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp teams up with fellow disabled authors to create a collection of fictional stories that dispense with the tired, broken stereotypes–and reclaim narratives and identities. By weaving together tales of interstellar war, an enchanted carnival, or a dating debacle, ‘Unbroken’ celebrates the varied experiences of disabled teens, including teens of color and of diverse genders and orientations, without obscuring the realities of their disabilities. At turns hilarious and heart-stopping, these short stories share a common thread–one that has bent over time but will never break.”–Book jacket.
Beyond Chrismukkah: the Christian-Jewish Interfaith Family in the United States by Samira K. Mehta – “The rate of interfaith marriage in the United States has risen so radically since the sixties that it is difficult to recall how taboo the practice once was. How is this development understood and regarded by Americans generally, and what does it tell us about the nation’s religious life? Drawing on ethnographic and historical sources, Samira K. Mehta provides a fascinating analysis of wives, husbands, children, and their extended families in interfaith homes, religious leaders, and the social and cultural milieu surrounding mixed marriages among Jews, Catholics, and Protestants. Mehta’s eye-opening look at the portrayal of interfaith families across American culture since the mid-twentieth century ranges from popular TV shows, holiday cards, and humorous guides to ‘Chrismukkah’ to children’s books, young adult fiction, and religious and secular advice manuals. Mehta argues that the emergence of multiculturalism helped generate new terms by which interfaith families felt empowered to shape their lived religious practices in ways and degrees previously unknown. They began to intertwine their religious identities without compromising their social standing. This rich portrait of families living diverse religions together at home advances the understanding of how religion functions in American society today.”–Back cover.
The Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner ; translated and edited with an introduction by John Deathridge – “The scale and grandeur of Wagner’s ‘The Ring of the Nibelung’ has no precedent and no successor. It preoccupied Wagner for much of his adult life and revolutionized the nature of opera, the orchestra, the demands on singers and on the audience itself. The four operas–The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried, and Twilight of the Gods–are complete worlds, conjuring up extraordinary mythological landscapes through sound as much as staging. Wagner wrote the entire libretto before embarking on the music. Discarding the grand choruses and bravura duets central to most operas, he used the largest musical forces in the context often of only a handful of singers on stage. The words were essential: he was telling a story and making an argument in a way that required absolute attention to what was said. The libretto for The Ring lies at the heart of nineteenth century culture. It is in itself a work of power and grandeur, and it had an incalculable effect on European and specifically German culture. John Deathridge’s superb new translation, with notes and a fascinating introduction, is essential for anyone who wishes to fully engage with one of the great musical experiences.”–Publisher description.
Love: the Psychology of Attraction by Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. ; with Megan Kaye – “A dynamic infographic program that uses the lessons of psychological research to help you find a loving relationship. Which ingredients promise the happiest romantic chemistry? How can understanding your own psyche help you succeed in love? What are the rules of attraction? This book answers all your love-related questions to help you crack the code of compatibility. If you are looking for passion, excitement, or security, this relationship roadmap will put you on the right track–and keep you there.”–Back cover.
Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History by Blair Imani – “An inspiring and radical celebration of 70 women, girls, and gender nonbinary people who have changed–and are still changing–the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond. With a radical and inclusive approach to history, ‘Modern HERstory’ profiles and celebrates seventy women and nonbinary champions of progressive social change in a bold, colorful, illustrated format for all ages. Despite making huge contributions to the liberation movements of the last century and today, all of these trailblazers come from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally overlooked and under-celebrated: not just women, but people of color, queer people, trans people, disabled people, young people, and people of faith. Authored by rising star activist Blair Imani, ‘Modern HERstory’ tells the important stories of the leaders and movements that are changing the world right here and right now–and will inspire you to do the same.”–Amazon.com.
Sanctuary Cities edited by Marcia Amidon Lusted – “As part of his crackdown on illegal immigration, President Trump’s vow to defund sanctuary cities, cities and counties that protect low-priority immigrants from deportation, has stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy. Are sanctuary cities legal? Should the federal government infringe on states’ rights? Why should illegal immigrants be protected? Do sanctuary cities threaten national security and community safety? Do they encourage illegal immigration? These are among the many complicated questions posed in this enlightening anthology, in which diverse viewpoints address the swirling issues of immigration, federal vs. states’ rights, and America’s moral responsibility as a democracy.”–Publisher description.