Tag: Donald Trump

Kim Kardashian-West and Alice Marie Johnson

Inmate Freed With Kim Kardashian-West’s Help Scores Book Deal

We know Kim Kardashian as a social media superstar—famous for being famous, a self-renewing resource of celebrity. She’s a bit like a real-life Barbie; it’s just that instead of going to medical school, launching herself into outer space, and tending to wounded animals (Barbie must have a fortune in student debt), Kardashian-West is a socialite, reality TV star, artist, entrepreneur, and cultural icon. We’d call her a wearer of many hats, except there just aren’t that many hats that Kardashian-West would deign to wear. Her latest look—advocate and contributor to prison reform—has the power to enact real social change. In fact, it already has.


BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 31: Kim Kardashian West attends KKWxMario Dinner at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills on March 31, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage) Alice Marie Johnson

Image Via People Magazine


In 2018, Kardashian-West intervened in the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a sixty-two-year-old great-grandmother serving life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. Johnson became involved in the drug world after her divorce and the chain-reaction of misfortunes that followed: gambling addiction; bankruptcy; unemployment; and, worst of all, her son’s untimely death. Though Johnson never handled drugs directly while working for a cocaine-trafficking ring, she did pass along coded messages to facilitate the transactions. When the police caught onto the operation, ten co-conspirators turned her in. As a result of their cooperation, each received reduced sentences ranging from no time at all to ten years’ imprisonment.


"Please wake up, America, and help end this injustice." -AMJ

Image Via YouTube


In 1997, Johnson was the only one sentenced to life. Since then, she’s expressed remorse for her involvement:

I felt like a failure… I went into a complete panic and out of desperation, I made one of the worst decisions of my life to make some quick money. I became involved in a drug conspiracy.

In an interview with Mic, Johnson describes the personal tragedies that have unfolded in her absence from the family home. Her mother, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, has no caretaker. After her arrest, her only living son dropped out of school. He is currently imprisoned himself. “Unless things change,” Johnson pleaded, “I will never go home alive.”


Kardashian-West, live on CNN, expresses her support for Alice Johnson

Image Via CNN


Does that upset you? It upset Kim K: after reading the article, she contacted Johnson’s legal team. “[Kardashian-West] was not only moved to tears,” said lawyer Brittney Barnett, “but moved to action.” In a highly-publicized stunt, the reality TV star met with Donald Trump to discuss the possibility of commuting Johnson’s sentence. An ecstatic Johnson offered her gratitude for the intervention:

Ms Kardashian, you are quite literally helping to save my life and restore me to my family. I was drowning and you have thrown me a life jacket, and given me hope that this life jacket I’m serving may one day be taken off.

And she had plenty to be grateful for. On May 30, 2018—Johnson’s birthday—she was officially free.


Alice Marie Johnson weeps at her release

Image Via CBS


This week, an imprint of HarperCollins has announced that there’s more to Johnson’s story. The book, After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom, will be available on May 21. Harper has deemed it an “honest, faith-driven memoir” taking a “deep look into the system of mass incarceration.” Kardashian-West will write the foreword. In an official statement, she shared what the story means to her and to the world:

Her story is a gift that will now reach so many millions more through her book and film. I hope Alice’s case is just the beginning of a movement to help those left behind. I am invested in continuing to support Alice and this cause.

Now that Johnson is free, she’s also free to tell her story. “I feel humbled that the telling of my story gives hope,” Johnson said, “and that my years of pain were not in vain.”


Bernie Sanders

New Bernie Sanders Book Release

Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes readers to the front lines of the fight against conservative POTUS Donald Trump‘s agenda in his new tell-all, Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance. Sanders’ earlier Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In became available shortly after Donald Trump’s election, documenting the sociopolitical implications of Sanders’ grassroots campaign in spite of his loss. This new release depicts what exactly happened after.


'Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance' by Bernie Sanders

Image Via Abcnews.go.com


During his 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders made headlines for his political beliefs, including his support of universal healthcare and a $15.00 federal minimum wage. With incessant news coverage of Donald Trump’s bombastic personality (and the shenanigans of this years’ news—think celebrity rapper Kanye West’s visit to the White House) Bernie Sanders hasn’t gotten the same amount of coverage despite remaining generally popular. Now, he’s revealing to the public what exactly he’s been doing in the past two years to represent progressive voices in the midst of a conservative administration.


Bernie Sanders with his earlier book, 'Our Revolution'

Image Via Portlandmercury.com


Sanders writes in an excerpt:

During my campaign for president in 2016, I stated over and over again that the future of our country was dependent upon our willingness to make a political revolution. I stressed that real change never occurs from the top down. It always happens from the bottom up. No real change in American history—not the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the gay rights movement, the environmental movement, nor any other movement for social justice—has ever succeeded without grassroots activism, without millions of people engaged in the struggle for justice.

While Where We Go From Here reveals a deep fear of political apathy, it also offers a “hopeful view of America’s uncertain future.” While political commentators believe the book hints at a 2020 campaign, Sanders has not confirmed these rumors.


Featured Image Via Techcrunch.com


Books with Trump's head

Figures Show Political Unease Driving Staggering Book Sales

Explosive books lead to explosive sales, as British bookseller Waterstones can prove with whopping year-to-date figures: a 50% increase in political book revenue. The explanation? A frightened—and growing—mass of writers and readers “urgently seeking to understand this scary new world.” Though hot, controversial releases like Michael Wolff‘s Trump exposé Fire and Fury and Tim Shipman‘s Brexit commentary All Out War have been driving these sales, the relationship between divisive politics and modern literature is hardly a new phenomenon.


Protestors dress up in 'A Handmaid's Tale' costumes

Image Via Lifenews.com


These new figures are only a continuation of an ongoing trend, with political literature moving to the forefront after the “twin surprises” of 2016, Trump and Brexit. As early as January 25, 2017, just days after Trump formally took office, George Orwell‘s 1984 sales spiked as Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway infamously coined the phrase “alternative facts.” Many compared Conway’s comment to 1984‘s concept of “doublethink,” a relevant term to describe the acceptance of contradictory truths. While always a political text, activists continue to cite the book during protest, with signs such as “1984 is a work of fiction, not an instruction manual” grabbing headlines.



Image Via Twitter


Fear over restriction of women’s rights took hold early in the Trump administration, leading to a February 2017 spike in sales of Margaret Atwood‘s The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood speaks to its timeless relevance: “when it first came out it was viewed as being far-fetched; however, when I wrote it I was making sure I wasn’t putting anything into it that human beings had not already done somewhere at some time.” In the wake of the #MeToo movement, works with similar themes have burst into the public consciousness. Naomi Alderman‘s prizewinning The Power depicts a reality in which women have the power to cause pain by violence and consequently live without fear. 


“What the raw numbers don’t communicate,” comments Waterstones politics buyer Clement Knox, “is a larger belief permeating through the publishing world that the present poses questions that must be addressed and that writers have an obligation to turn their attention to those questions.”




Featured Image Via The Daily Beast

Donald Trump Reading

Top 10 Donald Trump Quotes About Reading and Writing

To follow up our coverage of President Barack Obama’s quotes about reading from last year, we wanted to gather some of President Donald Trump’s best quotes about reading, writing, writers, and just general book stuff. Tony Schwartz and Trump’s book The Art of the Deal has a solid 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, so that’s saying something.


Without further ado, here are President Donald J. Trump’s most memorable quotes regarding the literary world.


1. “Well, you know, I love to read. Actually, I’m looking at a book, I’m reading a book, I’m trying to get started.” – Speaking to Tucker Carlson.


2. “I’ve read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.” – The Art of the Deal


3. “I read passages, I read areas, chapters, I don’t have the time. When was the last time I watched a baseball game? I’m watching you [Megyn Kelly] all the time.” – Speaking to Megyn Kelly.


4. “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognised more and more, I notice.” – 2017 Black History Month remarks at the White House.


5. “My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want to about theirs?” – The Art of the Deal


6. “They don’t write good. They have people over there, like Maggie Haberman and others, they don’t—they don’t write good. They don’t know how to write good.” – Speaking to Sean Hannity.


7. “It really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” – In a 1991 interview with Esquire.


8. “I like a lot of books. I like reading books. I don’t have the time to read very much now in terms of the books, but I like reading them.” – Speaking to Axion reporters Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen


9. [A business executive warning against China] said, “I’d like to send you a report.” He said, “I’d love to be able to send you”—oh boy, he’s got a lengthy report, hundreds of pages. . . . I said, “Do me a favor: Don’t send me a report. Send me, like, three pages.”  The Washington Post


10. I know words. I have the best words.” – At a campaign stop in South Carolina, December 2015.


President Trump official portrait

Image Via Wikimedia


Feature Image Via The Root