Tag: politics

Such an Age to Inspire

Released only a few hours before the new year, Such a Fun Age has already established its spot at the top of the must-read lists. In its rise to the top, the book has managed to acquire the attention of Emmy winner Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions.

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Image Via Bloomsbury Publishing

After having been rejected from the nine schools she applied to, Kiley Reid took her time to write about her experiences as a babysitter in New York. With 320 words, Reid was able to produce a well-written story about race and privilege through the eyes of a young black babysitter.

 

In the novel, Alix Chamberlin, a mother of two and newfound blogger, quickly made herself into a confidence-driven brand. Alix was mostly known for getting what she wants and teaching other women how they become as big as her. This quickly takes a turn when her son’s babysitter, Emira Tucker, is accused of kidnapping while out at a high-end supermarket. Being a black woman with a white child at night caused the unsettling looks of a security guard and the forming of a crowd around them.

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Image via Slate

Emira, a twenty-five-year-old black woman, is about to lose her health insurance, and Alix wants to help her out in any way she can. “When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.” – Goodreads 

 

Reid’s choice to set the scene in Philadelphia was one of intention. The city is known for leading the way to set standards for domestic workers. According to Kiley Reid’s ‘Such a Fun Age’ probes the insidious forms of racism, “Most of the estimated 16,000 domestic workers in Philadelphia are women of color,” according NBCto making an average income of $10,000.

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Image via Visit Philadelphia

Masterfully, each character has a moment to be outside of themselves. The characters you hate, you begin to understand more. The characters you love, you begin to question. They all contain astounding depth. With the way the world is headed, it is nice to have a fresh view at Such a Fun Age.


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Featured Image Via Philadelphia Inquire

 

 

Allison Stanger’s ‘Whistleblowers’ Takes Timely Look at History

When Alison Stanger began writing her new book, Whistleblowers, she probably didn’t imagine it would release on the exact same day that the U.S. House of Representatives announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump on the basis of a whistleblower complaint. However, that doesn’t mean she’s exactly surprised: “In a sense, this whistleblower complaint is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s been going on for quite some time, ever since Trump was elected” says Stanger.

As a professor of politics and economics at Middlebury College, Stanger is quite familiar with how whistleblowing has periodically shaped U.S. political history. She describes Whistleblowers as an episodic history of whistleblowing in the U.S from the Revolutionary War to the present.

 

 

In an interview with WCAX, Stanger commented on the whistleblower complaint against Trump that recently came to light:

The whistleblower complaint reveals this cover-up of what you might say the Intelligence Committee sees as a double-fold national security threat. On one hand, the president is running a rogue foreign policy where [Rudy] Giuliani and [William] Barr are pursuing a foreign policy that’s directly at odds with the official policy of the State Department and Congress because they appropriate the funds for military aid to Ukraine.

Image of ALlison Stanger via Wikimedia

Though Stanger believes whistleblowing is a heroic duty Americans need to keep those in power honest, she recognizes that whistleblowers are often severely punished for doing a good thing:

Their lives are destroyed. They lose their jobs. It never turns out well for them so it’s a very selfless act to blow the whistle and we need to keep that in mind and be sure this whistleblower is protected and safe…Whistleblower after whistleblower suffers. This is not something one does lightly. One pays an enormous price, so in a sense, this whistleblower has sacrificed for us, the American people, and for the sake of our democracy and we should be grateful.

Nevertheless, Stanger contends whistleblowing is a vital to the health of any democracy. Whistleblowers looks to be an insightful history of the impact whistleblowing has had in shaping America!

Featured images via Wikimedia and Amazon

Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s Memoir is Poised to Flop

As Britain experiences another confusing chapter in the Brexit farce, David Cameron’s For the Record struggles to attract readers’ attention. Clocking in at an absolutely massive 752 pages, Cameron’s memoir promises a candid look at his time in parliament. It arrives in bookstores at a particularly inopportune moment in British politics, with Brexit dominating the news cycle for the past month or so. Preorder sales have been…less than stellar for For the Record.

 

Image via PA:Press Association

 

Cameron’s memoir languished low on the charts all of last week. In some sense, who can blame readers for not jumping at the opportunity shell out for such a hefty tome? The book was slated for publication last year, but Cameron’s publishers insisted on cutting nearly 100,000 words. But nearly 752 pages (even after the cut!) is quite the commitment for any reader. Still, for politics junkies, perhaps a book based on nearly 53 hours of recorded meetings Cameron held with Daniel Finkelstein (a conservative Times columnist) is well worth it.

 

 

HarperCollins, Cameron’s publisher, purchased to For the Record the rights for nearly £800,00, so the book’s lackluster preorder figures are causing quite a bit of stress for them. Now they’re relying on the former prime minister’s name to drive attention to the memoir. Though, given how events since 2016 have unfolded in the UK, perhaps the fact that Cameron’s name was on the book doomed it from the start. Comparisons made to Tony Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, about his time as prime minister don’t bode well for Cameron either. Blair’s book broke sales record when it first hit shelves, but the initial preorder figures for For the Record have been abysmal, ranking as low as 335th last Thursday on Amazon charts.

 

Image via Yui Mok/PA

 

The memoir features Cameron’s opinions on Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and the now-infamous 2016 European referendum that ultimately ended his tenure as Prime Minister. He suggests Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit and merely supported it to further his political career without thinking it would ever succeed. Cameron’s inside perspective is interesting in light of the fact that Johnson currently finds himself at Downing Street in large part because of he championed the leave movement.

For The Record releases this Thursday, September 19. So help out ya boy Dave and pick up a copy. Please, he’s begging you, like actually.

 

 

Featured image via Alamy

This Book Provides a Crucial Perspective on Women’s Role in the Egyptian Revolution

Imagine waking up in Cairo on January 25th of 2011. Trying to call your loved ones, but to no avail. Trying to turn on your lights, but to no avail. Turning on your television, and witnessing the people of your country violently turning on the government in the historical site Tahrir Square. In light of the low wages, corruption, lack of freedom of speech, and police brutality that plagued the nation, millions of protesters from various social, economic, and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Violent interactions between the police and the protesters resulted in almost 1,000 people killed, and over 6,000 left injured.

 

Image Via The New Yorker

 

The role of women in the revolution needs to be discussed more. Prior to the revolution in 2011, women only accounted for 10% of protestors in uprisings. However, in 2011 in Tahrir Square, they accounted for about half of the protestors. Together with men, women risked their lives to defend their fellow Egyptians and defend the square. The reason why there was a huge increase of female presence in the protests is attributed to the improvement of education, especially throughout younger women. Quite an empowering moment not just for Middle Eastern women, but women around the world.

 

Image Via Al Jazeera

Women and the Egyptian Revolution: Engagement and Activism during the 2011 Arab Uprisings chronicles the 2011 revolution in Egypt through the viewpoint of women, with various first hand interviews with female activists. It looks at the history of gender throughout Egypt and discusses the possible outcomes for the future possibilities of women’s rights within the country. The author, Nermin Allam, blends social movement theories and the lived experiences of women during the uprisings, leading up to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Female engagement in political confrontation throughout the Middle East is a highly under researched topic, and this book is a crucial contribution to the field. 

 

 

Featured Image Via Eyes Opened

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Ten Powerful Quotes About Juneteenth

Today marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The proclamation was declared by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863, but the news did not reach Texas until two-and-a-half years later. Since then, generations have celebrated the day as Juneteenth and forty-five states recognize it as a state holiday.

As we remember this historic day in United States history, below are ten powerful quotes by central figures about the ugly history of slavery and this holiday’s meaning.

 

Image via CNN

 

1. “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” – Frederick Douglas.

 

2. “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” – Harriet Tubman.

 

3. “We’re in denial of the African holocaust. Most times, people don’t want to talk about it. One is often restless or termed a racist just for having compassion for the African experience, for speaking truth to the trans-Atlantic and Arab slave trades, for speaking truth to the significant omission of our history. We don’t want to sit down and listen to these things, or to discuss them. But we have to.” – Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X.

 

Image via CNN

 

4. “If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

5. “Anytime anyone is enslaved, or in any way deprived of his liberty, if that person is a human being, as far as I am concerned he is justified to resort to whatever methods necessary to bring about his liberty again.” – Malcolm X.

 

6. “My people have a country of their own to go to if they choose… Africa… but, this America belongs to them just as much as it does to any of the white race… in some ways even more so, because they gave the sweat of their brow and their blood in slavery so that many parts of America could become prosperous and recognized in the world.” – Josephine Baker, legendary entertainer and activist.

 

Image via CNN

 

7. “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln.

 

8. “Where annual elections end where slavery begins.” – John Quincy Adams.

 

9. “…the 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free… And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner, former slave.

 

10. “Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” – Texas Rep. Al Edwards.

 

 

Featured Image Via CNN