New Book Highlights

American Prison

New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018 One of President Barack Obama's favorite books of 2018 A New York Times Notable Book  A ground-breaking and brave inside reckoning with the nexus of prison and profit in America: in one Louisiana prison and over the course of our country's history. In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still. The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone. A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.

Glory in Their Spirit

Before Rosa Parks and the March on Washington, four African American women risked their careers and freedom to defy the United States Army over segregation. Women Army Corps (WAC) privates Mary Green, Anna Morrison, Johnnie Murphy, and Alice Young enlisted to serve their country, improve their lives, and claim the privileges of citizenship long denied them. Promised a chance at training and skilled positions, they saw white WACs assigned to those better jobs and found themselves relegated to work as orderlies. In 1945, their strike alongside fifty other WACs captured the nation's attention and ignited passionate debates on racism, women in the military, and patriotism. Glory in Their Spirit presents the powerful story of their persistence and the public uproar that ensued. Newspapers chose sides. Civil rights activists coalesced to wield a new power. The military, meanwhile, found itself increasingly unable to justify its policies. In the end, Green, Morrison, Murphy, and Young chose court-martial over a return to menial duties. But their courage pushed the segregated military to the breaking point "and helped steer one of American's most powerful institutions onto a new road toward progress and justice.

The Hate U Give

Eight Starred Reviews! #1 New York Times Bestseller! "Absolutely riveting!" —Jason Reynolds "Stunning." —John Green "This story is necessary. This story is important." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Heartbreakingly topical." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A marvel of verisimilitude." —Booklist (starred review) "A powerful, in-your-face novel." —The Horn Book (starred review) Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

How to Write Better Essays

This indispensable guide takes students through each step of the essay writing process, enabling them to tackle written assignments with confidence. Students will develop their ability to analyse complex concepts, evaluate and critically engage with arguments, communicate their ideas clearly and concisely and generate more ideas of their own. Chapters are short and succinct and cover topics such as reading purposefully, note-taking, essay writing in exams and avoiding plagiarism. Packed with practical activities and handy hints which students can apply to their own writing, this is an ideal resource for students looking to improve the quality and clarity of their academic writing. This book will be a source of guidance and inspiration for students of all disciplines and levels who need to write essays as part of their course.

Maker of Patterns

Having penned hundreds of letters to his family over four decades, Freeman Dyson has framed them with the reflections made by a man now in his nineties. While maintaining that "the letters record the daily life of an ordinary scientist doing ordinary work," Dyson nonetheless has worked with many of the twentieth century's most renowned physicists, mathematicians, and intellectuals, so that Maker of Patterns presents not only his personal story but chronicles through firsthand accounts an exciting era of twentieth-century science. Though begun in the dark year of 1941 when Hitler's armies had already conquered much of Europe, Dyson's letters to his parents, written at Trinity College, Cambridge, often burst with the curiosity of a precocious seventeen-year-old. Pursuing mathematics and physics with a cast of legendary professors, Dyson thrived in Cambridge's intellectual ferment, working on, for example, the theory of partitions or reading about Kurt Gödel's hypotheses, while still finding time for billiards and mountain climbing. After graduating and serving with the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command operational research section, whose job it was "to demolish German cities and kill as many German civilians as possible," Dyson visited a war-torn Germany, hoping through his experience to create a "tolerably peaceful world." Juxtaposing descriptions of scientific breakthroughs with concerns for mankind's future, Dyson's postwar letters reflect the quandaries faced by an entire scientific generation that was dealing with the aftereffects of nuclear detonations and concentration camp killings. Arriving in America in 1947 to study with Cornell's Hans Bethe, Dyson continued to send weekly missives to England that were never technical but written with grace and candor, creating a portrait of a generation that was eager, as Einstein once stated, to solve "deep mysteries that Nature intend[ed] to keep for herself." We meet, among others, scientists like Richard Feynman, who took Dyson across country on Route 66, Robert Oppenheimer, Eugene Wigner, Niels Bohr, James Watson, and a young Stephen Hawking; and we encounter intellectuals and leaders, among them Reinhold Niebuhr, George Kennan, Arthur C. Clarke, as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. The "patterns of comparable beauty in the dance of electrons jumping around atoms" invariably replicate themselves in this autobiography told through letters, one that combines accounts of wanton arms development with the not-inconsiderable demands of raising six children. As we once again attempt to guide society toward a more hopeful future, these letters, with their reenactment of what, at first, seems like a distant past, reveal invaluable truths about human nature.

Three Score and More

Ageism is too often an accepted form of bias, even though the facts support the value of aging. Airline pilots forced to retire at the arbitrary age of 65 are usually at the top of their game. Forced retirement in most organizations remove highly skilled performers as well as role models and trainers for newer generations. Instead of revelling in who we are, we begin to try to look younger as soon as possible, with 16-year-old women receiving nose and breast surgery as birthday presents. People have become inured to "losing" abilities as they age instead of appreciating new abilities that only age can bestow. Everyone extols the need for gender equality, lest we lose the talents of half of our population. Yet, people over 65 are currently 15 percent of the US population (46.2 million) and is projected to rise to 34 percent. Due to the IRA legislation of the Reagan era ¿ and the lack of need to purchase homes, college educations, cars, or health care¿the discretionary assets are also substantial. It's time these people took control of their lives and influence on everything from business to politics.

Radical Sacrifice

A trenchant analysis of sacrifice as the foundation of the modern, as well as the ancient, social order The modern conception of sacrifice is at once cast as a victory of self-discipline over desire and condescended to as destructive and archaic abnegation. But even in the Old Testament, the dual natures of sacrifice, embodying both ritual slaughter and moral rectitude, were at odds. In this analysis, Terry Eagleton makes a compelling argument that the idea of sacrifice has long been misunderstood.   Pursuing the complex lineage of sacrifice in a lyrical discourse, Eagleton focuses on the Old and New Testaments, offering a virtuosic analysis of the crucifixion, while drawing together a host of philosophers, theologians, and texts--from Hegel, Nietzsche, and Derrida to the Aeneid and The Wings of the Dove. Brilliant meditations on death and eros, Shakespeare and St. Paul, irony and hybridity explore the meaning of sacrifice in modernity, casting off misperceptions of barbarity to reconnect the radical idea to politics and revolution.

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