Staff Pick

Extending her ground-breaking work on emotional values to the political sphere, the renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild made ten extended visits to the Louisiana bayou region between 2011 and 2016. There she met with some sixty supporters of the Tea Party. Her goal wasn’t to argue, debate, or change minds—she wanted simply to get a sense of white conservatives’ feelings about current issues, especially those relating to the environment. Strangers in Their Own Land (New Press, $27.95) is her vivid and illuminating report of these discussions, which ranged from fracking to fish fries, sinkholes to Fox News. Viewing the Tea Party as “a culture” not just a politics, Hochschild strove to scale the “empathy wall” that divides people of different beliefs and to understand The Great Paradox: what makes those most in need of government assistance vote against it? Why, in the second poorest state, where 44% of the budget comes from federal funds, where the land and water have been ravaged by petrochemical and other industries, are people so avidly against federal regulation? It’s not that no one notices or cares about these problems; part of it is that they look to their own tight-knit communities for the kind of support progressives expect from the government. Other parts are more complicated, and Hochschild, a keen and respectful listener, lets these local leaders, current and retired factory workers, long-time farmers, Pentecostals, and many more, have their say. And when she returns home, she begins to see Berkeley through their eyes.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781620972250
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - September 6th, 2016

Staff Pick

Julissa Arce’s parents left Mexico for the United States when she was three years old. For most of the next decade she lived with relatives in Mexico while her parents looked for work across the border. Arce was finally able to join them in Texas when she was eleven, entering the U.S. on a temporary tourist visa. When her visa expired, she stayed in Texas, attended high school and worked to help her parents try to scratch out a living. Even after her parents returned home, she stayed, running their food cart, going to the University of Texas, excelling in her studies, and landing a job on Wall Street, where she was a rising star with a six-figure salary to prove it. There was only one problem: She was still an undocumented immigrant, a fact she had to conceal from her Wall Street employers – Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch – as well as her peers, friends, and others out of fear she would be deported. My (Underground) American Dream (Center Street, $27) is her remarkable story and a reminder of the struggle and contributions of millions of immigrants who come to the United States in search of their dreams.

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455540242
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Center Street - September 13th, 2016

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781455540266
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Center Street - September 19th, 2017

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