MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA, by Lee NOTE: Meeting Online

Public Affairs
Monday, June 27, 7:00 pm

Public Affairs Book Group meets the 4th Monday each month at 7:00 p.m. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact judytaylor2011@gmail.com

The Making of Asian America: A History By Erika Lee Cover Image

The Making of Asian America: A History (Paperback)

$22.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
1 on hand, as of Feb 23 1:19am
A “comprehensive…fascinating” (The New York Times Book Review) history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject, with a new afterword about the recent hate crimes against Asian Americans.

In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But much of their long history has been forgotten. “In her sweeping, powerful new book, Erika Lee considers the rich, complicated, and sometimes invisible histories of Asians in the United States” (Huffington Post).

The Making of Asian America shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life, from sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500 to the Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. But as Lee shows, Asian Americans have continued to struggle as both “despised minorities” and “model minorities,” revealing all the ways that racism has persisted in their lives and in the life of the country.

Published fifty years after the passage of the United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, these “powerful Asian American stories…are inspiring, and Lee herself does them justice in a book that is long overdue” (Los Angeles Times). But more than that, The Making of Asian America is an “epic and eye-opening” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today.
Erika Lee is the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who entered the United States through both Angel Island and Ellis Island. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches history at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair in Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center. She is the author of The Making of Asian America, Angel Island (with Judy Yung), and At America’s Gates.
Product Details ISBN: 9781476739410
ISBN-10: 1476739412
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 16th, 2016
Pages: 560
Language: English
**Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature**
**A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015**
**New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice**


"Sweeping . . . Lee's comprehensive history traces the experiences of myriad Asian-American communities, from Chinese laborers in 1850s California to Hmong refugees in 1980s Minnesota. . . . The Making of Asian America shares strong similarities with other broad inclusive Asian-American histories, most obviously Ronald Takaki's Strangers From a Different Shore, first published in 1989. Lee's book doesn't radically depart from its predecessors so much as provide a useful and important upgrade by broadening the scope and, at times, deepening the investigations. . . . Fascinating. . . . I suspect Erika Lee will soon join [the canon of key Asian-American histories]."
— Oliver Wang

"In this fascinating retelling of the American creation story, Lee uses incisive scholarship, a wide historic lens and rich detail to fill in the long missing Asian-American pieces. Starting with ancient Greece and the Age of Exploration, from enslavement to modern day challenges, Lee tracks the epic Asian-American journey to North and South Americas, East Indies to West Indies, and in doing so, she breaks new ground and inverts the master narrative."
— Helen Zia, author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People

"The Making of Asian America is a path-breaking approach to Asian American history. Professor Lee will challenge and surprise most of her readers. . . . She is clearly now a distinct and important voice in a debate of growing complexity."
— Roger Daniels, author of Coming to America and Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History, University of Cincinnati

"A stunning achievement, The Making of Asian America establishes the centrality of Asians to American history, and poses alternatives to US national and immigration histories. Asians, this remarkable text reveals, transformed the face of America, and they locate the US firmly within a hemispheric and global order."
— Gary Y. Okihiro, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

"Building on the best and newest scholarship, Erika Lee has written a sweeping yet personal and critical history of Asian Americans across centuries, continents, and diverse cultures without losing sight of the global, racial, and historical contexts of Asian migration, exclusion, and resettlement. A definitive and ideal text for college classes and the general public, The Making of Asian America is truly an enjoyable, informative, and insightful read."
— Judy Yung, Professor Emerita of American Studies, UC Santa Cruz, and author of Unbound Feet

“A fascinating narrative. . . . Deftly weaving together a masterful synthesis of the existing literature with new information culled from hitherto untapped archival sources and with analytical insights on the global currents that have shaped the last five centuries, Erika Lee has created a richly textured tapestry enlivened by vivid stories of hundreds of individuals and groups who played significant, though often unsung, roles in the making of Asian America.”
— Sucheng Chan, Professor Emerita of Asian American Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

“Monumental. . . . Lee handles her scholarly materials with grace, never overwhelming the reader with too many facts or incidents. She tells an American story familiar to anyone who has read Walt Whitman, seeking to capture America in all its diversity and difference, while at the same time pleading for America to realize its democratic potential. . . . Powerful Asian American stories . . . are inspiring, and Lee herself does them justice in a book that is long overdue.”
— LA Times

"A well-written, panoramic view of Asian America from the colonial era to the present that sheds light on how Asian immigrants have sought to make their place in American society and, at the same time, continually changed it."
— Nancy Foner, coauthor of Strangers No More and Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Hunter College and Graduate Center, CUNY

"A sweeping study of the fastest growing group in the United States that underscores the shameful racist regard white Americans have long held for Asian immigrants. A historian of immigration whose ancestors hailed from China, Lee (History/Univ. of Minnesota) delineates the specific history of Asians in America—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hmong, and others—while also lending a general sense of what immigrants have endured: discrimination in work, wages, education, and housing, and even incarceration during World War II. . . . A powerful, timely story told with method and dignity."
— Kirkus (starred review)

“Accessibly written for a wide readership, The Making of Asian America opens important, new perspectives on the relationship of the U.S. and the world.”
— Donna Gabaccia, Professor of History, University of Toronto Scarborough

"Pokes holes in the 'model minority' myth by pointing out that Asians in the United States are overrepresented at both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, and that before World War II, the group was frequently portrayed as being incompatible with American society. An impressive work that details how this diverse population has both swayed and been affected by the United States. Highly recommended for readers interested in this important topic."
— Library Journal (starred review)

"Erika Lee’s new narrative of Asian American history deserves consideration to complement, if not supplant, celebrated earlier syntheses. Incorporating compelling revisionist approaches, Lee peels back several centuries of time to locate the origins of Chinese in America to the founding of the Spanish empire in America in the sixteenth century. . . . She further insists on the mainstreaming of Asian American history in the United States."
— Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Professor of History and American Studies, Brown University

“In her sweeping, powerful new book, Lee considers the rich, complicated, and sometimes invisible histories of Asians in the United States.”
— Huffington Post

“Comprehensive, informative, and engaging. . . . The Making of Asian America is full of fascinating stories about immigrants who left a mark on their adopted country.”
— The Oregonian

"Epic and eye-opening."
— Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"An ambitious, sweeping, and insightful survey."
— Publishers Weekly

"The Making of Asian America chronicles the past and connects it to the present. . . . an important document of history."
— Minneapolis Post

"Racism, as Lee shows, was the unifying factor in the Asian-American experience, bringing together twenty-three distinct immigrant groups, from very different parts of the world. . . . In the eyes of some, Asians in America are, Lee writes, 'perpetual foreigners at worst, or probationary Americans at best.' If Asians sometimes remain silent in the face of racism, and if some seem to work unusually hard in the face of this difficult history, it is not because they want to be part of a 'model minority,' but because they have often had no other choice."
— The New Yorker

“Accessible yet sweeping. . . . Synthesizing many of the exciting discoveries and arguments that have emerged in the field of Asian American history in the past few decades, The Making of Asian America is a must-read for anyone curious about the U.S. and its history.”
— Book Riot

WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION, by O'Neil NOTE: Meeting Online

Public Affairs
Monday, May 23, 7:00 pm

Public Affairs Book Group meets the 4th Monday each month at 7:00 p.m. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact judytaylor2011@gmail.com

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy By Cathy O'Neil Cover Image

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Paperback)

$17.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at The Wharf (610 Water St SW)
1 on hand, as of Feb 23 2:19am
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A former Wall Street quant sounds the alarm on Big Data and the mathematical models that threaten to rip apart our social fabric—with a new afterword
 
“A manual for the twenty-first-century citizen . . . relevant and urgent.”—Financial Times
 
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review The Boston GlobeWired • Fortune • Kirkus Reviews • The Guardian • Nature • On Point
 
We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we can get a job or a loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by machines. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules.
 
But as mathematician and data scientist Cathy O’Neil reveals, the mathematical models being used today are unregulated and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination—propping up the lucky, punishing the downtrodden, and undermining our democracy in the process. Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.
Cathy O'Neil is a data scientist and author of the blog mathbabe.org. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard and taught at Barnard College before moving to the private sector, where she worked for the hedge fund D. E. Shaw. She then worked as a data scientist at various start-ups, building models that predict people’s purchases and clicks. O’Neil started the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia and is the author of Doing Data Science. She is currently a columnist for Bloomberg View.
Product Details ISBN: 9780553418835
ISBN-10: 0553418831
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 288
Language: English
“O’Neil’s book offers a frightening look at how algorithms are increasingly regulating people. . . . Her knowledge of the power and risks of mathematical models, coupled with a gift for analogy, makes her one of the most valuable observers of the continuing weaponization of big data. . . . [She] does a masterly job explaining the pervasiveness and risks of the algorithms that regulate our lives.”—The New York Times Book Review

"Weapons of Math Destruction is the Big Data story Silicon Valley proponents won't tell. . . . [It] pithily exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics . . . a thought-provoking read for anyone inclined to believe that data doesn't lie.”Reuters

“This is a manual for the twenty-first century citizen, and it succeeds where other big data accounts have failedit is accessible, refreshingly critical and feels relevant and urgent.”—Financial Times

"Insightful and disturbing."—New York Review of Books

Weapons of Math Destruction is an urgent critique of . . . the rampant misuse of math in nearly every aspect of our lives.”—Boston Globe

“A fascinating and deeply disturbing book.”Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens

“Illuminating . . . [O’Neil] makes a convincing case that this reliance on algorithms has gone too far.”—The Atlantic

“A nuanced reminder that big data is only as good as the people wielding it.”—Wired

“If you’ve ever suspected there was something baleful about our deep trust in data, but lacked the mathematical skills to figure out exactly what it was, this is the book for you.”—Salon

“O’Neil is an ideal person to write this book. She is an academic mathematician turned Wall Street quant turned data scientist who has been involved in Occupy Wall Street and recently started an algorithmic auditing company. She is one of the strongest voices speaking out for limiting the ways we allow algorithms to influence our lives. . . . While Weapons of Math Destruction is full of hard truths and grim statistics, it is also accessible and even entertaining. O’Neil’s writing is direct and easy to read—I devoured it in an afternoon.”—Scientific American

“Indispensable . . . Despite the technical complexity of its subject, Weapons of Math Destruction lucidly guides readers through these complex modeling systems. . . . O’Neil’s book is an excellent primer on the ethical and moral risks of Big Data and an algorithmically dependent world. . . . For those curious about how Big Data can help them and their businesses, or how it has been reshaping the world around them, Weapons of Math Destruction is an essential starting place.”National Post

“Cathy O’Neil has seen Big Data from the inside, and the picture isn’t pretty. Weapons of Math Destruction opens the curtain on algorithms that exploit people and distort the truth while posing as neutral mathematical tools. This book is wise, fierce, and desperately necessary.”—Jordan Ellenberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of How Not To Be Wrong

“O’Neil has become [a whistle-blower] for the world of Big Data . . . [in] her important new book. . . .  Her work makes particularly disturbing points about how being on the wrong side of an algorithmic decision can snowball in incredibly destructive ways.”Time

MAN WITHOUT A FACE, by Gessen NOTE: Meeting Online

Public Affairs
Monday, April 25, 7:00 pm

Public Affairs Book Group meets the 4th Monday each month at 7:00 p.m. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact judytaylor2011@gmail.com

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin By Masha Gessen Cover Image

The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (Paperback)

$18.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Feb 23 1:19am

National Book Award winner Masha Gessen's biography of a ruthless man's ascent to near-absolute power.

“In a country where journalists critical of the government have a way of meeting untimely deaths, Gessen has shown remarkable courage in researching and writing this unflinching indictment of the most powerful man in Russia.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Thanks to fearless reporting and acute psychological insights, Masha Gessen has done the impossible in writing a highly readable, compelling life of Russia's mysterious president-for-life.” –Tina Brown, The Daily Beast


The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to his own people and to the world.
 
Handpicked as a successor by the "family" surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.

As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. This account of how a "faceless" man maneuvered his way into absolute—and absolutely corrupt—power is the definitive biography of Vladimir Putin.

Masha Gessen is the author of eleven other books, including the National Book Award–winning The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia and Surviving Autocracy. A staff writer at The New Yorker and the recipient of numerous awards, including Guggenheim and Carnegie fellowships, Gessen teaches at Bard College and lives in New York City.
Product Details ISBN: 9781594486517
ISBN-10: 1594486514
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: March 5th, 2013
Pages: 352
Language: English
Slate and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2012

"[An] absorbing portrait… Gessen is most illuminating when she details the historical accidents that allowed an unexceptional bureaucrat to rule Russia." The New Yorker  

“Part psychological profile, part conspiracy study… As a Moscow native who has written perceptively for both Russian and Western publications, Gessen knows the cultures and pathologies of Russia… [and has] a delicious command of the English language… A fiercely independent journalist… Gessen’s armchair psychoanalysis of Putin is speculative. But it is a clever and sometimes convincing speculation, based on a close reading of Putin’s own inadvertently revealing accounts of his life, and on interviews with people who knew Putin before he mattered.” The New York Times Book Review  

“In a country where journalists critical of the government have a way of meeting untimely deaths, Ms. Gessen has shown remarkable courage in researching and writing this unflinching indictment of the most powerful man in Russia… Although written before the recent protests erupted, the book helps to explain the anger and outrage driving that movement.”The Wall Street Journal

“Thanks to her fearless reporting and acute psychological insights, Masha Gessen has done the impossible in writing a highly readable, compelling life of Russia's mysterious president-for-life.” –Tina Brown, The Daily Beast 

"Powerful and gracefully written… Gessen's book flows on multiple tracks, tracing Putin's life back to boyhood, the story of his hometown of St. Petersburg, and finally the last quarter-century of Russian history… For all of the ghoulish detail, Gessen's account of Russia is not overwrought… [she] displays impressive control of her prose and her story, painting a portrait of a vile Putin without sounding polemical." San Francisco Chronicle

“Engrossing and insightful.” Bloomberg

"Gessen shines a piercing light into every dark corner of Putin's story… Fascinating, hard-hitting reading." Foreign Affairs

“[An] incisive bildingsroman of Putin and his regime… Alongside an acute apprehension of the post-Soviet dynamics that facilitated Putin’s rise, Gessen balances narratives of Putin-as-bureaucrat and Putin-as-kleptocrat with a wider indictment of the “Mafia clan” that retains him solely as its Godfather.” The Daily

“Illuminating… Gessen sprinkles telltale signs of the Putin who would eventually emerge and rule Russia with an iron fist…It is with these explosive revelations that Gessen truly excels… [She] presents her case calmly, picking holes in Putin’s character, his policies, and his rule without stooping to hysterical condemnation… an electrifying read from what can only be described as an incredibly brave writer.” Columbia Journalism Review

“A chilling and brave work of nonfiction… Gessen has succeeded in convincingly portraying the forces that made Putin who he is today.”Bookpage

"Although Gessen is enough of an outsider to write beautifully clear and eloquent English, she is enough of an insider to convey, accurately, the wild swings of emotions, the atmosphere of mad speculation, the paranoia, and, yes, the hysteria that pervade all political discussion and debate in Moscow today."The New York Review of Books

“What Gessen sees in Putin is a troubled childhood brawler who became a paper-pushing KGB man and, by improbable twists and turns, rose to the top in Russia… [She] does not attempt to weigh up Putin’s record but rather examines his biography, mind-set and methods… as a thug loyal to the KGB and the empire it served who never had a clue about the Earth-shattering events that blew the Soviet Union apart.” The Washington Post


“An eye opening story with all the drama and intrigue of a novel.” Popmatters

“Written in English but with Russian heart, Gessen focuses on the places and institutions that bred the nation's most resolute leader since Stalin… Some might say that Gessen's interpretation is political. Of course it is… but more importantly, it is thorough. She has seen fellow journalists killed, has been harassed herself, and yet continues to write from Russia… Her urgency is felt on nearly every page.” Bookforum

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