October 13, 2013

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez spoke about his book, Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill, at Politics & Prose on Sunday, October 13, 2013.

Beloved by the immigrants and working people whose rights he has championed, eleven-term Congressman Luis Gutiérrez is, among Latinos and along with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the most recognized Hispanic public figure in America.

Here Gutiérrez recounts his life between two worlds: too Puerto Rican in America, where he was born and yet was told to "go back to where you came from"; too American in Puerto Rico, where he was ridiculed as a "gringo" who couldn't speak Spanish. For much of his early life, he seemed like the last person who would rise to national prominence. Yet his tremendous will and resilience shaped his varied experiences--from picking coffee beans to driving a cab--into one of the most surprising careers in American politics. He campaigned for Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington. Someone threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of his house, and he only grew more committed to reform. Tested in the crucible of the notoriously tough Chicago city council, he earned the nickname "El Gallito": the little fighting rooster.

Gutiérrez was one of the first Latino public figures to support gay rights; he led the fight to cut Congressional paychecks, hashed out legislation with both Ted Kennedy and John McCain, and fought with Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush. Despite his strong support for Barack Obama in two elections, he has twice been arrested while protesting for immigrants in front of the Obama White House. From recollections of his failures as a teenage activist to his crackling observations of the nautical decor in Kennedy's office and the white-gloved waiters of the Speaker's dining room, Gutiérrez is as endearing to the reader as he is sometimes maddening to his colleagues, inspiring us all to stand up for our rights and for those of others.

Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393088977
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 7th, 2013

October 12, 2013

Randall Kennedy spoke about his book, For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law , at Politics & Prose on Saturday, October 12, 2013.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Fisher v. University of Texas, For Discrimination is at once the definitive reckoning with one of America’s most explosively contentious and divisive issues and a principled work of advocacy for clearly defined justice.

What precisely is affirmative action, and why is it fiercely championed by some and just as fiercely denounced by others? Does it signify a boon or a stigma? Or is it simply reverse discrimination? What are its benefits and costs to American society? What are the exact indicia determining who should or should not be accorded affirmative action? When should affirmative action end, if it must? Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School professor and author of such critically acclaimed and provocative books as Race, Crime, and the Law and the national best-seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, gives us a concise, gimlet-eyed, and deeply personal conspectus of the policy, refusing to shy away from the myriad complexities of an issue that continues to bedevil American race relations.

With pellucid reasoning, Kennedy accounts for the slipperiness of the term “affirmative action” as it has been appropriated by ideologues of every stripe; delves into the complex and surprising legal history of the policy; coolly analyzes key arguments pro and con advanced by the left and right, including the so-called color-blind, race-neutral challenge; critiques the impact of Supreme Court decisions on higher education; and ponders the future of affirmative action.

For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307949363
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - June 9th, 2015

August 20, 2013

Jesse Walker spoke about his book, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory, at Politics & Prose on Tuesday, August 20, 2013.

What’s more American than a conspiracy theory? Walker, Reason book editor and the author of Rebels on the Air, examines the role of paranoia in American history. Finding it a kind of folklore, Walker identifies five recurrent motifs and explores what these plotlines say about the country’s basic beliefs and fears.

The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062135568
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - October 14th, 2014

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