Staff Picks by Tag

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One Person, One Vote: A Surprising History of Gerrymandering in America By Nick Seabrook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593315866
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pantheon - June 14th, 2022

Clear and alarming, Seabrook delves into a practice that's as American as apple pie: gerrymandering. From the Founding Fathers to the current congressional maps, Seabrook deftly shines a light on this egregiously undemocratic process. With the current redistricting following the 2020 census giving us maps like those of Florida and Ohio, this is a must-read for all who care about voting rights.

Review by Zack

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The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party By Daniel James Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061348112
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Mariner Books - September 22nd, 2015

It's approaching that time of year where we all like to get cozy under our electric blankets with a hot apple cider in hand. If you're lucky, you might be surrounded by the ones you love the most during the magical season. It's also the perfect time to dream up hypotheticals like 'how much sustenance would mom provide if I had to resort to eating her during a blizzard in 1846?' or 'how does one overcome paradoxical undressing while suffering from hypothermia', which means you should absolutely get this book.

Review by Sarah C.

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Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy By Heather Ann Thompson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078240
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - August 22nd, 2017

In the introduction to Blood in the Water, historian Heather Ann Thompson worries about reopening old wounds. Is it right to ask those who experienced the Attica Prison Uprising--the hellish living conditions of the inmates, their rebellion and the ensuing crisis, the state's violent crackdown and subsequent coverup--to relive those traumas? Can a wound be reopened that has, by design, never been allowed to heal?

A meticulously researched and expertly written account of justice denied, Blood in the Water is by turns a painful, engrossing, heartbreaking and enraging read. As this summer's prison strikes have illustrated, the wound that Attica represents is still very much in need of treatment. To that end, Thompson's book is an indispensable resource.

Review by Theo

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Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment (City Lights Open Media) By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872867239
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: City Lights Books - January 23rd, 2018

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is not only a brilliant historian (she wrote “An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States”), but was also an avid gun enthusiast and belonged to an armed underground group. Who better to write a book arguing that the second amendment and white supremacy are inextricably bound, and that the mainstream gun debate is just one big false dichotomy? This book is going to make people on both sides of the gun debate uncomfortable, and it is a necessary discomfort. 

Review by Anje

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The End of Policing By Alex S. Vitale Cover Image
ISBN: 9781784782924
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Verso - August 28th, 2018

I thought this was a concise, accessible read. If you already own a dog-eared copy of "Are Prisons Obsolete?" or have a pen pal through Black and Pink, then this book will be preaching to the choir. However, if you have no idea what those things are but do think that there must be a better way of handling social problems than just sending the police in, this book is a great place to start.

Review by Anje