Politics & Culture

America's Racial Karma

America's Racial Karma

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Immediate, illuminating, and hopeful: this is the key set of talks given by leading Zen Buddhist teacher Larry Ward, PhD, on breaking America's cycle of racial trauma.

As an 11-year-old child, Zen Buddhist teacher Larry Ward was shot at by the police for playing baseball in the wrong spot. As an adult, he experienced the trauma of having his home firebombed by racists. At Plum Village Monastery in France--the home in exile of his teacher, Vietnamese peace activist and Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh--Dr. Ward found a way to heal. In these short reflective essays, he offers his insights on the effects of racial constructs and answers the question: How do we free ourselves from our repeated cycles of anger, denial, bitterness, pain, fear, violence?

"I am a drop in the ocean, but I'm also the ocean," he says. "I'm a drop in America, but I'm also America. Every pain, every confusion, every good and every bad and ugly of America is in me. And as I transform myself and heal and take care of myself, I'm very conscious that I'm healing and transforming and taking care of America. I say this for American cynics, but this is also true globally. It's for real."

Here, Ward looks at the causes and conditions that have led us to our current state and finds, hidden in the crisis, a profound opportunity to reinvent what it means to be a human being. This is an invitation to transform America's racial karma.

American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress

American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

An NPR Best Book of the Year - Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

Longlisted for the 2024 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence

"American Whitelash is indispensable. Really. It is." - Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Lowery confronts the sickness at the heart of American society: the cyclical pattern of violence that has marred every moment of racial progress in this country, and whose bloodshed began anew following Obama's 2008 election.

In 2008, Barack Obama's historic victory was heralded as a turning point for the country. And so it would be--just not in the way that most Americans hoped. The election of the nation's first Black president fanned long-burning embers of white supremacy, igniting a new and frightening phase in a historical American cycle of racial progress and white backlash.

In American Whitelash, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Wesley Lowery charts the return of this blood-stained trend, showing how the forces of white power retaliated against Obama's victory--and both profited from, and helped to propel, the rise of Donald Trump. Interweaving deep historical analysis with gripping firsthand reporting on both victims and perpetrators of violence, Lowery uncovers how this vicious cycle is carrying us into ever more perilous territory, how the federal government has failed to intervene, and how we still might find a route of escape.

Backlash

Backlash

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When George Yancy penned a New York Times op-ed entitled "Dear White America" asking white Americans to confront the ways that they benefit from racism, he knew his article would be controversial. But he was unprepared for the flood of vitriol in response. The resulting blowback played out in the national media, with critics attacking Yancy in every form possible--including death threats--and supporters rallying to his side. Despite the rhetoric of a "post-race" America, Yancy quickly discovered that racism is still alive, crude, and vicious in its expression. In Backlash, Yancy expands upon the original article and chronicles the ensuing controversy as he seeks to understand what it was about the op-ed that created so much rage among so many white readers. He challenges white Americans to rise above the vitriol and to develop a new empathy for the African American experience.

BB Blues Bird and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

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BEYOND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT:

BEYOND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT:

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Beyond the Voting Rights Act movingly recounts over 30 years of contemporary voting rights battles in the United States from the 1980s to the present day. The book places in context the modern-day battles against voter suppression laws that were embedded in American history and are still underway across the country. It tells a story of that struggle from the author's perspective beginning as a young African American from Cleveland in the 1980s, who reluctantly became involved within this movement as a student activist and inadvertently rose to become an integral part of the ultimate legislative victory

Countercoup:  The  Struggle  for  the  Control  of  Iran

Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran

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Scarce 1st edition; dust jacket in protective cover; gray cloth spine over black boards; binding tight; text clean. VG+/VG+

Democracy Awakening

Democracy Awakening

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A New York Times Bestseller

A vital and urgent call to action about the precarious state of American democracy, charting its historical challenges and current threats, from one of our era's most important and insightful historians.

"Magisterial." -The Washington Post

"An excellent primer for anyone who needs the important facts of the last 150 years of American history-and how they got us to the sorry place we inhabit today." -Guardian

At a time when the very foundations of democracy seem under threat, the lessons of the past offer a roadmap for navigating a moment of political crisis. In Democracy Awakening, acclaimed historian Heather Cox Richardson delves into the tumultuous journey of American democracy, revealing how the roots of Donald Trump's "authoritarian experiment" can be traced back through the earliest days of the republic. She examines the historical forces that have led to the current political climate, showing how modern conservatism has preyed upon a disaffected population, weaponizing language and promoting false history to consolidate power.

With remarkable clarity and the same accessible voice that brings millions of readers to her newsletter, Letters from an American, Richardson wrangles a chaotic news feed into a coherent story that singles out what we should pay attention to and what possible paths lie ahead. Her command of history and trademark plainspoken prose allow her to pivot effortlessly from the Founders to the abolitionists to Reconstruction to Nixon to the January 6 insurrection, highlighting the political legacies of the New Deal, the lingering fears of socialism, the death of the liberal consensus, and the birth of "movement conservatism."

An essential read for anyone concerned about the state of America, Democracy Awakening is more than a history book; it's a call to action. Richardson reminds us that democracy is not a static institution but a living, evolving process that requires constant vigilance and participation from all of us. This powerful testament to the resilience of democratic ideals shows how we, as a nation, can take the lessons of the past to address today's challenges and secure a more just and equitable future.

Join the Democracy Awakening Discussion Group - hosted by Anne Salsich - in store Thursday afternoons Feb 15, 22, and 29, 2024

Democracy in Chains

Democracy in Chains

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Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist for the National Book Award
The Nation's "Most Valuable Book"

"[A] vibrant intellectual history of the radical right."--The Atlantic



"This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. . . . If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be."--NPR

An explosive exposé of the right's relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution.

Behind today's headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect--the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan--and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite's power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us.

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan's work in teaching others how to divide America into "makers" and "takers." And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan's strategy.

Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America

Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America

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Since his election to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Ohio's Sherrod Brown has sat on the Senate floor at a mahogany desk with a proud history. In Desk 88, he tells the story of eight of the Senators who were there before him.

"Perhaps the most imaginative book to emerge from the Senate since Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts produced Profiles in Courage." --David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe

Despite their flaws and frequent setbacks, each made a decisive contribution to the creation of a more just America. They range from Hugo Black, who helped to lift millions of American workers out of poverty, to Robert F. Kennedy, whose eyes were opened by an undernourished Mississippi child and who then spent the rest of his life afflicting the comfortable. Brown revives forgotten figures such as Idaho's Glen Taylor, a singing cowboy who taught himself economics and stood up to segregationists, and offers new insights into George McGovern, who fought to feed the poor around the world even amid personal and political calamities. He also writes about Herbert Lehman of New York, Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee, Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island, and William Proxmire of Wisconsin.

Together, these eight portraits in political courage tell a story about the triumphs and failures of the Progressive idea over the past century: in the 1930s and 1960s, and more intermittently since, politicians and the public have successfully fought against entrenched special interests and advanced the cause of economic or racial fairness. Today, these advances are in peril as employers shed their responsibilities to employees and communities, and a U.S. president gives cover to bigotry. But the Progressive idea is not dead.

Recalling his own career, Brown dramatizes the hard work and high ideals required to renew the social contract and create a new era in which Americans of all backgrounds can know the "Dignity of Work."

Signed copiws have sold out - but we still have plenty of unsigned copies in stock!

Since his election to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Ohio's Sherrod Brown has sat on the Senate floor at a mahogany desk with a proud history. In Desk 88, he tells the story of eight of the Senators who were there before him. Despite their flaws and frequent setbacks, each made a decisive contribution to the creation of a more just America. They range from Hugo Black, who helped to lift millions of American workers out of poverty, to Robert F. Kennedy, whose eyes were opened by an undernourished Mississippi child and who then spent the rest of his life afflicting the comfortable. Brown revives forgotten figures such as Idaho's Glen Taylor, a singing cowboy who taught himself economics and stood up to segregationists, and offers new insights into George McGovern, who fought to feed the poor around the world even amid personal and political calamities. He also writes about Herbert Lehman of New York, Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee, Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island, and William Proxmire of Wisconsin.

Together, these eight portraits in political courage tell a story about the triumphs and failures of the Progressive idea over the past century: in the 1930s and 1960s, and more intermittently since, politicians and the public have successfully fought against entrenched special interests and advanced the cause of economic or racial fairness. Today, these advances are in peril as employers shed their responsibilities to employees and communities, and a U.S. president gives cover to bigotry. But the Progressive idea is not dead. Recalling his own career, Brown dramatizes the hard work and high ideals required to renew the social contract and create a new era in which Americans of all backgrounds can know the "Dignity of Work."

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle : Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle : Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

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In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."

Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Dr. Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." His many books include Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his autobiography, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.

Frank Barat is a human rights activist and author. He was the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and is now the president of the Palestine Legal Action Network. His books include Gaza in Crisis and Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation.