West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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New Non-Fiction (2020)

Non-fiction & biography featuring a range of topics and people that were released throughout 2020. Check them out to see what you might have missed!

Paying the land by Joe Sacco

"The Dene have lived in the vast Mackenzie River Valley since time immemorial, by their account. To the Dene, the land owns them, not the other way around, and it is central to their livelihood and very way of being. But the subarctic Canadian Northwest Territories are home to valuable resources, including oil, gas, and diamonds. With mining came jobs and investment, but also road-building, pipelines, and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape, and alcohol, drugs, and debt, which deformed a way of life.In Paying the Land, Joe Sacco travels the frozen North to reveal a people in conflict over the costs and benefits of development. The mining boom is only the latest assault on indigenous culture: Sacco recounts the shattering impact of a residential school system that aimed to "remove the Indian from the child"; the destructive process that drove the Dene from the bush into settlements and turned them into wage laborers; the government land claims stacked against the Dene Nation; and their uphill effortsto revive a wounded culture. Against a vast and gorgeous landscape that dwarfs all human scale, Paying the Land lends an ear to trappers and chiefs, activists and priests, to tell a sweeping story about money, dependency, loss, and culture-recounted in stunning visual detail by one of the greatest cartoonists alive"--

14 miles : building the border wall by D Gibson

"An esteemed journalist delivers a compelling on-the-ground account of the construction of President Trump's border wall in San Diego-and the impact on the lives of local residents. In August of 2019, Donald Trump finished building his border wall-at least a portion of it. In San Diego, the Army Corps of engineers completed two years of construction on a 14-mile steel beamed barrier that extends eighteen-feet high and cost a staggering $147 million. As one border patrol agent told reporters visiting the site, "It was funded and approved and it was built under his administration. It is Trump's wall." 14 Miles is a definitive account of all the dramatic construction, showing readers what it feels like to stand on both sides of the border looking up at the imposing and controversial barrier. After the Department of Homeland Security announced an open call for wall prototypes in 2017, DW Gibson, an award-winning journalist and Southern California native, began visiting the construction site and watching as the prototype samples were erected. Gibson spent those two years closely observing the work and interviewing local residents to understand how it was impacting them. These include April McKee, a border patrol agent leading a recruiting program that trains teenagers to work as agents; Jeff Schwilk, a retired Marine who organizes pro-wall rallies as head of the group San Diegans for Secure Borders; Roque De La Fuente, an eccentric millionaire developer who uses the construction as a promotional opportunity; and Civile Ephedouard, a Haitian refugee who spent two years migrating through Central America to the United States and anxiously awaits the results of his asylum case. Fascinating, propulsive, and incredibly timely, 14 Miles is an important work that explains not only how the wall has reshaped our landscape and countless lives but also how its shadow looms over our very identity as a nation"--

Raising a rare girl : a memoir by Heather Kirn Lanier

"The author's daughter was born with a very rare genetic syndrome and faced a daunting prognosis: she would be a fraction of normal size, have innumerable physical and mental difficulties and likely a shortened lifespan. Now, at age eight she is attending standard public school classes. This is the story of her family's journey"--

When truth is all you have : a memoir of faith, justice, and freedom for the wrongly convicted by Jim (Minister) McCloskey

"By the founder of the first organization in the US committed to freeing the wrongly imprisoned, a riveting story of devotion, sacrifice, and vindication Jim McCloskey was at a midlife crossroads when he met the man who would transform his life. A formermanagement consultant, McCloskey had grown disenchanted with the business world; he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary at the age of 37. His first assignment found him a chaplain at Trenton State Prison in 1980, where he ministered to some of themost violent offenders in the state. Among them was Jorge de los Santos, a heroin addict who'd been convicted of murder years earlier. De los Santos swore to McCloskey that he was innocent--and over time, McCloskey came to believe him. With no legal or investigative training to speak of, McCloskey threw himself into the man's case. Two years later, he successfully effected his exoneration. McCloskey found his calling. He would go on to establish Centurion Ministries, the first group in America devoted tooverturning wrongful convictions. Together with a team of forensic experts, lawyers, and volunteers--through tireless investigation and an unflagging dedication to justice--Centurion has freed 63 prisoners and counting, When Truth Is All You Have is McCloskey's inspirational story as well as those of the unjustly imprisoned for whom he has advocated. Spanning the nation, it is a chronicle of faith and doubt; of triumphant success and shattering failure. It candidly exposes a life of searching and struggle, uplifted by McCloskey's certainty that he had found what he was put on earth to do. Filled with generosity, humor, and compassion, it is the account of a man who has redeemed innumerable lives--and incited a movement--with nothing more than his unshakeable belief in the truth"--

Conditional citizens : on belonging in America by Laila Lalami

"The acclaimed, award-winning novelist--author of The Moor's Account and The Other Americans--now gives us a bracingly personal work of nonfiction that is concerned with the experiences of "conditional citizens." What does it mean to be American? In thisstarkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth--such as national origin, race, or gender--that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today. Throughout the book, she poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained, keeping the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm, and pushes away with the other. Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together the author's own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture"--

His truth is marching on : John Lewis and the power of hope by Jon Meacham

"John Lewis, who at age twenty-five marched in Selma and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, is a visionary and a man of faith. Using intimate interviews with Lewis and his family and deep research into the history of the civil rights movement, Meacham writes of how the activist and leader was inspired by the Bible, his mother's unbreakable spirit, his sharecropper father's tireless ambition, and his teachers in nonviolence. A believer in hope above all else, Lewis learned from a young age that nonviolence was not only a tactic but a philosophy, a biblical imperative, and a transforming reality. Integral to Lewis's commitment to bettering the nation was his faith in humanity and in God. Meacham calls Lewis "as important to the founding of a modern and multiethnic twentieth- and twenty-first century America as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Samuel Adams were to the initial creation of the nation-state in the eighteenth century. He did what he did--risking limb and life to bear witness for the powerless in the face of the powerful--not in spite of America, but because of America, and not in spite of religion, but because of religion." --

We're better than this : my fight for the future of our democracy by Elijah Cummings

A memoir by the late Congressman details how his experiences as a sharecroppers' son in volatile South Baltimore shaped his life in activism, explaining how government oversight can become a positive part of a just American collective.

The next great migration : the beauty and terror of life on the move by Sonia Shah

"A prize-winning journalist upends our centuries-long assumptions about migration through science, history, and reporting--predicting its lifesaving power in the face of climate change. The news today is full of stories of dislocated people on the move. Wild species, too, are escaping warming seas and desiccated lands, creeping, swimming, and flying in a mass exodus from their past habitats. News media presents this scrambling of the planet's migration patterns as unprecedented, provoking fears of the spread of disease and conflict and waves of anxiety across the Western world. On both sides of the Atlantic, experts issue alarmed predictions of millions of invading aliens, unstoppable as an advancing tsunami, and countries respond by electing anti-immigration leaders who slam closed borders that were historically porous. But the science and history of migration in animals, plants, and humans tell a different story. Far from being a disruptive behavior to be quelled at any cost, migration is an ancient andlifesaving response to environmental change, a biological imperative as necessary as breathing. Climate changes triggered the first human migrations out of Africa. Falling sea levels allowed our passage across the Bering Sea. Unhampered by barbed wire, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, catapulting us into the highest reaches of the Himalayan mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, creating and disseminating the biological, cultural, and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. In other words, migration is not the crisis--it is the solution. Conclusively tracking the history of misinformation from the 18th century through today's anti-immigration policies, The Next Great Migration makes the case for a future in which migration is not a source of fear, but of hope"--

Black women, black love : America's war on African American marriage by Dianne M Stewart

"According to the 2010 US Census, more than seventy percent of Black women in America are unmarried today. Sweeping in scope and expansively researched, Black Women, Black Love reveals how four hundred years of the laws, policies, and customs have createdthat crisis for Black women in America today. Stewart begins her investigative analysis in the earliest years of the slave state, showing that American slavery could only flourish if its stakeholders strategically disrupted and even extinguished Black love. A new wave of violence split up couples once again as millions embarked on the Great Migration to northern cities. There, they found that the welfare system of the twentieth century continued to suppress Black marriage, mandating that women remain single in order to receive government support. Yet no institution has perfected America's project of forbidding Black love with as much methodical precision as the contemporary prison industrial complex. Mass incarceration removed Black men en masse from thepool of marriageable partners, forcing Black women to forge whatever intimacy they could through prison bars, on collect phone calls, and during visiting hours. Revealing these continued assaults on the most precious and powerful of liberties, Black Women, Black Love is a cri de coeur that draws a straight line from generations of oppression to today's crisis of Black companionship. It is at once a compelling accounting of the lasting damage done to black wealth and selfhood, and a stirring call for thecultural and policy changes necessary to unshackle Black love at last"--

A black man in Trumpland : why didn't we riot? by Issac J Bailey

"An award-winning journalist deals forthrightly with what it means to be black in Trump Country. In A Black Man in Trumpland, South Carolina-based journalist Issac J. Bailey reflects on a wide range of topics that have been increasingly dividing Americans, from police brutality and Confederate symbols to poverty and respectability politics. Bailey has been honing his views on these issues for the past quarter of a century in his professional and private life, which included an eighteen-year stint as a member of a mostly white Evangelical Christian church. This book speaks to and for the millions of black and brown people throughout the United States who were effectively pushed back to the back of the bus in the Trump era by a media that prioritized the concerns and feelings of the white working class and an administration that made white supremacists giddy, and explains why the country's fate in 2020 and beyond is largely in their hands. It will be an invaluable resource for the everyday reader, as well as political analysts, college professors and students, and political consultants and political campaigns vying for high office"--

Dancing after TEN : a graphic memoir by Vivian Chong

"In late 2004, Vivian Chong's life was changed forever when a rare skin disease, TEN (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis), left her with scar tissue that would eventually blind her. As she was losing her sight, she put down as many drawings on paper as she could to document the experience. In Dancing After TEN, Chong teams up with cartoonist Georgia Webber -- whose graphic autobiography, Dumb, chronicled her own disability -- to trace her journey out of the darkness and into the spotlight. Chong now expresses her art through singing, stand-up, drumming, running, and dancing. This graphic novel is an inspirational tale and a powerful work of graphic medicine."--Amazon

Sunny days : the children's television revolution that changed America by David Kamp

"In 1970, in soundstage on Manhattan's Upper West Side, a group of men and women of various ages and races met to finish the first season of a children's TV program. They had identified a social problem: poor children were entering kindergarten without the learning skills of their middle-class counterparts. They hoped, too, that they had identified a solution: to use television to better prepare these disadvantaged kids for school. No one knew then, but this children's TV program would go on to start a cultural revolution. It was called Sesame Street. Sesame Street was part of a larger movement that saw media professionals and thought leaders leveraging their influence to help children learn. A year and a half earlier, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiered. Fast on its heels came Schoolhouse Rock!, a video series dreamed up by Madison Avenue admen to teach kids times tables, civics, and grammatical rules, and Free to Be... You and Me, the TV star Marlo Thomas's audacious multi-pronged campaign (it was first a record album, and then a book and a television special) to instill the concept of gender equality in young minds. There was more: programs such as The Electric Company, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, ZOOM, and others followed, and captivated young viewers. In Sunny Days, bestselling author David Kamp takes readers behind the scenes to show how these programs made it on air. He draws on hundreds of hours of interviews from the creators and participants of these programs-among them Joan Ganz Cooney, Lloyd Morrisett, Newton Minow, Sonia Manzano, Loretta Long, Bob McGrath, Marlo Thomas, and Rita Moreno-as well as archival research. Kamp explains how these like-minded individuals found their way into television, not as fame- or money-hungry would-be auteurs and stars, but as people who wanted to use TV to help children. This is both a fun and fascinating story, and a masterful work of cultural history. Sunny Days captures a period in children's television where enlightened progressivism prevailed, and shows how this period changed the lives of millions. Nothing had ever happened like this before, Kamp forcefully and eloquently argues, and nothing has ever happened like it since"--

My sister : how one sibling's transition changed us both by Selenis Leyva

A powerful, honest memoir by two sisters - one a star on Orange Is the New Black, one a trans woman and activist - about transitioning, family, allyship, and the path to self-realization. When Selenis Leyva's parents adopted a baby into their warm, loving family, Selenis was immediately smitten. The pair were always close; Selenis showered her younger sibling with affection, who in turn looked up to Selenis and followed her everywhere. The siblings realized, almost at the same moment, that the younger of the two was struggling with their identity. As Marizol transitioned and fought to define her identity, Selenis and her family struggled to support her. In My Sister, they narrate their shared journey, challenges, and triumphs. In alternating chapters, Selenis and Marizol write honestly about the issues of violence, abuse, and discrimination that trans people and women of color - and especially trans women of color - experience daily. And they are open about the messiness and confusion of fully realizing oneself and being properly affirmed by others, even those who love you

The house of Yan : a family at the heart of a century in Chinese history by Lan Yan

"In recounting her family history, Lan Yan brings to life a century of Chinese history from the last emperor to present day, including the Cultural Revolution which tore her childhood apart. The little girl who was crushed by the Cultural Revolution has become one of the most active businesswomen in her country. In telling her and her family's story, she serves up an intimate account of the history of contemporary China"--

Missed translations : meeting the immigrant parents who raised me by Sopan Deb

"Approaching his 30th birthday, Sopan Deb had found comfort in his day job as a writer for the New York Times and a practicing comedian. But his stage material highlighting his South Asian culture only served to mask the insecurities borne from his family history. Sure, Deb knew the facts: his parents, both Indian, separately immigrated to North America in the 1960s and 1970s. They were brought together in a volatile and ultimately doomed arranged marriage and raised a family in suburban New Jersey before his father returned to India alone. But Deb had never learned who his parents were as individuals--their ages, how many siblings they had, what they were like as children, what their favorite movies were. Theirs was an ostensibly nuclear family without any of the familial bonds. Coming of age in a mostly white suburban town, Deb's alienation led him to seek separation from his family and his culture, longing for the tight-knit home environment of his white friends. His desire wasn't rooted in racism or oppression; it was born of envy and desire--for white moms who made after-school snacks and asked his friends about the girls they liked and the teachers they didn't. Deb yearned for the same. Deb's experiences as one of the few minorities covering the Trump campaign, and subsequently as a stand up comedian, propelled him on a dramatic journey to India to see his father--the first step in a life altering journey to bridge the emotional distance separating him from those whose DNA he shared. Deb had to learn to connect with this man he recognized yet did not know--and eventually breach the silence separating him from his mother. As it beautifully and poignantly chronicles Deb's odyssey, Missed Translations raises questions essential to us all: Is it ever too late to pick up the pieces and offer forgiveness? How do we build bridges where there was nothing before--and what happens to us, to our past and our future, if we don't?"--Amazon

The sword and the shield : the revolutionary lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. by Peniel E Joseph

"The Sword and the Shield is a dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King that transforms our understanding of the twentieth century's most iconic African American leaders. Peniel E. Joseph reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define"--

One mighty and irresistible tide : the epic struggle over American immigration, 1924-1965 by Jia Lynn Yang

"A sweeping history of the legislative battle to reform American immigration laws that set the stage for the immigration debates roiling America today. The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is today so pervasive, and seems so foundational, that it can be hard to believe Americans ever thought otherwise. But a 1924 law passed by Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing immigration from southern and eastern Europe and outright banning people from nearly all of Asia. In a compelling narrative with a fascinating cast of characters, Jia Lynn Yang recounts how a small number of lawmakers, activists, and presidents worked relentlessly for the next fortyyears to abolish the 1924 law and its quotas. Their efforts established the new mythology of the United States as "a nation of immigrants" that is so familiar to all of us now. Through a world war, a global refugee crisis, and a McCarthyist fever that swept the country, these Americans never stopped trying to restore the United States to a country that lived up to its vision as a home for "the huddled masses" from Emma Lazarus's famous poem. When the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, one of the mosttransformative laws in the country's history, ended the country's system of racial preferences among immigrants, it opened the door to Asian, Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern migration at levels never seen before-paving the way for America's modern immigration trends in ways those who debated it could hardly have imagined"--

A knock at midnight : a story of hope, justice, and freedom by Brittany K Barnett

"Brittany K. Barnett was only a law student when she came across the case that would change her life forever--that of Sharanda Jones, single mother, business owner, and, like Brittany, Black daughter of the rural South. A victim of America's devastating war on drugs, Sharanda was serving a life sentence without parole--for a first-time drug offense. Moved by Sharanda's plight, Brittany set to work to gain her freedom"--

White Negroes : when cornrows were in vogue ... and other thoughts on cultural appropriation by Lauren Michele Jackson

"This book provides a cultural, political, and social survey through the most American of pastimes that continues to thrive today. With narrative, accessible criticism, research, and popular cultural touchstones we can all recognize, I'd like to introducereaders to the black presence that holds up daily life as they know it. It is a crucial account of the people, stories, and culture that create the hilarious, crazy wonder that is life in the 21st century. It is also a wake up call. White Negroes wants to peel open still beating heart of interracial antagonism in this country and expose a form of theft that feels natural only because we are used to it. But we don't have to be. This book documents how this very old tradition shapes our society in the present in the hopes that we can imagine something better. White Negroes will transform what readers think they know about race and culture in the new millennium and open the door to a new present and future unburdened by crimes of the past"--

The purpose of power : how to build movements for the 21st century by Alicia Garza

"Coupled with the speed and networking capacities of social media, #blacklivesmatter was the hashtag heard round the world. But Alicia Garza well knew that the distance between a hashtag and real change would take more than a single facebook to cover. Itwould take a movement. Garza was a lifelong activist who had spent the previous decades educating herself on the hard lessons of organizing. She started as a kid, working on sexual education for her peers, and then moved on to major campaigns around housing, policing, and immigrant and labor rights in California and then nationally. The lessons she extracted were different from the "rules for radicals" that animated earlier generations of lefitists; they were also different than the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American Civil Rights Movement. She instead developed a mode of organizing based on creating deep connections with communities, forging multiracial, intersectional coalitions, and, most of all, calling in all sorts of people to join the fight for the world we all deserve. This is the story of an activist's education on the streets and in the homes of regular people around the country who found ways to come together to create change. And it's also a guide for anyone who wants to share in that education and help build sustainable movements for the 21st century at any level, whether you're fighting for housing justice in your community or advocating for a political candidate or marching in the streets or just voting. It's a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time"--

Make change : how to fight injustice, dismantle systemic oppression, and own our future by Shaun King

"As a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, Shaun King has become one of the most recognizable and powerful voices on the front lines of civil rights in our time. His commitment to reforming the justice system and making America a more equitable place has brought challenges and triumphs, soaring victories and crushing defeats. Throughout his wide-ranging activism, King's commentary remains rooted in both exhaustive research and abundant passion. In Make Change, King offers an inspiring look at the moments that have shaped his life and considers the ways social movements can grow and evolve in this hyper-connected era. He shares stories from his efforts leading the Raise the Age campaign and his work fighting police brutality, while providing a roadmap for how to stay sane, safe, and motivated even in the worst of political climates. By turns infuriating, inspiring, and educational, Make Change will resonate with those who believe that America can-and must-do better"--

Stakes is high : life after the American dream by Mychal Denzel Smith

"We are better than this" has been the rallying cry since Donald Trump was elected. But as New York Times-bestselling author Mychal Denzel Smith shows, Americans are too comfortable imagining our greatness. We like to believe in the rightness of our pathand the inevitability of choosing our better angels. But historically, we've only come close to living up to the ideals we profess after we've been dragged, kicking and screaming, toward justice. Growth only happens when we confront our deceptions and ourown complicity in them. In Stakes Is High, Smith exposes the contradictions at the heart of American life - between patriotism and justice, between freedom and inequality, incarceration, police violence. In a series of incisive essays, Smith holds us toaccount individually and as a nation. He examines his own shortcomings, grapples with the anxiety of feeling stuck, and looks in new directions for the tools to build a just America. He questions whether Martin Luther King, Jr. can ever really be the herowe need in our time, untangles the persistent cultural power of Bill Cosby, and weighs the value of police and prison abolition. Stakes Is High establishes Mychal Denzel Smith as a voice to be heeded as we prepare for the fight ahead"--

Brother Robert : growing up with Robert Johnson by Annye C Anderson

"An intimate memoir by blues legend Robert Johnson's step-sister, including new details about his family, music, influences, tragic death, and musical afterlife"--

A more perfect reunion : race, integration, and the future of America by Calvin Baker

"For four centuries, Americans have found ways to live in a system of racial tyranny and apartheid. We tell ourselves that we know better, but with each generation, too many of us have been satisfied with doing just a little, deciding that the rest is a question for the future. But as acclaimed, award-winning writer Calvin Baker argues in this bracing, necessary book, we are now in that future: racism has torn the country apart and threatens our democracy. The only solution, Baker argues, is integration,which he defines as the full self-determination and participation for all African-Americans, as well as all other oppressed groups, in every facet of national life. Desegregation, diversity, and representation, our usual fall-back solutions, are not enough. Integration is the only remedy to a racist state and to our divisions, and the deepest challenge to the racial order. It is the real goal of civil rights, and the most radical, neglected idea in American politics. At once a provocative reading of U.S.history from the colonial era, and a trenchant critique of the obstacles to integration in our current political and cultural moment, A More Perfect Reunion is also a call to action. As Baker reminds us, we live in a revolutionary democracy; now we must finish that revolution"--

The road from Raqqa : a story of brotherhood, borders, and belonging by Jordan Ritter Conn

Tells the tale of two Syrian brothers, one who fled the Hama massacre for America, where he married a Southern belle and opened a restaurant and the other who stayed to work under the corrupt Assad government.
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National Medal Recipient of the National Medal, the nation's highest honor for libraries.