Staff Pick

Derek Black grew up schooled in racist ideology and was heir-apparent to the while nationalist movement. But in college he came to reexamine his racist beliefs and eventually repudiated them, denounced white nationalism, and publicly divorced himself from the movement. It was quite a shock when all this happened several years ago, and now in Rising Out of Hatred, Eli Saslow recounts Black’s remarkable transformation. An award-winning reporter for the Washington Post, Saslow has crafted an extensive, intimate, and riveting narrative of the evolution of Black’s beliefs, helped by the willingness of Black and his family and friends to cooperate, even allowing access to personal emails, Facebook conversations, and message board chats. While the book focuses on the journey of a single former white nationalist, the story reflects America’s larger ongoing struggles with racism and provides lessons about the potential for dialogue and moral reasoning to overcome hateful dogmas.

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385542869
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Doubleday - September 18th, 2018

Staff Pick

A journalist with Mother Jones, Shane Bauer spent four months working undercover as a corrections officer in a prison in Louisiana run by a private corporation. In American Prison, he recounts his experience, extensively documenting abuse and inattention by guards, suffering by inmates, and appalling profiteering by the Corrections Corporation of America. Chapters detailing what Bauer saw and heard at Winn Correctional Center alternate with chapters on the rise of CAA, the nation’s first private prison company, and the larger history of for-profit prisons in America, a system that, in the South especially, effectively exploited a force of African-American labor in the aftermath of slavery. Thanks to the recent surge in immigrant detention, privately run incarceration centers are thriving, but Bauer’s book suggests they’re no way to keep prisoners. 

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735223585
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - September 18th, 2018

Staff Pick

The story of Douglass’s rise from runaway slave to leading abolitionist, writer, and orator has been told before, not least by Douglass himself in not one but three autobiographies. Still, David W. Blight’s extensively researched, richly textured biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, reveals fresh details and provides a deeper appreciation of the complexities and paradoxes of the most important African American of the 19th century. Drawing on previously unpublished materials discovered in a private collection in Georgia, Blight, a Yale history professor, not only examines Douglass’ voluminous writings and speeches but also delves into his two marriages, other relationships, and complex extended family. While Blight clearly admires Douglass’ brilliant intellect, literary talents, and oratorical skills, he offers a balanced view of his subject’s many sides and turbulent life.

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416590316
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 16th, 2018