10 Books Published by PublicAffairs on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about The Crazy Bunch by Willie Perdomo The Crazy Bunch

by Willie Perdomo
PublicAffairs (Apr 02, 2019)
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From a prize-winning poet, a new collection that chronicles a weekend in the life of a group of friends coming of age in East Harlem at the dawn of the hip-hop era

Willie Perdomo, a native of East Harlem, has won praise as a hip, playful, historically engaged poet whose restlessly lyrical language mixes “city life with a sense of the transcendent” (NPR.org). In his fourth collection, The Crazy Bunch, Perdomo returns to his beloved neighborhood to create a vivid, kaleidoscopic portrait of a “crew” coming of age in East Harlem at the beginning of the 1990s. In poems written in couplets, vignettes, sketches, riffs, and dialogue, Perdomo recreates a weekend where surviving members of the crew recall a series of tragic events: “That was the summer we all tried to fly. All but one of us succeeded."”


Click for more detail about What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump’s War on Civil Rights by Juan Williams What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?: Trump’s War on Civil Rights

by Juan Williams
PublicAffairs (Sep 25, 2018)
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The bestselling author, political analyst, and civil rights expert delivers a forceful critique of the Trump administration’s ignorant and unprecedented rollback of the civil rights movement.
Unsympathetic, ambiguous, and openly racist remarks are a hallmark of Donald Trump’s public life. They may have reached their nadir after he failed to condemn white supremacy in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, but perhaps no remark of his is more telling than his campaign pitch to African Americans: "What the hell do you have to lose?"
Quite a lot, as it turns out. In this vigorously argued and timely book, civil rights historian and political analyst Juan Williams issues the truth about just what African Americans have to lose, and how Trump is threatening to take it away. In Williams’s lifetime, civil rights have improved, vastly and against great resistance — including from Trump and his family. In chapters devoted to each of the major areas of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Williams tells the less known and forgotten stories of heroes like Bob Moses, A. Philip Randolph, and Everett Dirksen, who fought for voting rights, integration of public schools and spaces, and more.
This book is not merely a much-needed and highly visible history lesson. It signals the alarm about the Trump administration’s policies and intentions, which pose a threat to civil rights without precedent in modern America.
In a polarized era, it’s especially telling when moderates like Williams are prepared to stand up and shout. This book is clear-sighted, inspiring, and necessary, from an author with the experience and standing to make it heard.


Click for more detail about The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights by Dick Lehr The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights

by Dick Lehr
PublicAffairs (Jan 10, 2017)
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In 1915, two men-one a journalist agitator, the other a technically brilliant filmmaker-incited a public confrontation that roiled America, pitting black against white, Hollywood against Boston, and free speech against civil rights.

Monroe Trotter and D. W. Griffith were fighting over a film that dramatized the Civil War and Reconstruction in a post-Confederate South. Griffith’s film, The Birth of a Nation, included actors in blackface, heroic portraits of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and a depiction of Lincoln’s assassination. Freed slaves were portrayed as villainous, vengeful, slovenly, and dangerous to the sanctity of American values. It was tremendously successful, eventually seen by 25 million Americans. But violent protests against the film flared up across the country.

Almost fifty years earlier, Monroe’s father, James, was a sergeant in an all-black Union regiment that marched into Charleston, South Carolina, just as the Kentucky cavalry-including Roaring Jack Griffith, D. W.’s father-fled for their lives. Monroe Trotter’s titanic crusade to have the film censored became a blueprint for dissent during the 1950s and 1960s. This is the fiery story of a revolutionary moment for mass media and the nascent civil rights movement, and the men clashing over the cultural and political soul of a still-young America standing at the cusp of its greatest days.


Click for more detail about Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy by Maggie Anderson Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy

by Maggie Anderson
PublicAffairs (May 14, 2013)
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Maggie and John Anderson were successful African American professionals raising two daughters in a tony suburb of Chicago. But they felt uneasy over their good fortune. Most African Americans live in economically starved neighborhoods. Black wealth is about one tenth of white wealth, and black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success. One problem is that black consumers—unlike consumers of other ethnicities— choose not to support black-owned businesses. At the same time, most of the businesses in their communities are owned by outsiders.On January 1, 2009 the Andersons embarked on a year-long public pledge to "buy black." They thought that by taking a stand, the black community would be mobilized to exert its economic might. They thought that by exposing the issues, Americans of all races would see that economically empowering black neighborhoods benefits society as a whole. Instead, blacks refused to support their own, and others condemned their experiment. Drawing on economic research and social history as well as her personal story, Maggie Anderson shows why the black economy continues to suffer and issues a call to action to all of us to do our part to reverse this trend.


Click for more detail about The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family by Sheryll Cashin The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family

by Sheryll Cashin
PublicAffairs (Jul 08, 2008)
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During Reconstruction, Herschel V. Cashin was a radical republican legislator who championed black political enfranchisement throughout the South. His grandson, Dr. John L. Cashin, Jr., inherited that passion for social justice and formed an independent Democratic party to counter George Wallace’s Dixiecrats, electing more blacks to office than in any Southern state. His "uppity" ways attracted many enemies. Twice the private plane Cashin owned and piloted was sabotaged. His dental office and boyhood home were taken by eminent domain. The IRS pursued him, as did the FBI. Ultimately his passions would lead to ruin and leave his daughter, Sheryll, wondering why he would risk so much. In following generations of Cashins through the eras of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, civil rights, and post-civil rights political struggles, Sheryll Cashin conveys how she came to embrace being an agitator’s daughter with humor, honesty, and love.


Click for more detail about What Happened: Inside The Bush White House And Washington’s Culture Of Deception by Scott Mcclellan What Happened: Inside The Bush White House And Washington’s Culture Of Deception

by Scott Mcclellan
PublicAffairs (May 28, 2008)
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Scott McClellan was one of a few Bush loyalists from Texas who became part of his inner circle of trusted advisers, and remained so during one of the most challenging and contentious periods of recent history. Drawn to Bush by his commitment to compassionate conservatism and strong bipartisan leadership, McClellan served the president for more than seven years, and witnessed day-to-day exactly how the presidency veered off course. In this refreshingly clear-eyed book, written with no agenda other than to record his experiences and insights for the benefit of history, McClellan provides unique perspective on what happened and why it happened the way it did, including the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, Washington’s bitter partisanship, and two hotly contested presidential campaigns. He gives readers a candid look into who George W. Bush is and what he believes, and into the personalities, strengths, and liabilities of his top aides. Finally, McClellan looks to the future, exploring the lessons this presidency offers the American people as we prepare to elect a new leader.

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Click for more detail about The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means by George Soros The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means

by George Soros
PublicAffairs (May 05, 2008)
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In the midst of the most serious financial upheaval since the Great Depression, legendary financier George Soros explores the origins of the crisis and its implications for the future. Soros, whose breadth of experience in financial markets is unrivaled, places the current crisis in the context of decades of study of how individuals and institutions handle the boom and bust cycles that now dominate global economic activity. “This is the worst financial crisis since the 1930s,” writes Soros in characterizing the scale of financial distress spreading across Wall Street and other financial centers around the world. In a concise essay that combines practical insight with philosophical depth, Soros makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the great credit crisis and its implications for our nation and the world.

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Click for more detail about The Failures Of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream by Sheryll Cashin The Failures Of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream

by Sheryll Cashin
PublicAffairs (Apr 13, 2004)
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Published for the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education: If "separate, but equal" has been illegal for fifty years, why is America more segregated than ever?. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that separate educational facilities for blacks and whites are inherently "unequal" and, as such, violate the 14th Amendment. The landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education , sounded the death knell for legal segregation, but fifty years later, de facto segregation in America thrives. And Sheryll Cashin believes that it is getting worse. The Failures of Integration is a provocative look at how segregation by race and class is ruining American democracy. Only a small minority of the affluent are truly living the American Dream, complete with attractive, job-rich suburbs, reasonably low taxes, good public schools, and little violent crime. For the remaining majority of Americans, segregation comes with stratospheric costs. In a society that sets up "winner" and "loser" communities and schools defined by race and class, racial minorities in particular are locked out of the "winner" column. African-Americans bear the heaviest burden. Cashin argues that we n


Click for more detail about Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production Of Hate by Neil Baldwin Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production Of Hate

by Neil Baldwin
PublicAffairs (Dec 01, 2002)
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How and why did this quintessential American folk-hero and pioneering industrialist become one of the most obsessive anti-Semites of our time-a man who devoted his immense financial resources to publishing a pernicious forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion? Once Henry Ford’s virulent media campaign against the Jews took off during the "anxious decade" following World War I, how did America’s splintered Jewish community attempt to cope with the relentless tirade conducted for ninety-one consecutive weeks in the automobile manufacturer’s personal newspaper, The Dearborn Independent? What were the repercussions of Ford’s Jew-hatred extending deeply into the 1930s? Drawing upon previously-uncited oral history transcripts, archival correspondence, and family memoirs, Neil Baldwin answers these and other questions, examining the conservative biases of the men at the inner circle of the Ford Motor Company and disentangling painful ideological struggles among an elite Jewish leadership reluctantly pitted against the clout and popularity of "The Flivver King."


Click for more detail about War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning

by Chris Hedges
PublicAffairs (Sep 01, 2002)
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General George S. Patton famously said, "Compared to war all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God, I do love it so!" Though Patton was a notoriously single-minded general, it is nonetheless a sad fact that war gives meaning to many lives, a fact with which we have become familiar now that America is once again engaged in a military conflict. War is an enticing elixir. It gives us purpose, resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble.

Chris Hedges of The New York Times has seen war up close—in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central America—and he has been troubled by what he has seen: friends, enemies, colleagues, and strangers intoxicated and even addicted to war’s heady brew. In War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, he tackles the ugly truths about humanity’s love affair with war, offering a sophisticated, nuanced, intelligent meditation on the subject that is also gritty, powerful, and unforgettable.