Beacon Buzz: Our Books Feel the Love
February 14, 2013
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis
This Valentine's Day, people are expressing their love for Rosa Parks and this long-overdue biography of her surprisingly radical life.
“Historian Theoharis offers a complex portrait of a forceful, determined woman who had long been active before the boycott she inspired and who had an even longer career in civil rights afterward.” Booklist
"Even though her refusal to give up her bus seat sparked a revolution, Rosa Parks was no accidental heroine. She was born to it, and Theoharis ably shows us how and why." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Theoharis succeeds here in doing what the best history books always do: challenging what we thought we knew, replacing fables with flesh and blood." Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe
One of O Magazine's Must-Read books for February.
The Detroit Free Press ran a substantial profile of Parks on her 100th birthday. Check out the piece for some amazing images of Parks and insights about her life, particularly the time she spent in Detroit.
"The myth of the simple seamstress took on a life of its own," Theoharis said. It became part of a kind of romanticizing of the civil rights movement, that has stifled it, she said. "If she is going to be used to tell the story of American history, we need to tell the whole story."
People need to know, Theoharis said, "how undaunted she was, and how fearless she was, and how she kept on keeping on." [Read More]
Interview with Gwen Ifill on PBS Newshour. Ifill's blog post about the interview said of Theoharis:
But it is Jeanne Theoharis who has made the greatest contribution to our annual, ritual observance of Black History Month. She has revealed a story clouded by myth, conflict and fictional retellings. In the process, she has given us a valuable framework for understanding the present and the future.
Fast Future: Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World by David D. Burstein
Burstein and Fast Future are featured in an article for the March issue of Glamour Magazine about young “deservers” in the workplace.
Interview with The Fiscal Times: "Why Millennials Are Generational Game Changers."
Their values are shifting. It's less about how we maximize profit and more about how we maximize happiness. Fewer millenials are homeowners, married and have children compared to our elders. People have an appreciation not for the institution of marriage, but for being with people they love. They're finding a sense of belonging and adulthood not in home ownership but in community.
Burstein spoke on HuffPost Live about the new study that says millenials are the most stressed out generation.
"An inspiring look at what the millennial generation is doing in America." Kirkus Reviews
Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us by Carole Joffe
Carole Joffe has appeared on these pages many times. Read her in longer form in the newest issue of Dissent, which is devoted to the New Feminism. Her piece is titled, "Roe v. Wade and Beyond: Forty Years of Legal Abortion in the United States," and in it she looks at the challenges and triumphs of the age of legal abortion.
In the face of such hostility, one can ask, why does anyone keep doing this work? In simplest terms, the social movement opposing abortion has helped create a counter-movement of physicians (today, mainly women) who view their work as a “mission” and not just a medical subspecialty. Interviews I have conducted over many years with this community reveal how deeply meaningful many clinicians (and their office staff) find this work, the obvious drawbacks notwithstanding. Many have spoken of the satisfaction of being able to help a woman solve a crisis at a particularly vulnerable time in her life. As one physician said to me, “You ask how I can do this work? For me, the question is, how could I not?” [Read more]
Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right by Claire Connor: Publishers Weekly selected Wrapped in the Flag one of its “Top 10: Politics” books in their spring announcements issue.
Snob Zones: Fear, Prejudice, and Real Estate by Lisa Prevost: Kirkus Reviews on Mar 1: “Moves the argument well past simple “not in my backyard” sentiments… Makes the issue interesting on a number of levels, taking the argument beyond property values into the essential notion of what a community is and what might benefit it.”
My Mother’s Wars by Lillian Faderman: Booklist review Mar 1 issue: “As Faderman vividly chronicles her mother’s intense personality and complex experiences, she also freshly illuminates the Jewish immigrant experience.”
Jeanne Theoharis (The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks) on PBS NewsHour
David D. Burstein (Fast Future) on HuffPo Live