Books by Friends – December 2009 Holiday Supplement

Family and friends,

It’s been a banner year for friends of mine publishing books! Below are several that have appeared since I sent you a list of more than a dozen in September. (You can find that earlier list and all previous ones here.) These volumes are out just in time for you to send one to a friend as a holiday gift: among these are books that will inspire us to work harder or enable us to work smarter toward the goals of justice, peace on earth, and good will to all.

All my best for the Holiday Season and the New Year.


First up is Changing the Race: Racial Politics and the Election of Barack Obama, edited by Linda Burnham. This volume offers a sparkling collection of essays analyzing the complexities of how race played out in the 2008 election. Among the 20 contributors are Gary Younge, Makani Themba, Bob Wing, Cathi Tactaquin, Jeff Chang and Adrienne Maree Brown. The collection includes Linda’s dissection of the “post-racial America” myth: “Obama’s Candidacy: The Advent of Post-Racial America and the End of Black Politics?” You can download a PDF or purchase a printed copy of the book at

Also tackling racial politics, but in a work of fiction, is Susan Sherrell’s debut murder mystery from Workwoman’s Press, Grace. This gripping story takes place in the Bay Area in the 1970s (I recognized many settings!) with a backdrop of radical politics, Oakland police intrigue and a Black Panther Party under siege. Find out more about the book and the author and how to order a copy at

Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California, by Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi, is a great resource. You can find full information at

Especially timely with the threat of global warming and Copenhagen on everyone’s mind, take a look at Ted Glick’s new volume, Love Refuses to Quit: Climate Change and Social Change in the 21st Century. You can read it at

This next item isn’t a book, but check out Organizing Upgrade, a new web-based project that has already established an impressive track record in featuring a serious strategic dialogue among community organizers. Organizing Upgrade was launched in October by Sushma Sheth, Harmony Goldberg and Joseph Phelan; you can find it at

Last, an advance heads up about two valuable resources that will come off the press in the next month or two. Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan is the latest Primer in an excellent series by Phyllis Bennis, this one co-authored with David Wildman. And Venezuela Speaks!: Voices from the Grassroots, edited by Carlos Martinez, Michael Fox and JoJo Farrell, will provide readers with a fuller picture of the dynamic process underway in a country trying to find a new path in the 21st century.

Happy Reading!