Books (plus music and film!) by Friends #23 – June 2019

Family and Friends,

Here’s another blockbuster list of books, music, poetry, photographs, film and more by friends of mine. And at the bottom there’s a recap of the Organizing Upgrade articles and the July Bay Area classes and exhibitions flagged in this month’s email announcement.

*This War Ain’t Over: Fighting the Civil War in New Deal America is the latest from historian Nina Silber: “Silber reveals how, during a moment of enormous national turmoil, the events and personages of the Civil War provided a framework for reassessing national identity, class conflict, and racial and ethnic division.”

*Radical Ambition: The New Left in Toronto, by Peter Graham and Ian McKay, is “sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail… tells the complex, passion-filled story of Toronto’s New Left from its initial stirrings in the late 1950s to the early 1980s.”

*Organize! The Great Lumber Strike of Humboldt County 1935, originally a short 50 page volume by Frank Onstine, has been expanded based on new research and interviews by Rachel Harris into a detailed and compelling history. Rachel’s father Noel witnessed the murder of strikers in a bitter battle that cast a shadow over Northern California for many years.

*Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work by Jenny Brown offers “an audacious analysis of the falling U.S. birth rate; of the exploitive, often untenable conditions for raising children here and now; and of what might be done to change things.”

*A new bilingual children’s book, I Am Not a Bear/Yo no soy oso, has been published by author/illustrator K.D. Keenan in partnership with the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. It’s the story of a boy who trades places with a bear cub. Profits from sale of this book go to NNIRR.

*A Reformulation of Dialectical Materialism, by Dave Jette, “incorporates feminist theory into the traditional Marxist presentation of dialectical materialism, and in an appendix discusses whether nature exhibits dialectical development.”

Last in the non-fiction category are two volumes that will roll off the press in the next six weeks but are already available for pre-order:

*Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives is the substantially updated seventh edition of a widely used interdisciplinary text-reader by Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey. The book sets a global context to examine the diversity of US women’s lives across categories of race-ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender expression, disability, age, and immigration status.

*Counterrevolution: The Global Rise of the Far Right, by Walden Bello, “provides an indispensable comparative look at the global sweep of illiberal movements, how they channel national anxieties, attract popular support, and exploit the international failures of liberal governance.”

*Musical theater with a hard-hitting message is next up: The Moment Was Now by Gene Bruskin is set at a pivotal moment in U.S. history, the height of Reconstruction in 1869. It dramatizes a fictional meeting of abolitionist and other radical leaders called by Fredrick Douglass; the production is set to open in Baltimore this September and from there the road to other performances is open. A preview is here.

*Working-Class Heroes is a songbook-and-CD, one-two punch, “a collection of American working-class, pre-World War II folk songs revived by Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore. The duo presents 20 songs written by both folk canon heavyweights and lesser-known but equally gifted songwriters…beautiful and emotionally arresting.” Details about the songbook and ordering information is here, for the CD here.

*If it is contemporary music you are looking for, check out these two tracks: I Push Up My Glasses, written by Nikko Benson and Claire Tran, performed by Barret Willard Weed; and I’m Not the One that You Want, from the musical Akira and the Merpeople by Teresa Lotz and Claire Tran.

*For photography, exhibitions in several cities are currently up or scheduled featuring images from David’s Bacon’s 2017 volume In the Fields of the North/En los Campos del Norte: The Museum of Ventura County’s Agricultural Museum, Santa Paula (running through August 18); Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley (September 1-December 22, 2019); Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County, Yuba City (January 5-March 1, 2020); and Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock starting in March 2021.

*Mary Dore’s powerful documentary on second wave feminism, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Kanopy. A video is worth more than a thousand words so watch the trailer here!

*Now for fiction and poetry! Chris Delyani third novel, Best Man, is off the press: “the story of two roommates who fake being boyfriends to attend a wedding: the first is in love with one of the grooms, while the other has the hots for the other groom.” And Garret Keizer’s first book of poetry, The World Pushes Back, contains “a refreshing surprise in every poem… and not in technique alone. Ignoring the trendy, the author  unflaggingly offers things that matter: love, both eros and agape; anger at social injustice – without facile judgment and with earnestness and wit.”

Finally, from the email announcement sent June 27:

Discussion of political strategy is heating up as the 2020 election looms and recent postings on Organizing Upgrade include valuable contributions to that process. There’s a video roundtable with eight movement leaders, several follow-up articles and an illuminating look at the realignment of US politics just before the Civil War and its lessons for today. You can find these and many other provocative postings here.

And for those of you in the Bay Area, there is still time to sign up for the Unraveling the Right class sponsored by the Center for Political Education; register for one of the new study groups offered by the Oakland Summer School; or visit Detention, Deportation, Incarceration and the Border: Images from Bay Area and Los Angeles Activist Photographers.

Thanks, Peace and Hope,