PositiveThe Nation... intimate ... The writing is casual yet retains a sociological approach, as Cho fills her late mother’s silences with historical fact ... Cho’s book unspools in short bursts, out of time, echoing the wilding of her mother’s mind ... Cho responds to the many voids in her mother’s narrative with a composite of grim historical accounts ... The book is full of phantoms: an uncle and grandfather who died during the Korean War; a student in Chehalis who died by suicide; the child of a Korean immigrant in North Carolina who was killed in a tragic accident.
PositiveThe NationMcAlevey’s latest book, A Collective Bargain , arrives in a new moment of danger and rebellion. The author’s signature arguments are all here, but in the form of a primer on labor and democracy and framed for a general audience. She wrote the book in a rush (just 45 days, she says in the acknowledgments), and the loosely structured content reflects this haste: a mix of organizing shop talk, myth busters, interviews, case studies, and commentary on everything from Silicon Valley and Chinese manufacturing to employment case law and gun violence. But that’s mostly beside the point. McAlevey’s influence is such that the book, like her first two, is certain to be passed from hand to hand—and what more could an author ask for?
PositiveThe NationTreuer’s latest book is more than an addition to his previous literary and historical projects; it is also a response to Dee Brown’s best-selling stylized history, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1970) ... where Brown sees only ashes, Treuer sees a spark: Native life continued to flourish, defiantly, throughout the 20th century ... Treuer, whose other books have attended to what he calls \'the tiny, fretful, intricate details\' of the Native experience, brings the same sensibility to The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee. This is particularly true in his telling of family narratives ... These anecdotal and personal pauses make Treuer’s book feel unhurried, despite its vast scope; they also give it a tender pitch ... At times, these stories meander, and not always in an illuminating way ... pays insufficient attention to the history of Native women leaders, especially in recent years, as so many have attained welcome visibility.
Alex S. Vitale
PositiveThe NationWhat if we funded counselors instead of cops in our public schools? What if we hired doormen instead of uniformed officers to tend the lobbies of public-housing towers? ... By asking such unglamorous questions on budgets and personnel, Vitale hopes to recast the conversation about the police ... The End of Policing offers a compelling digest of the dynamics of crime and law enforcement, and a polemic against the militarization of everything ... What is to be done? Each of Vitale’s chapters prescribes a variation on the same theme: \'Give the cops fewer things to do, and reallocate the money accordingly.\'
PositiveThe NationHuman Acts is unique in the intensity and scale of this brutality. Picking the scab of the Gwangju massacre, the novel details a bloody history that was deliberately forgotten and is only now being recovered ...imagines the Gwangju uprising from seven vantage points, stretching chronologically from 1980 to 2013 ...each chapter centers on a different character; their shared connection is Dong-ho, a middle-school boy unwittingly thrown into the pandemonium of his hometown ...is a fulfillment of this command. It appears in translation nearly 40 years after the Gwangju massacre and during another episode of state oppression and citizen outrage.