Beyond Mass Incarceration: The Cognitive Legacy of the Clinton Era

By Michela Soyer, author of A Dream Denied: Incarceration, Recidivism, and Young Minority Men in America 

SoyerheadshotWhen Bill Clinton signed the federal “Three Strikes Bill” in 1994, most of the teenagers I interviewed between 2010 and 2013 were barely a year old. Some of my interviewees were not even been born yet. For several of those young men, the upcoming presidential election will be the first one in which they are able to cast their vote. One of their likely choices will be the woman whose husband’s political choices in the mid-1990s have wrecked havoc in their communities. Twenty years later, Hillary Clinton works hard to put a distance between herself and her husband’s legacy; on her campaign website, she calls for an end of mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.

For the teenagers whose lives I describe in A Dream Denied, Clinton’s promise to undo some of her husband’s damage comes too late. Five of the young men I portray in my book won’t be allowed to vote in the upcoming election; they are either serving time in a state prison or are on parole for a felony. The others may have escaped the tragic cycle of incarceration and recidivism, but their formative teenagers years were nevertheless stunted. Their life trajectories have been shaped by a juvenile justice system unable to fill the void Clinton’s welfare reform has created. Their middle class counterparts may face anxieties about their lack of self-fulfillment and financial insecurities. The young men in my study learned early on that their basic freedom is nothing they should take for granted.

In June 2013, I conducted my final interview for the book. The young man I spoke with had just suffered through a string of family tragedies. His cousin and his aunt had been killed. “Why does this s*** keep happening to me and my family?” he asked. I didn’t know how to respond, and I still believe that there was nothing I could have said to ease his pain. His experience of incarceration, recidivism, fosSoyer.ADreamDeniedter care and death are deeply personal. On the other hand, the seeds for his troubled teenage years were laid around the time of his birth, when the Clinton administration ended “welfare as we know it.”

These young men grew up with the double disadvantage of a defunct welfare system and a racially biased highly punitive criminal justice system. Astonishingly, these young men still believed in a bright future. If Hillary Clinton were to meet with them, they probably would not confront her like a protestor did recently in South Carolina. Most of the young minority men whose lives I describe blamed themselves. They pointed to their lack of self-control, their laziness, or inability to listen to the adults in their lives. In that sense, they are true children of the Clinton years. They did not expect the government to help their families. Some even believe their punishment was justified. Worse than the time many young men have lost in the juvenile or criminal justice system, however, is that they were never able to develop any concept that they deserve better. This cognitive burden may be the most tragic legacy of the Clinton years, and it will shape the life trajectories of the young men in my study well beyond the presidential election this fall.


Michaela Soyer is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Hunter College.


Save 40% with UC Press during the 2016 Academy of Criminal Justice Annual Meeting

The 2016 ACJS Annual Meeting meeting convenes March 29 – April 2 in Denver, CO.

Check out the following UC Press titles and save 40% online with discount code 16E8104, or request an exam copy for consideration to use in your upcoming classes. The discount code expires April 16, 2016.

Additionally, be sure to take a look at these great guest posts from our Criminology authors:


The Crime Risk Kaleidoscope

By Joel M. Caplan and Leslie W. Kennedy, authors of Risk Terrain Modeling 

This blog post is reposted courtesy of the authors and in conjunction with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences conference and American Association of Geographers conferenceTo learn more, about Risk Terrain Modeling, please visit http://www.riskterrainmodeling.com/

In our various collaborations with researchers and practitioners throughout the world, we learned … realized… from multi-city projects that the spatial dynamics of crime are not the same in different settings, even for similar crime types. Standard patterns of crime cannot be expected across study settings.

Think about this through the analogy of a kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope itself represents the particular environment, or study setting, that we are interested in examining (see Figure). The pieces of the kaleidoscope (i.e. the glass and the cylinder) are similar from one time to another. The mechanisms for bringing the pieces together in certain patterns (e.g. gravity, the roundness of the cylinder) operate constantly, and the characteristics of the pieces (color, value) are the same from one turn to another. The patterns that are formed, however, change with different combinations of the pieces. So, it is with crime locations that the shards of glass represent features of that environment, such as bars, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, etc. that could attract illegal behavior and create spatial vulnerabilities. Moving from study setting to study setting represents a turn of the kaleidoscope whereby the pieces come together in different ways, creating unique spatial and situational contexts that have implications for behavior at those places.

FigureCaplan.RiskTerrainModeling.Figure: The crime risk kaleidoscope illustrates how unique settings for illegal behavior form within and/or across jurisdictions as pieces come together in different ways, creating unique spatial and situational contexts for crime, as depicted by the triangular or hexagonal outlines in the figure.

 

 

 

 

 

When we diagnose the underlying characteristics of “hot spot” areas across jurisdictions, we realize that the characteristics of places where these crime incidents are occurring in each city are very different. As evidenced by this study, detailed in the forthcoming book, Risk Terrain Modeling: Crime Prediction and Risk Reductioneven though crime problems can cluster within cities, the ways in which features of a landscape come together to create unique behavior settings for crime is not necessarily generalizable across cities.
Caplan.RiskTerrainModelingMindful of the kaleidoscope metaphor, it is not safe to assume that a “standard” response to crime problems will provide similar returns across all environments. This is true for areas within jurisdictions and also across jurisdictions. So one crime problem, such as robberies, will not necessarily respond to a “1-size-fits-all” intervention strategy (even if the strategy worked elsewhere). Behavior settings differ, so interventions need to be tailored accordingly. Risk terrain modeling facilitates this custom analysis of crime problems at various geographic extents.


Joel M. Caplan is Associate Professor at Rutgers University, School of Criminal Justice

Leslie W. Kennedy is University Professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, where he served as Dean from 1998-2007.


How Foundations Avoid Tackling Inequality

By Erica Kohl-Arenas, author of The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty

This guest post is published in conjunction with the American Association of Geographers conference and in advance of Cesar Chavez Day

Kohl-ArenasWhile conducting research for my book, The Self-Help Myth, a California foundation program officer told me, “Foundations are bizarre beasts. They are created to solve societal problems by using inordinate amounts of wealth—wealth that is inherently contradictory because it was gleaned out of the inequalities that it proposes to address.”

Recent debates across the Twittersphere reveal how this grand paradox of philanthropy is unfolding today. The Gates, Walton, and Broad foundations claim to address inequality in educational achievement but advance competitive approaches that build market opportunities for private educational service providers while failing to improve outcomes for poor students. In settings such as New Orleans, disaster recovery aid has displaced low-income residents through partnerships between nonprofits, foundations, and private developers. The same story is playing out in the fields of global health, agriculture, and technology.

Without the explicit profit generating schemes evident in our current ‘philanthrocapitalist’ moment, major foundation initiatives of the twentieth century similarly avoided confronting entrenched systems of power and production by favoring individualistic and behavioral approaches to addressing poverty and inequality.

In my research I found that the Rosenberg, Field and Ford Foundations were interested in addressing farmworker and migrant poverty by supporting the historic California Farmworker Movement. Movement leader Cesar Chavez believed that addressing the inequities faced by farmworkers required collective ownership by farm laborers, strikes, boycotts, union organizing, and popular protest. Through highly charged debates that are documented in archived correspondence, program officers from these foundations tried to convince Chavez that grants to the movement could not include union organizing or confrontation with the agricultural industry. For example, in 1967, Leslie Dunbar of the Field Foundation changed his tune about funding the movement when he found out that it was affiliated with the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor union federation.

Chavez pleaded to Dunbar that social, economic, and civil rights must be addressed together in a broader movement to achieve dignity, justice, and equality for farmworkers:

“Dear Mr. Dunbar… Your letter implies that our organization does not come within the area of your interests, which are civil rights, human relations, and child welfare. Somehow we are not able to draw the same conclusion . . . Our approach has been to offer a broad program of services, which build a base of membership cooperation from which to launch out in the direction of strikes for union recognition . . . In every action we take, we face tremendous opposition . . . Consistently our pickets have been arrested as a means of harassment. Our civil rights are disregarded daily.”

Yet the Field Foundation refused to fund any work in the ‘economic sphere.’ Eventually, Chavez incorporated nonprofit organizations (which he initially nicknamed “the Hustling Arm of the Union”) in order to channel funds to its service work. He ultimately retreated to these organizations, and moved away from organizing field workers, when the movement met major challenges.

Kohl-Arenas_NSGiven this history, what can be expected from foundations that intend to address inequality today, especially if they want to transform the systems and structures that produce it in the first place? To join the conversation, follow Erica Kohl-Arenas, author of The Self-Help Myth on twitter @EricaKohl


Erica Kohl-Arenas is Assistant Professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School in New York.


On Religion and Bad Debate

This presidential election season seems to have raised the question around debate—good and bad—to a new level.

Given the role of religion so far, the below excerpt from Seeking Good Debate: Religion, Science, and Conflict in American Public Life by Michael S. Evans, is both timely and instructive.

Seeking Good Debate

Throughout this book I emphasize that representatives exercise constitutive power simply by virtue of being visible in public debate. This cartographic power, as I refer to it, sets the boundaries of what a debate, or debates, involve. When it comes to religion in public debate, representatives of the Religious Right are the only religion representatives who explicitly pursue credibility in the public sphere. The manner of this pursuit violates deliberative expectations that ordinary Americans have of the public sphere. In theory, this normative conflict should have consequences for how ordinary Americans understand religion in public life.

But does it really? In practice, does this normative conflict emerge in evaluations of religion in the public sphere? And if so, how does it matter? To answer these questions, I analyzed how interview respondents evaluated what “religion” and “religious” mean in the religion-and-science debates in this study. I did not simply ask, “What do you think of religion in these debates?” Instead, I examined how respondents invoked religion, discussed religion, identified who and what was religious, connected religion to other ideas and concepts, and resolved apparent conflicts involving religion in their responses. What counts as religion for respondents, and what religion in public life means to them, became apparent from their responses to a variety of questions and evaluations.

For the ordinary Americans I interviewed, religion in the public sphere, no matter what the source, was commonly seen as a marker of bad debate across a variety of evaluative dimensions. Respondents understood religion in public life to violate deliberative preferences in two ways. First, prominent individual representatives from the Religious Right, whether religious figures or politicians, were recognized and evaluated negatively as public crusaders whose efforts work against good deliberative debate. Similarly, respondents were more likely to use religious identification for politicians of whom they disapproved either wholly or partly, even though most American politicians identify as religious. In contrast, ordinary persons suggested as ideal representatives persons seen as open-minded and willing to engage in considered, deliberative debate, such as respected local ministers, friends, or neighbors.

Second, and more broadly, the Religious Right’s association with distinctively religious language prompted negative evaluation of any religion talk as contrary to good debate. Because of the Religious Right’s success in “owning the space” of public religion, respondents expected that religion talk, whatever the source, indicated opposition to deliberative debate. When respondents evaluated typical statements and résumés stripped of identifying information, they identified religious language of any kind, even when uttered by moderate or liberal religious figures, as inhibiting rather than contributing to good debate. This normative conflict held across respondents despite substantive agreement or disagreement with the particular claims that representatives made in these debates.

In two separate ways, the normative conflict between the Religious Right’s pursuit of religious credibility and the preferences of ordinary persons for good debate ends up defining religion in public life as contrary to good debate. On one path, individual representatives are evaluated as “public crusaders” more interested in advancing a moral agenda than participating in deliberative debate. On the other path, ordinary persons evaluate public religious language and reasons as contrary to norms of deliberative debate. The result is that in public religion-and-science debates, no matter which path is followed to the conclusion, “religion” means “bad debate.”

Read more from the author in a recent article, ‘The Hidden Religion and Science Debate’ on the Huffington Post blog, sample another excerpt on The Page 99 Test, or follow him on Twitter and join the debate.


What Citizenship Means to Mexican American Women in Los Angeles

Immigration has been a key issue in the 2016 presidential elections. In Making Los Angeles Home: The Integration of Mexican Immigrants in the United States  authors Rafael Alarcon, Luis Escala, and Olga Odgers shed light on the different facets (economic, social, cultural, political) of an immigrant’s integration process.

Alarcon.MakingLosAngelesHome

Our Zacatecan interviewees who arrived in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s were mostly undocumented. Although they entered a solid regional economy supported by a manufacturing base that offered plentiful permanent, well-paid, unionized jobs, the interviewees’ first jobs tended to be in worse-paid occupations with poor working conditions. …

Among women finding jobs in canneries processing fruits and other foodstuffs, Marcia worked in a fish-canning plant for more than three decades. But it was not easy for her to get this job in 1966: ‘I went every day with my husband, at four in the morning, to a room where everyone who wanted to work had to sit and wait . . . until we got work, and then we stayed put where we got it . . . we spent thirty-six years working there. My husband died and I kept on working to keep going. . . . When I left, in 2001, I was making $6.75 an hour. We never got ahead in there.’ 

Marcia is a US citizen, never was undocumented, and is now collecting retirement income.

As the Zacatecan interviewees began to acquire work experience, learn English, make employer contacts, and regularize their immigration status, it was found that those who became naturalized citizens or legal permanent residents were achieving relative occupational mobility at a higher percentage.

Among the business owners, Rafaela stands out. She arrived in Los Angeles in 1988, is a naturalized citizen, and is married with children born in the United States. In Zacatecas she was a cosmetologist and, although she didn’t want to keep working in this field, she needed to do so and later became the owner of a beauty salon: “I never really liked cosmetology. I did it because my mother told me I had to learn a trade. In Los Angeles, I wanted to work as something else, but talking with other women in laundromats and with my neighbors, they told me they were making $3.75 an hour. I said, I’m not working for $3.75, no way . . . some of them worked in restaurants, others in factories, one woman packed candles, another one sewed in a clothing factory where they paid her five cents per piece . . . my husband made $3.75 an hour too, which was the minimum wage in those days.

Rafaela tells how she found her first job: “I saw a beauty parlor with a sign that said ‘se habla español,’ so I went in and told the owner—a Salvadoran, twenty-one years old—I was a cosmetologist in Mexico and I wanted to work. ‘I’ve got five years’ experience,’ I said.” During the interview the owner asked Rafaela to cut the hair of three young men from Jalisco, and her work was good enough to get her hired right away. “That was Thursday, and by Sunday I had $70 in tips and $430 in pay because I got 60 percent of what I took in.” In 2008, twenty years after her arrival in Los Angeles, she owned a salon and had four employees.

Learn more about how other Mexican American immigrant women have made Los Angeles their home in Making Los Angeles Home: The Integration of Mexican Immigrants in the United States available now.


From the Blog Archives: Hard to Get and the Hardships of Hookup Culture

At UC Press, we believe that scholarship plays an important role in understanding our world. It’s important to us to continue to drive progressive change today as a part of the University’s progressive mission.

Following up last week’s International Women’s Day, we’d like to revisit a post from the blog’s archives that touches on an issue still relevant to today’s young women. Check out this podcast from Leslie Bell, author of Hard to Get.

While young women today benefit from unprecedented education and opportunity compared to previous generations, many have trouble navigating personal and sexual relationships, Leslie C. Bell argues in her new book, Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom. Drawing from her years of experience as a researcher and a psychotherapist, Bell takes us directly into the lives of young women who struggle to negotiate the complexities of sexual desire and pleasure, and to make sense of their historically unique but contradictory constellation of opportunities and challenges.

In the latest episode of the UC Press Podcast, Bell discusses the legacy of the sexual revolution and the need for honest conversation between women in their twenties and their predecessors. In a wide-ranging discussion, she addresses methodological issues like the representation of queer women in her study, the benefits of a small sample size, and what sets her findings apart from those discovered in a survey.

Listen now:

For more, read Salon’s interview with Bell, “Finally! A nuanced look at hookup culture,” and Bell’s op-ed in Psychology Today, “What Lena Dunham’s Girls Know, And Dora the Explorer Doesn’t.”


Women Authors and Their Pledge for Parity

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we share just a small sample of our women authors’ work and how they have helped to make our world a better place through their scholarship.

Tessa G. Diphoorn, author of Twilight Policing: Private Security and Violence in Urban South Africaspeaks of her experience as a female researcher and how gender overall plays a role in the private security industry in Africa.

Diphoorn.TwilightPolicingIn the course of my research, the two aspects of my identity that appeared most prominent were race and gender. I was repeatedly reminded that I was a wit stekkie–slang for white woman–which was further affirm
ed by the ascribed nickname, “Sierra Foxtrot Golf” (Special Female Guest). Although gender plays a role in any ethnographic fieldwork, it weights heavier for a female studying police institutions because of the inherent masculinity of such an environment. My gender not only clearly shaped my role as a researcher but also highlighted how I differed from my informants and how race and gender play a crucial role in this industry. …  During my research, I did not encounter a single female armed reaction officer. Managers repeatedly stated that they have a strict policy of not employing women for such positions. … When I asked my informants about female armed reaction officers, they laughed and joked about the prospect of women doing their line of work.

Vanesa Ribas, author of On the Line: Slaughterhouse Lives and the Making of the New South shares stories of Latina migrants escaping sexual exploitation as they simply try to find work.

RibasOnTheLineSome women had wished to continue their education in Honduras, but, unable to afford it, had moved into the labor force. Under other conditions, they might have remained part of Honduras’s white-collar working class.  While they were usually able to find work, their pay was meager and some women refused to submit to the sexual exploitation that they said was expected of them. Such was the case for Reina…

” I’m from the coast of Colón, Honduras. I had been studying to be a secretary, and wanted to go to university but didn’t have money to keep studying. I found work but it paid very little. That’s why I had to come here. You can find work there but sometimes only through political connections. And sometimes the politicians offer you a job but they want you to give what you shouldn’t have to in order to get the job [sexual favors]. That’s why sometimes you decide it’s better to come here. There’s a lot of corruption, and they want to take advantage of young people in return for a job, which is why many young people prefer to come here. So I worked briefly, but it didn’t pay well. And they were going to get me a government job, but, like I said, they want you to pay them with something else, to sleep with them. I’m not used to that. I preferred to come here, and not pay them with what they want.”

Caroline E. Schuster, author of Social Collateral: Women and Microfinance in Paraguay’s Smuggling Economy discusses how women’s work is still invisible.

Shuster..SocialCollateral[The] explanation and justification for women’s disadvantaged share of wage labor protections is part of a much bigger story about flexibility and self-employment in management theories and policies drawing on neoclassical microeconomics. This line of analysis is one of the primary justifications for microfinance and its focus on women’s social collateral. Women, Paraguayan labor economists conclude, work predominantly in these low-paying positions in small and microenterprises because of their “flexibility” (flexibilidad), a term they used to gloss both flexible entry and exit from the market and flexible hours. According to this line of reasoning, flexibility allows women to fulfill family obligations as well as work for income but also means that they must settle for jobs with a high degree of precariousness and limited social security and pension access. But the recourse to “flexibility” in labor theories, as feminist economists like Drucilla Barker have pointedly argued, is bundled up with a broader value judgment about women’s work, and its invisibility.

Follow today’s global celebration of International Women’s Day through Twitter hashtag #IWD2016 #PledgeForParity


Leniency, Lawsuit, and Leveraging Change: The Department of Justice’s Decision to Sue Ferguson

By Andrea S. Boyles, author of Race, Place, and Suburban Policing

On February 10, 2016, eighteen months following the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr., the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to sue the City of Ferguson for “violating the First, Fourth, and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and federal civil rights laws.”[i] While this is a rather significant move to address and protect the rights of vulnerable black citizens in a now widely documented, economically driven and racially-divisive St. Louis municipality (e.g., Ferguson), contrastingly, it is a stark difference in the actions taken by the Department of Justice-Civil Rights Division, proceeding the two discriminately-charged Kirkwood tragedies documented in Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort.

In Race, Place, and Suburban Policing, I carefully tracked and documented the role of the Department of Justice as it investigated and intervened, particularly in the aftermath of the 2008 Kirkwood City Hall shooting rampage. After all, it was through years of race and class induced-divisiveness, and more specifically, the local government’s persisting denial and failure to adhere to and enact immediate changes beneficial to its most destitute citizens that gave way to an inconceivable, unprecedented deadly incident. Likewise, it is somewhere between structural minimizations, justifications, city logistics, and inevitable delays that made justice for many poor black participants perceivably unattainable, and thus, conducive for what ultimately became retaliation.

Hence, in Chapter Four: “It’s the same song…,”[ii] the title echoes the sentiments of one of many perceivably victimized Meacham Park (i.e., Kirkwood) participants. As such, the resounding theme was that no matter the situation or plight of Kirkwood’s poor black citizens, the end game remained unchanged. Meaning, even on the heel of several tragedies and exposure of perceived inequities, many poor black participants believed their lives to be even more devalued. After all, discriminative practices faced by Meacham Park’s residents had been expressed, and believed by some, as only resulting in further denigration. They were then dealing with the backlash of Kevin Johnson’s and Charles “Cookie” Thornton’s murders of police and city government workers, as well as, heightened stereotypical ideas regarding black criminality amid white affluence. Meanwhile, the order of business for Kirkwood’s local government and its agenda mostly reflecting affluent white interests seemingly remained intact. This was the case despite DOJ intervention and its mandate for a mediation agreement between the neighborhood of Meacham Park and the City of Kirkwood. However, upon the expiration of the mediation agreement, federal efforts to improve race relations in this suburban community ended at the discretion of the local government—despite no substantial impact or federal censure.

It is then in this vein that we should critically examine and understand Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s decision to sue the City of Ferguson. Its discriminative practices did not occur in a vacuum, as did not the DOJ’s investigation or recent response in moving reform forward. In fact, Ferguson is one of countless St. Louis municipalities, whereby citizens—mostly poor and black—frequently encounter the strong arm of the criminal justice system due to minor infractions. Furthermore, the City of Ferguson’s routine violations of citizens’ civil rights—pre and post Brown’s death—along with civil unrest, is an effect of endemic structural inequality felt most by marginalized populations throughout the St. Louis region. Therefore, racial tension exacerbated by economic and political disenfranchisement among poor black citizens in Kirkwood (i.e., Meacham Park)—in addition to a history of lenient responses—was the antecedent to Ferguson’s uprising and a precursor for what has now become persisting waves of civil disobedience felt throughout the St. Louis region and nation.

To-date, yes, the pressure is on for the City of Ferguson, and more broadly, the nation and the Department of Justice. Relying on sociological perspective, I argue that the DOJ lawsuit against Ferguson is a cumulative act. It is symbolic to a trickle-down effect prompted by decades of failed attempts (e.g., policies, practices) at the federal, state, and local levels in addressing (or not) the substandard experiences of the poor, people of color, and other marginalized populations whose quality of life became resonant only through police misconduct, and more broadly, institutional exposure. Furthermore, I liken it to protests following Brown’s death in that the DOJ’s lawsuit serves as a historic marker. That is, a point of departure from “business as usual”[iii]—where social consciousness has uniquely awakened—and uninhibitedly all (e.g., individually, collectively) are tasked with implementing social change. Thus, more of the same is no longer possible in Ferguson, and the DOJ’s lawsuit along with persisting mobilization efforts throughout the region, are mere testaments to citizens’ resolve and predictions in the earlier weeks of uprising:

…at the first city council meeting following the Brown shooting, Ferguson residents and citizens broadly made clear to the mayor and city council….that strategies to wait them out or institutionally wear them down would ultimately lose…the meeting grew more intense by the minute, with residents disrupting the agenda of the mayor and city council by exclaiming “There will be no more business as usual” in the day-to-day operations. Refusing to stand down or compromise on numerous demands, another citizen stated, “Since we [blacks] live uncomfortable daily, so will you [decision makers]. You will not rest, until we can.”[iv]

[i] The United States Department of Justice. 2016. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Bring Constitutional Policing to Ferguson, Missouri. Office of Public Affairs, http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-files-lawsuit-bring-constitutional-policing-ferguson-missouri (assessed February 17, 2016).

[ii] Boyles, Andrea S. 2015. “It’s the Same Song…: The Tragedies of Kevin Johnson and Charles “Cookie” Thornton.” In Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort. Oakland: University of California Press.

[iii] Ibid., 209.

[iv] Ibid., 209.


UC Press Books in the News

We’re kicking off a recurring series of posts today which highlight UC Press books of note that have been featured recently in the media. Since we continually strive to publish works that will be relevant for the long term, note that many of the titles highlighted below are from the recent past. Additionally, we’ll be highlighting forthcoming releases (and in this installment: a very exciting, early preview of Rebecca Solnit‘s newest book, coming fall 2016).

Lead Wars

Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of Children co-author Gerald Markowitz was interviewed on Boston NPR affiliate station WBUR’s “On Point with Tom Ashbrook“, discussing how “Our National Lead Problem is Bigger Than Flint.”

Why Busing Failed

Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (coming April 2016) author Matt Delmont wrote an article/opinion piece for Salon.com on the anniversary of what is considered the largest civil rights protest in US history (NYC, 1964), during which 460,000 students took part in a one-day school boycott to call for improved schools and educational equality, and to protest school segregation.

Scholar Denied

The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon Morris was reviewed in last month’s Berkeley Journal of Sociology by Boston University Professor Julian Go. Go states that “Du Bois is often noted to be the first “black” sociologist, but Morris’ point here is that Du Bois more rightfully deserves to be among the first empirical sociologists, period.”

Infinite City

A mention in the New York Times of the highly anticipated third volume in Rebecca Solnit’s ‘Atlas’ series, Nonstop Metropolis: A New York Atlas (the previous bestselling volumes being Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas), appeared on February 3rd. Nonstop Metropolis ties into the Queens Museum‘s biannual International exhibition which “will take New York City as its subject, and Ms. Solnit will organize a series of unorthodox works and public programs with the artists Mariam Ghani and Duke Riley.

Unfathomable