Michelle was a young single mother when she was kidnapped by a local school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward, she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world.
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken.
In Finding Me, Michelle will reveal the heartbreaking details of her story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. By sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.
Psychologist and US Army Ranger Dave Grossman writes that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to pull the trigger in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning, have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion.
The mental cost for members of the military, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. The sociological cost for the rest of us is even worse: Contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army’s conditioning techniques and, Grossman argues, is responsible for the rising rate of murder and violence, especially among the young.
Drawing from interviews, personal accounts, and academic studies, On Killing is an important look at the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects the soldier, and of the societal implications of escalating violence.
When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, trying to fit in at Yale, and at home on breaks.
A compelling and honest portrait of Robert’s relationships—with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends—The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It’s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds—the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and the slums of Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It’s about trying to live a decent life in America. But most all this “fresh, compelling” (The Washington Post) story is about the tragic life of one singular brilliant young man. His end, a violent one, is heartbreaking and powerful and “a haunting American tragedy for our times” (Entertainment Weekly).
NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Economist • The Globe and Mail • BookPage • Kirkus Reviews
On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.
But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.
Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.
Praise for Ghettoside
“A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”—Los Angeles Times
“Moving and engrossing.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”—USA Today
“Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”—The Boston Globe
“Gritty, heart-wrenching . . . Everyone needs to read this book.”—Michael Connelly
“Ghettoside is remarkable: a deep anatomy of lawlessness.”—Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
“[Leovy writes] with grace and artistry, and controlled—but bone-deep—outrage in her new book. . . . The most important book about urban violence in a generation.”—The Washington Post
“Riveting . . . This timely book could not be more important.”—Associated Press
“Leovy’s relentless reporting has produced a book packed with valuable, hard-won insights—and it serves as a crucial, 366-page reminder that ‘black lives matter.’ ”—The New York Times Book Review
“A compelling analysis of the factors behind the epidemic of black-on-black homicide . . . an important book, which deserves a wide audience.”—Hari Kunzru, The Guardian
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Armenian Genocide to the ethnic cleansings of Kosovo and Darfur, modern history is haunted by acts of brutal violence. Yet American leaders who vow "never again" repeatedly fail to stop genocide. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, "A Problem from Hell" draws upon exclusive interviews with Washington's top policymakers, thousands of once classified documents, and accounts of reporting from the killing fields to show how decent Americans inside and outside government looked away from mass murder. Combining spellbinding history and seasoned political analysis, "A Problem from Hell" allows readers to hear directly from American decision-makers and dissenters, as well as from victims of genocide, and reveals just what was known and what might have been done while millions perished.
In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as--and was a direct consequence of--the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense, and why stability has been so elusive.
Through their voices, and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the political, social, and moral decay of the Congolese State.
Los Angeles Times Bestseller
Washington Post Top 100 Books of the Year Selection
A stunning literary survival story of three young Sudanese boys, two brothers and a cousin—hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “moving, beautifully written account, by turns warm and tender.”
Between 1987 and 1989, Alepho, Benjamin, and Benson, like tens of thousands of young boys, took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live.
They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is the three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsian, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns: how they endured the hunger and strength-sapping illnesses—dysentery, malaria, and yellow fever; how they dodged the life-threatening predators—lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers alike—that dogged their footsteps; and how they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating, timeless portrait of a childhood hurled into wartime and how they had the good fortune and belief in themselves to survive.
In Asking for It, Kate Harding combines in-depth research with an in-your-face voice to make the case that twenty-first-century America supports rapists more effectively than it supports victims. Drawing on real-world examples of what feminists call "rape culture"—from politicos' revealing gaffes to institutional failures in higher education and the military—Harding offers ideas and suggestions for how we, as a society, can take sexual violence much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused.
David Wojnarowicz’s brief but eventful life was not easy. From a suburban adolescence marked by neglect, drugs, prostitution, and abuse to a squalid life on the streets of New York City, to fame—and infamy—as an activist and controversial visual artist whose work was lambasted in the halls of Congress, all before his early death from AIDS at age thirty-seven, Wojnarowicz seemed to be at war with a homophobic “establishment” and the world itself. Yet what emerged from the darkness was a truly extraordinary artist and human being—an angry young man of remarkable poetic sensibilities who was inordinately sympathetic to those who, like him, lived and struggled outside society’s boundaries.
Close to the Knives is his searing yet strangely beautiful account told in a collection of powerful essays. An author whom reviewers have compared to Kerouac and Genet, David Wojnarowicz mesmerizes, horrifies, and delights in equal measure with his unabashed honesty. At once savage and funny, poignant and sexy, compassionate and unforgiving, his words and stories cut like knives, leaving indelible marks on all who read them.
But perhaps even more startling than the violence was the quiet yet powerful response of the Amish community offering unconditional forgiveness to the murderer and reaching out to his family with baskets of food and warm welcomes into their homes. Could such forgiveness be genuine, truly heartfelt? Surely there must be simmering rage behind those peaceful words.
Jonas Beiler wondered. He had grown up in that very Amish community. His own pain of losing his daughter in a tragic accident years before resurfaced, and the lingering shadows of other life tragedies loomed darker. As he met with the grieving families, he could see how devastated and broken they felt, and yet he was drawn to the strength he saw in them.
Outsiders, too, had difficulty understanding the rock-solid faith of the people in this Amish community. How could they forgive someone who killed their innocent daughters? How could they reach out and embrace his family, expressing unconditional love for them in these circumstances? Letters from around the world poured in, asking these universal questions in the face of suffering.
And so began Jonas Beiler's journey into this story -- the story behind the headlines, behind the farmhouse doors, around the lantern-lit kitchen tables, at the local market, and alongside the tiny coffins. His quest is now yours to read. His discoveries yours to consider.
Walk with those closest to the scene: an Amish grandfather, an ambulance driver, a surviving Amish schoolgirl, and volunteer firefighters. Even look on as the community demolishes the school where the murders took place and builds the New Hope School that holds no memories of bloodstained walls.
Think No Evil is the first insider account of the tragic events, the personal victories and the daily Amish life in Nickel Mines, written by a native of the Amish community who still lives and works where most of his relatives are Old Order Amish. Against the rich and fascinating backdrop of Amish culture, Beiler reveals the best of the human spirit in the midst of the worst, and leaves us all drawn heavenward, the richer for it.
Now, in The Price of Silence, she takes a devastating look at how we address mental illness, especially in children, who are funneled through a system of education, mental healthcare, and juvenile detention that leads far too often to prison. In the end she asks one central question: If there's a poster child for cancer, why can’t there be one for mental illness? The answer: stigma. She is speaking in a way that we cannot help but hear, and she won't stop until something changes.
Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger, two of America’s leading experts on terrorism, dissect the new model for violent extremism that ISIS has leveraged into an empire of death in Iraq and Syria, and an international network that is rapidly expanding in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world.
ISIS: The State of Terror traces the ideological innovations that the group deploys to recruit unprecedented numbers of Westerners, the composition of its infamous snuff videos, and the technological tools it exploits on social media to broadcast its atrocities, and its recruiting pitch to the world, including its success at attracting thousands of Western adherents. The authors examine ISIS’s predatory abuse of women and children and its use of horror to manipulate world leaders and its own adherents as it builds its twisted society. The authors offer a much-needed perspective on how world leaders should prioritize and respond to ISIS’s deliberate and insidious provocations.
Praise for the first edition:
“It is hard to imagine a more important book. Glover makes an overwhelming case for the need to understand our own inhumanity, and reduce or eliminate the ways in which it can express itself—and he then begins the task himself. Humanity is an extraordinary achievement.”—Peter Singer, Princeton University
“This is an extraordinary book: brilliant, haunting and uniquely important. Almost 40 years ago a president read a best seller and avoided a holocaust. I like to think that some of the leaders and followers of tomorrow will read Humanity.”—Steven Pinker, New York Times Book Review
Using history, philosophy, books, movies, Lacanian psychiatry, and jokes, Slavoj Žižek examines the ways we perceive and misperceive violence. Drawing from his unique cultural vision, Žižek brings new light to the Paris riots of 2005; he questions the permissiveness of violence in philanthropy; in daring terms, he reflects on the powerful image and determination of contemporary terrorists.
Violence, Žižek states, takes three forms--subjective (crime, terror), objective (racism, hate-speech, discrimination), and systemic (the catastrophic effects of economic and political systems)--and often one form of violence blunts our ability to see the others, raising complicated questions.
Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilization cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of "the neighbour"? And could the appropriate form of action against violence today simply be to contemplate, to think?
Beginning with these and other equally contemplative questions, Žižek discusses the inherent violence of globalization, capitalism, fundamentalism, and language, in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers.
A Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and a winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award, Susan Griffin’s A Chorus of Stones is an extraordinary reevaluation of history that explores the links between individual lives and catastrophic, world-altering violence. One of the most acclaimed and poetic voices of contemporary American feminism, Griffin delves into the perspective of those whose personal relationships and family histories were profoundly influenced by war and its often secret mechanisms: the bomb-maker and the bombing victim, the soldier and the pacifist, the grand architects who were shaped by personal experience and in turn reshaped the world.
Declaring that “each solitary story belongs to a larger story”—and beginning with the brutal and heartbreaking circumstances of her own childhood—Griffin examines how the subtle dynamics of parenthood, childhood, and marriage interweave with the monumental violence of global conflict. She proffers a bold and powerful new understanding of the psychology of war through illuminating glimpses into the personal lives of Ernest Hemingway, Mahatma Gandhi, Heinrich Himmler, British officer Sir Hugh Trenchard, and other historic figures—as well as the munitions workers at Oak Ridge, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, and other humbler yet indispensible witnesses to history.
Carr mines this story of an awakened neighborhood for unique insights, contributing a new perspective to the national debate on community policing, civic activism, and the nature of social control. Clean Streets offers an important story of one community's struggle to confront crime and to keep their homes safe. Their actions can be seen as a model for how other communities can face up to similarly difficult problems.
Straight from the headlines comes an incredible true story of a son's treachery. For the first time, readers are offered inside access to the emotional drama that went on behind the scenes. At the core is the remarkable healing power of forgiveness, demonstrated by Kent Whitaker, which shows how the survivors of such atrocious events can still forgive those who have permanently damaged their lives.
One evening, the Whitaker family returned home after dinner, celebrating a son's impending graduation from college. On opening the front door, they faced a gunman lying in wait. The gunman opened fire, instantly killing the younger son and Kent's wife, leaving Kent and his older son lying wounded until police and ambulances arrived. While recovering in the hospital, Kent resolved in his heart to forgive whoever was responsible for the deaths of his wife and son.
Over the next few weeks, it was discovered that the whole murder plot had been orchestrated by the surviving son -- whom Kent had unknowingly forgiven. After a trial that resulted in a death sentence for his son, Kent emerged from this harrowing ordeal to share their astonishing journey toward forgiveness and redemption.
Indeed, there has been much speculation that the killer or killers are American citizens. While some leading members of the American media have reported on the situation, prompting the U.S. government to send in top criminal profilers from the FBI, little real information about this international atrocity has emerged. According to Amnesty International, as of 2006 more than 400 bodies have been recovered, with hundreds still missing.
As for who is behind the murders themselves, the answer remains unknown, although many have argued that the killings have become a sort of blood sport, due to the lawlessness of the city itself. Among the theories being considered are illegal trafficking in human organs, ritualistic satanic sacrifices, copycat killers, and a conspiracy between members of the powerful Juárez drug cartel and some corrupt Mexican officials who have turned a blind eye to the felonies, all the while lining their pockets with money drenched in blood.
Despite numerous arrests over the last ten years, the murders continue to occur, with the killers growing bolder, dumping bodies in the city itself rather than on the outskirts of town, as was initially the case, indicating a possible growing and most alarming alliance of silence and cover-up by Mexican politicians.
The Daughters of Juárez promises to be the first eye-opening, authoritative nonfiction work of its kind to examine the brutal killings and draw attention to these atrocities on the border. The end result will shock readers and become required reading on the subject for years to come.
A swollen head floating down the Bronx River, a junkie murdered for stealing a woman’s wig, a French Connection-style chase through blind alleys, police barricaded inside their precinct as a wild mob lays siege to the station — and, above all, mindless violence that seemed to erupt in profusion for no apparent reason against the cops who faithfully served and cared deeply about the neighborhood that was rapidly imploding.
Durán spent five years in Denver, Colorado, and Ogden, Utah, conducting 145 interviews with gang members, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other related individuals. From his research, he constructs a comparative outline of the emergence and criminalization of Latino youth groups, the ideals and worlds they create, and the reasons for their persistence. He also underscores the failures of violent gang suppression tactics, which have only further entrenched these groups within the barrio. Encouraging cultural activists and current and former gang members to pursue grassroots empowerment, Durán proposes new solutions to racial oppression that challenge and truly alter the conditions of gang life.
Beginning with the national elections carried out during Israel's war on Gaza in 2008-09, which brought into power the country's most right-wing government to date, Blumenthal tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.
As Blumenthal reveals, Israel has become a country where right-wing leaders like Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where the loyal opposition largely and passively stands aside and watches the organized assault on civil liberties; where state-funded Orthodox rabbis publish books that provide instructions on how and when to kill Gentiles; where half of Jewish youth declare their refusal to sit in a classroom with an Arab; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."
Immersing himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements, Blumenthal interviews the demagogues and divas in their homes, in the Knesset, and in the watering holes where their young acolytes hang out, and speaks with those political leaders behind the organized assault on civil liberties. As his journey deepens, he painstakingly reports on the occupied Palestinians challenging schemes of demographic separation through unarmed protest. He talks at length to the leaders and youth of Palestinian society inside Israel now targeted by security service dragnets and legislation suppressing their speech, and provides in-depth reporting on the small band of Jewish Israeli dissidents who have shaken off a conformist mindset that permeates the media, schools, and the military.
Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten; how that history has set the stage for the current crisis of Israeli society; and how the Holocaust has been turned into justification for occupation.
A brave and unflinching account of the real facts on the ground, Goliath is an unprecedented and compelling work of journalism.
“Virtuosic. A master writer, reporter, comic and playwright. Spalding Gray is a sit-down monologist with the soul of a stand-up comedian. A contemporary Gulliver, he travels the globe in search of experience and finds the ridiculous.”—The New York Times
In 2004, we mourned the loss of one of America’s true theatrical innovators. Spalding Gray took his own life by jumping from the Staten Island ferry into the waters of New York Harbor, finally succumbing to the impossible notion that he could in fact swim to Cambodia. At a memorial gathering for family, friends and fans at Lincoln Center in New York, his widow expressed the need to honor Gray’s legacy as an artist and writer for his children, as well as for future generations of fans and readers. Originally published in 1985, Swimming to Cambodia is reissued here 20 years later in a new edition as a tribute to Gray’s singular artistry.
Writer, actor and performer, Spalding Gray is the author of Sex and Death to the Age 14; Monster in a Box; It’s a Slippery Slope; Gray’s Anatomy and Morning, Noon and Night, among other works. His appearance in The Killing Fields was the inspiration for his Swimming to Cambodia, which was also filmed by Jonathan Demme.
The basic principles of Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence (Ahimsa) and non-violent action (Satyagraha) were chosen by Thomas Merton for this volume in 1965. In his challenging Introduction, "Gandhi and the One-Eyed Giant," Merton emphasizes the importance of action rather than mere pacifism as a central component of non-violence, and illustrates how the foundations of Gandhi's universal truths are linked to traditional Hindu Dharma, the Greek philosophers, and the teachings of Christ and Thomas Aquinas.
Educated as a Westerner in South Africa, it was Gandhi's desire to set aside the caste system as well as his political struggles in India which led him to discover the dynamic power of non-cooperation. But, non-violence for Gandhi "was not simply a political tactic," as Merton observes: "the spirit of non-violence sprang from an inner realization of spiritual unity in himself." Gandhi's politics of spiritual integrity have influenced generations of people around the world, as well as civil rights leaders from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Steve Biko to Václav Havel and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mark Kurlansky has written an insightful preface for this edition that touches upon the history of non-violence and reflects the core of Gandhi's spiritual and ethical doctrine in the context of current global conflicts.
Nothing exemplifies the spirit and hope of Juarenses more than the Indios, the city's beloved but hard-luck soccer team. Sport may seem a meager distraction, but to many it's a lifeline. It drew charismatic American midfielder Marco Vidal back from Dallas to achieve the athletic dreams of his Mexican father. Team owner Francisco Ibarra and Mayor José Reyes Ferriz both thrive on soccer. So does the dubiously named crew of Indios fans, El Kartel. In this honest, unflinching, and powerful book, Robert Andrew Powell chronicles a season of soccer in this treacherous city just across the Rio Grande, and the moments of pain, longing, and redemption along the way. As he travels across Mexico with the team, Powell reflects on this struggling nation and its watchful neighbor to the north. This story is not just about sports, or even community, but the strength of humanity in a place where chaos reigns.
But the market is booming: In 2009, more people in the United States bought recreational drugs than ever before. In 2009, the United Nations reported that some $350 billion in drug money had been successfully laundered into the global banking system the prior year, saving it from collapse.
How does an "extra" $350 billion in the global economy affect the murder rate in Mexico? To get the story and connect the dogs, acclaimed journalist John Gibler travels across Mexico and slips behind the frontlines to talk with people who live in towns under assault: newspaper reporters and crime-beat photographers, funeral parlor workers, convicted drug traffickers, government officials, cab drivers and others who find themselves living on the lawless frontiers of the drug war. Gibler tells hair-raising stories of wild street battles, kidnappings, narrow escapes, politicians on the take, and the ordinary people who fight for justice as they seek solutions to the crisis that is tearing Mexico apart. Fast-paced and urgent, To Die in Mexico is an extraordinary look inside the raging drug war, and its global implications.
"Gibler's front-line reportage coupled with first-rate analysis gives an uncommonly vivid and nuanced picture of a society riddled and enervated by corruption, shootouts, and raids, where murder is the 'most popular method of conflict resolution.' . . . At great personal risk, the author unearths stories the mainstream media doesn't–or is it too afraid–to cover, and gives voice to those who have been silenced or whose stories have been forgotten." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Gibler argues passionately to undercut this 'case study in failure.' The drug barons are only getting richer, the murders mount and the police and military repression expand as 'illegality increases the value of the commodity.' With legality, both U.S. and Mexican society could address real issues of substance abuse through education and public-health initiatives. A visceral, immediate and reasonable argument." —Kirkus Reviews
"Gibler provides a fascinating and detailed insight into the history of both drug use in the US and the 'war on drugs' unleashed by Ronald Reagan through the very plausible – but radical – lens of social control. . . . Throughout this short but powerful book, Gibler accompanies journalists riding the grim carousel of death on Mexico's streets, exploring the realities of a profession under siege in states such as Sinaloa and just how they cover the drugs war." —Gavin O’Toole, The Latin American Review of Books
John Gibler is a writer based in Mexico and California, the author of Mexico Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt (City Lights Books, 2009), and a contributor to País de muertos: Crónicas contra la impunidad (Random House Mondadori, 2011). He is a correspondent for KPFA in San Francisco and has published in magazines in the United States and Mexico, including Left Turn, Z Magazine, Earth Island Journal, ColorLines, Race, Poverty, and the Environment Fifth Estate, New Politics, In These Times, Yes! Magazine, Contralínea, and Milenio Semanal.
The survivor of an abusive relationship herself, Brewster teaches readers how to recognize the signs of abuse, handle negative feelings, become an effective advocate, deal with the abuser, and more. This compassionate book is just as timely and important as ever, offering the information needed to give strength to women who are trying to break free.
Helping Her Get Free was previously published as To Be an Anchor in the Storm.
United States : Aryan Brotherhood, Barrio Azteca, Black Guerrilla Family, The Mexican Mafia or 'La eMe', Nazi Low Riders, Nuestra Familia, Tango Blast, Texas Syndicate.
The Rest of the World : Australia – The Overcoat Gang and Prisoners of War, Brazil – Primeiro Comando da Capital, Puerto Rico – Ñeta Asociación, South Africa – The Numbers Gangs, Sweden – Brödraskapet, United Kingdom – Muslim Gangs.
'He who runs the inside controls the outside.'
(Mexican Mafia prison gang saying)
It is a world of murder, intimidation and extortion, a horrifically violent environment in which nothing matters, because, let's face it, for most of these men there really is nothing left to lose. How many life sentences can a man serve, after all?
Existing in a world of mayhem and lawlessness, the prison gang is perhaps the ultimate in criminal organizations, its evil tentacles often reaching far beyond the prison gates. And prison gangs have become increasingly powerful in the criminal underworld in recent years. Rather than bring an end to gang members' ability to engage in criminal activity, incarceration has, perversely, provided them with the perfect environment in which to persevere with their nefarious activities.
Prison Gangs: Organized Crime Behind Bars exposes the frightening world of the prison gang, the lives of men without morality who live in a world in which the rules by which we normally exist no longer apply.
Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.
Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.
Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.
Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read.
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.
Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 editionThe original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.
The Conscript depicts, with irony and controlled anger, the staggering experiences of the Eritrean ascari, soldiers conscripted to fight in Libya by the Italian colonial army against the nationalist Libyan forces fighting for their freedom from Italy’s colonial rule. Anticipating midcentury thinkers Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, Hailu paints a devastating portrait of Italian colonialism. Some of the most poignant passages of the novel include the awakening of the novel’s hero, Tuquabo, to his ironic predicament of being both under colonial rule and the instrument of suppressing the colonized Libyans.
The novel’s remarkable descriptions of the battlefield awe the reader with mesmerizing images, both disturbing and tender, of the Libyan landscape—with its vast desert sands, oases, horsemen, foot soldiers, and the brutalities of war—uncannily recalled in the satellite images that were brought to the homes of millions of viewers around the globe in 2011, during the country’s uprising against its former leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
The statistics are alarming. Homicide is the most frequent manner in which female employees are fatally injured at work; it is the number two cause for men. According to a recent study cited by the Society for Human Resource Management, incidents of workplace violence have increased steadily over the past sixteen years; 58 percent of participating companies reported that disgruntled employees have threatened senior managers in the past year, 17 percent said employees had intentionally and maliciously downloaded computer viruses, and 10 percent said they were victims of product tampering. Meanwhile, the costs linked to workplace violence have been estimated at over $120 billion. Experts agree that risk factors for workplace violence include psychological, behavioral, and situational stressors--and today's volatile business environment increases their intensity.
This timely book integrates insights from the fields of management and social psychology to identify the sources of workplace violence and offer readers practical strategies for preventing it, protecting themselves and their employees from it, and reacting swiftly and effectively when it happens. Featuring case examples, interviews, practical recommendations, and resources for additional information, the authors debunk common myths and misconceptions about workplace violence, its perpetrators, and its victims, and consider the link between domestic and workplace violence--in particular, its implications for women and minorities. The result is an essential guide for anyone, including managers and employees, human resource professionals and counselors, psychologists and other advocates, who is affected by the impact of workplace violence and is seeking solutions.
Dr. Katherine Ramsland wades through the heavy fog surrounding the "Moors Murders": a series of high-profile child killings committed in the Swinging Sixties by Scottish sadist Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, his English girlfriend and accomplice. To this day, they continue to be the most shocking and headline grabbing crimes in modern Britain! With Katherine's background in psychology and philosophy, there is surely no one better suited to explore Brady's "existentialist exercises" in murder, his psychopathic pedophilia, and folie-a-deux relationship with Hindley.
Where the "Moors Murders" remain Britain's most notorious series of murders, the atrocities committed by Fred and Rosemary West are undoubtedly the most depraved. Kim Cresswell churns the stomach with her unbelievable account of incest, bestiality, rape, torture, murder, necrophilia and filicide, culminating in a "Garden of Bones" in Gloucester.
Carol Anne Davis looks at one of the greatest abuses of police power in English history: the entrapment of Colin Stagg for the 1992 ripper-style murder of blonde beauty Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common. Meanwhile, the real killer, Robert Napper, was already confined to Broadmoor asylum for the 1993 evisceration murder of Samantha Bisset and the rape and deadly suffocation of her infant daughter.
Edgar-Award winning author Burl Barer makes his Serial Killer Quarterly debut, lending his highly original voice to an intriguing re-examination of the murders ascribed to "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe, and the phenomenon of homicidal fame.
Robert J. Hoshowsky, Aaron Elliott, and Kim Cresswell also look at three comparably notorious historical London slayers in their pieces on creepy old John Christie, "Acid Bath Vampire" John George Haigh, and Jack the Ripper suspect and bride poisoner George Chapman.
Come take a trip with us into the dark heart of the British Isles, from the gritty northern industrial cities of Leeds, Bradford and Manchester to cosmopolitan London to the verdant countryside of Herefordshire! Warning: this issue contains an abundance of mutilation, necrophilia, and tea.
Collins gives a comprehensive explanation of violence and its dynamics, drawing upon video footage, cutting-edge forensics, and ethnography to examine violent situations up close as they actually happen--and his conclusions will surprise you. Violence comes neither easily nor automatically. Antagonists are by nature tense and fearful, and their confrontational anxieties put up a powerful emotional barrier against violence. Collins guides readers into the very real and disturbing worlds of human discord--from domestic abuse and schoolyard bullying to muggings, violent sports, and armed conflicts. He reveals how the fog of war pervades all violent encounters, limiting people mostly to bluster and bluff, and making violence, when it does occur, largely incompetent, often injuring someone other than its intended target. Collins shows how violence can be triggered only when pathways around this emotional barrier are presented. He explains why violence typically comes in the form of atrocities against the weak, ritualized exhibitions before audiences, or clandestine acts of terrorism and murder--and why a small number of individuals are competent at violence.
Violence overturns standard views about the root causes of violence and offers solutions for confronting it in the future.
Dr. Katherine Ramsland examines the life and crimes of Israel Keyes - arguably the most organized and mobile serial murderer in American history. In direct contrast to Keyes's secretive slayings, the Beltway Snipers, John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, murdered random civilians in broad daylight and openly taunted the authorities.
Michael Newton - author of 265 books including the groundbreaking Encyclopedia of Serial Killers - details their three week reign of terror in his feature "Islam Will Explode".
Lee Mellor's "Web of Spiders" discusses the milestone case of "Slavemaster" John Edward Robinson: the Internet's first serial killer.
Other articles in "21st Century Psychos" include:
"Love in the Ashes" - Arthur Ellis-award nominee Robert J. Hoshowsky takes on Sheila Labarre - an aging nymphomaniac who seduced, slaughtered, and incinerated three male victims on her New Hampshire farm, challenging our views on the nature of female serial killers forever.
"The Interview" - Curtis Yateman's impressionistic look at the 2009-2010 murders committed by Canadian Airforce base commander Col. Russell Williams.
"Checkmate" - The story of post-Soviet Russia's most prolific serial slaughterer, "Chessboard Killer" Alexander Pichushkin, as recounted by Grinning Man Press co-founder Aaron Elliott.
"Canada's Killer Countryboy?" - Award-winning author,Kim Cresswell, sheds light on clean-cut "country boy" Cody Legebokoff, who at the age of 21 was charged with the murders of four women in western Canada. Is his guilt a certainty, or is there more to this story than meets the eye?
Also read...Infamous Words, Feasts of Death and Killer Flicks: Grinning Man Reviews - Mr. Brooks.
Case studies and theoretical essays introduce the basic principles necessary to identify and explain the symbols and practices each unique human group holds sacred or inalienable. The authors apply the methods of political science, social psychology, anthropology, journalism, and educational research. They build on the insights of Gordon Allport, Charles Taylor, and Max Weber to describe and analyze the patterns of behavior that social groups worldwide use to maintain their identities.
Written to inform the general reader and communicate across disciplinary boundaries, this important and timely volume demonstrates ways of understanding, predicting and coping with ethnic and sectarian violence.
Contributors: Badeng Nima, David Brown, Kwanchewan Buadaeng, Patrick B. Inman, Karina V. Korostelina, James L. Peacock, Thomas F. Pettigrew, Wee Teng Soh, Hamadou Tidiane Sy, Patricia M. Thornton, Mohammad Waseem.
Gray-Rosendale writes in a tone that is simply unforgettable—gritty, humorous, and raw. Artfully written and devoid of self-pity, College Girl is a rich story of triumph, hope, and survival.
This book gives readers an up-close and personal, behind-the-scenes look at the family in the exploding A&E® show—Duck Dynasty®. This Louisiana bayou family operates Duck Commander, a booming family business that has made them millions. You’ll hear all about the Robertson clan from Willie and what it was like growing up in the Robertson household. You’ll sample some of Willie’s favorite family recipes from Phil, Kay, and even some of his own concoctions; and you’ll get to know the beautiful Robertson women. You’ll hear from Korie about the joys and hardships of raising a family, running a business, and wrangling the Robertson men while staying fashionable and beautiful inside and out. Discover more about the family dynamics between brothers Willie, Jase, Jep, and parents Phil and Kay. You’ll even meet a fourth brother who isn’t in the show.
The popularity of Duck Dynasty is skyrocketing, garnering a Wednesday-night top two finish in all of cable. The book releases in time for season two of the show in October 2012.
From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie’s many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself. But more than just a riotously funny story about cinematic hubris, “The Disaster Artist is one of the most honest books about friendship I’ve read in years” (Los Angeles Times).
Hailed by the New York Times as one of the most unexpectedly consistently popular bands on the rock charts, Five Finger Death Punch has become the new heavyweight champ of the metal scene. In this high-energy memoir, Jeremy Spencer, the band’s cofounder and drummer, takes us onstage and behind the scenes, on tour and into the studio to tell the band’s story and his own.
Death Punch’d is a detailed in-depth account of the group’s origins and influences, as well as the infighting and tensions that, when channeled properly, result in the music fans love. It is also the hard-charging, laugh-out-loud tale of how a mischievous boy rose from small-town Indiana to rock royalty—and how he nearly destroyed it all for a good time.
Told in his unique, self-deprecating voice, filled with his twisted and humorous take on living the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll dream turned nightmare, and including dozens of photos, Death Punch’d is a lively, no-holds-barred ride and an inspiring cautionary tale that offers lessons for us all.
“California, Labor Day weekend . . . early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades and greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners and cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo and East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur. . . The Menace is loose again.”
Thus begins Hunter S. Thompson’s vivid account of his experiences with California’s most notorious motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels. In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up and down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was first defined, and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy, and brutal honesty, and with a nuanced and incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, “For all its uninhibited and sardonic humor, Thompson’s book is a thoughtful piece of work.” As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell’s Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.
From the Hardcover edition.
When Lisa, a seventeen-year-old from Queens, New York, found out she was pregnant, she knew she only had one choice—to keep the child and give him the best life she could. That baby was Terrence Jenkins, better known to the world as Terrence J. From hosting gigs on BET's 106 and Park and E! News to roles in some of Hollywood's biggest movies, Terrence J is living a life he could have only imagined when he was a young boy. But it was the lessons he learned from his mother that helped make him a man—lessons about sacrifice, courage, loyalty, dreams, and perseverance. Through her words and her actions, Lisa showed Terrence the right path.
From an early age Terrence's mother pushed him to succeed and led by example. Most important, she put her son first—even if it meant leaving behind the only life she had ever known in New York City in search of a safer environment for her son, having the drive to go back to school to learn a new skill, or having the courage to start her own business and build it from the ground up. Her drive eventually became Terrence's drive.
Inspirational, funny, current, and down-to-earth, The Wealth of My Mother's Wisdom offers advice for a new generation. With stories, lessons, and advice from one of the top young names in Hollywood, along with input from some of his famous friends like Kevin Hart, Ludacris, T.I., Trey Songz, and Laz Alonso, Terrence J offers a positive, powerful message: with a strong family bond, the possibilities are endless.
In his international bestseller The Game, Neil Strauss delved into the secret world of pick-up artists—men who have created a science out of the art of seduction. Not only did he reveal the techniques that they had developed, but he became a master of The Game, and the world's No. 1 PUA, as Style.
Now, in this bestselling companion, Strauss reduces three books of life-changing knowledge into a single-volume set. The first book, The Stylelife Challenge, breaks down the knowledge he learned and techniques he invented into simple step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow to meet and land the women of their dreams.
In the second book, Strauss takes readers into the dark side of The Game. The Style Diaries offers a series of tales of seduction and sexual (mis)adventure. From accidentally getting married during a drunken night in Reykjavik, to luring a famous musician's granddaughter into a threesome; to the stress and frustration of the torturous and highly unorthodox "30 Day Sex Experiment," The Style Diaries takes you further into the seduction underworld than ever before. Finally, in the all-new, updated third volume, Strauss collects the greatest, most powerful, field-tested, word-for-word routines.
You don't need money, looks, or fame to succeed with women. All you need is an understanding of how attraction works—and this thirty-day workout program for your social skills, which has already guided countless men from frustration to fulfillment.
'It's about the terror, isn't it?'
'The terror of what?' I said.
'The terror of being found out.'
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.
From the Hardcover edition.
A GoodReads Reader's Choice
In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.
The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.
All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.
From the Hardcover edition.
MO' META BLUES
The World According to Questlove
Mo' Meta Blues is a punch-drunk memoir in which Everyone's Favorite Questlove tells his own story while tackling some of the lates, the greats, the fakes, the philosophers, the heavyweights, and the true originals of the music world. He digs deep into the album cuts of his life and unearths some pivotal moments in black art, hip hop, and pop culture.
Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is many things: virtuoso drummer, producer, arranger, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon bandleader, DJ, composer, and tireless Tweeter. He is one of our most ubiquitous cultural tastemakers, and in this, his first book, he reveals his own formative experiences--from growing up in 1970s West Philly as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer, to finding his own way through the music world and ultimately co-founding and rising up with the Roots, a.k.a., the last hip hop band on Earth. Mo' Meta Blues also has some (many) random (or not) musings about the state of hip hop, the state of music criticism, the state of statements, as well as a plethora of run-ins with celebrities, idols, and fellow artists, from Stevie Wonder to KISS to D'Angelo to Jay-Z to Dave Chappelle to...you ever seen Prince roller-skate?!?
But Mo' Meta Blues isn't just a memoir. It's a dialogue about the nature of memory and the idea of a post-modern black man saddled with some post-modern blues. It's a book that questions what a book like Mo' Meta Blues really is. It's the side wind of a one-of-a-kind mind.
It's a rare gift that gives as well as takes.
It's a record that keeps going around and around.
The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.
Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets and backstage stories.
With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
Heller turns the music industry inside out, exposing its strange logic and larger-than-life personalities. Ruthless provides keen insight into the popular music scene, with an unforgettable portrait of its rollicking excesses, life-churning drama, and multimillion-dollar highs.
Joe McCarthy. Marilyn Monroe. The H-bomb. Ozzie and Harriet. Elvis. Civil rights. It’s undeniable: The fifties were a defining decade for America, complete with sweeping cultural change and political upheaval. This decade is also the focus of David Halberstam’s triumphant The Fifties, which stands as an enduring classic and was an instant New York Times bestseller upon its publication. More than a survey of the decade, it is a masterfully woven examination of far-reaching change, from the unexpected popularity of Holiday Inn to the marketing savvy behind McDonald’s expansion. A meditation on the staggering influence of image and rhetoric, The Fifties is vintage Halberstam, who was hailed by the Denver Post as “a lively, graceful writer who makes you . . . understand how much of our time was born in those years.” This ebook features an extended biography of David Halberstam.
For the first time ever—a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson
He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters born of his fertile imagination: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were just part of his remarkable story.
This extraordinary biography—written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family—covers the full arc of Henson’s all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi, through the years of burgeoning fame in America, to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives, Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson’s contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten-year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson’s non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth—as well as fascinating misfires like Henson’s dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub.
An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose dealmaking prowess won him a reputation as “the new Walt Disney,” and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson’s intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing, his love of fast cars and expensive art, and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well founded.
An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.
Praise for Jim Henson
“Jim Henson vibrantly delves into the magnificent man and his Muppet methods: It’s an absolute must-read!”—Neil Patrick Harris
“An exhaustive work that is never exhausting, a credit both to Jones’s brisk style and to Henson’s exceptional life.”—The New York Times
“[A] sweeping portrait that is a mix of humor, mirth and poignancy.”—Washington Independent Review of Books
“A meticulously researched tome chock-full of gems about the Muppets and the most thorough portrait of their creator ever crafted.”—Associated Press
“Jim was one of my closest friends. And yet I found out things about him in Jim Henson that were new to me. Brian Jay Jones has captured the layers of Jim’s genius and humanity, as well as the flaws that made Jim, like all of us, so delightfully imperfect. I thank Brian for giving Jim life again. This book has captured the spirit of Jim Henson.”—Frank Oz
From the Hardcover edition.