The heartwrenching New York Times bestseller about the only known person born inside a North Korean prison camp to have escaped. Blaine Harden's latest book, King of Spies, will be available from Viking in Fall 2017.
North Korea’s political prison camps have existed twice as long as Stalin’s Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. No one born and raised in these camps is known to have escaped. No one, that is, except Shin Dong-hyuk.
In Escape From Camp 14, Blaine Harden unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state through the story of Shin’s shocking imprisonment and his astounding getaway. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence—he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother.
The late “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il was recognized throughout the world, but his country remains sealed as his third son and chosen heir, Kim Jong Eun, consolidates power. Few foreigners are allowed in, and few North Koreans are able to leave. North Korea is hungry, bankrupt, and armed with nuclear weapons. It is also a human rights catastrophe. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people work as slaves in its political prison camps. These camps are clearly visible in satellite photographs, yet North Korea’s government denies they exist.
Harden’s harrowing narrative exposes this hidden dystopia, focusing on an extraordinary young man who came of age inside the highest security prison in the highest security state. Escape from Camp 14 offers an unequalled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations. It is a tale of endurance and courage, survival and hope.
When his L.A. neighborhood was threatened by gangbangers, Stanley Tookie Williams and a friend formed the Crips, but what began as protection became worse than the original gangs. From deadly street fights with their rivals to drive-by shootings and stealing cars, the Crips' influence -- and Tookie's reputation -- began to spread across L.A. Soon he was regularly under police surveillance, and, as a result, was arrested often, though always released because the charges did not stick. But in 1981, Tookie was convicted of murdering four people and was sent to death row at San Quentin in Marin County, California.
Tookie maintained his innocence and began to work in earnest to prevent others from following his path. Whether he was creating nationwide peace protocols, discouraging adolescents from joining gangs, or writing books, Tookie worked tirelessly for the rest of his life to end gang violence. Even after his death, his legacy continues, supported by such individuals as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Snoop Dogg, Jesse Jackson, and many more.
This posthumous edition of Blue Rage, Black Redemption features a foreword by Tavis Smiley and an epilogue by Barbara Becnel, which details not only the influence of Tookie's activism but also her eyewitness account of his December 2005 execution, and the inquest that followed.
By turns frightening and enlightening, Blue Rage, Black Redemption is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and an invaluable lesson in how rage can be turned into redemption.
Brilliant, provocative, outrageous, and brazen, Hunter S. Thompson's infamous rule breaking—in his journalism, in his life, and under the law—changed the shape of American letters, and the face of American icons.
Call it the evolution of an outlaw. Here are the formative experiences that comprise Thompson’s legendary trajectory alongside the weird and the ugly. Whether detailing his exploits as a foreign correspondent in Rio, his job as night manager of the notorious O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, his epic run for sheriff of Aspen on the Freak Power ticket, or the sensational legal maneuvering that led to his full acquittal in the famous 99 Days trial, Thompson is at the peak of his narrative powers in Kingdom of Fear. And this boisterous, blistering ride illuminates as never before the professional and ideological risk taking of a literary genius and transgressive icon.
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.
Hailed as "a masterpiece" (San Francisco Chronicle), the late Manning Marable's acclaimed biography of Malcolm X finally does justice to one of the most influential and controversial figures of twentieth-century American history. Filled with startling new information and shocking revelations, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism as followers of Marcus Garvey through his own work with the Nation of Islam and rise in the world of black nationalism, and culminates in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X is a stunning achievement, the definitive work on one of our greatest advocates for social change.
In her profound and courageous New York Times bestseller, Janet Mock establishes herself as a resounding and inspirational voice for the transgender community—and anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms.
With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.
Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle class neighborhood on Detroit’s east side during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic. An honor roll student and a natural leader, he dreamed of becoming a doctor—but at age 11, his parents' marriage began to unravel, and beatings from his mother worsened, which sent him on a downward spiral. He ran away from home, turned to drug dealing to survive, and ended up in prison for murder at the age of 19, full of anger and despair.
Writing My Wrongs is the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, Senghor became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. His work in the community and the courage to share his story led him to fellowships at the MIT Media Lab and the Kellogg Foundation and invitations to speak at events like TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival.
In equal turns, Writing My Wrongs is a page-turning portrait of life in the shadow of poverty, violence, and fear; an unforgettable story of redemption and a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.
In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old African American, Emmett Till, was visiting family in Mississippi when he was kidnapped from his bed in the middle of the night by two white men and brutally murdered. His crime: allegedly whistling at a white woman in a convenience store. The killers were eventually acquitted.
What followed altered the course of this country’s history—and it was all set in motion by the sheer will, determination, and courage of Mamie Till-Mobley, whose actions galvanized the civil rights movement, leaving an indelible mark on our racial consciousness. Death of Innocence is an essential document in the annals of American civil rights history, and a painful yet beautiful account of a mother’s ability to transform tragedy into boundless courage and hope.
Praise for Death of Innocence
“A testament to the power of the indestructible human spirit [that] speaks as eloquently as the diary of Anne Frank.”—The Washington Post Book World
“With this important book, [Mamie Till-Mobley] has helped ensure that the story of her son (and her own story) will not soon be forgotten. . . . A riveting account of a tragedy that upended her life and ultimately the Jim Crow system.”—Chicago Tribune
“The book will . . . inform or remind people of what a courageous figure for justice [Mamie Till-Mobley] was and how important she and her son were to setting the stage for the modern-day civil rights movement.”—The Detroit News
“Poignant . . . In his mother’s descriptions, Emmett becomes more than an icon; he becomes a living, breathing youngster—any mother’s child.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Powerful . . . [Mamie Till-Mobley’s] courage transformed her loss into a moral compass for a nation.”—Black Issues Book Review
Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition • BlackBoard Nonfiction Book of the Year
In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings.
But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.
Irena’s Children, “a fascinating narrative of…the extraordinary moral and physical courage of those who chose to fight inhumanity with compassion” (Chaya Deitsch author of Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family), is a truly heroic tale of survival, resilience, and redemption.
A School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Teens
A Joan F. Kaywell Award Finalist from the Florida Council of Teachers of English
Carissa Phelps was a runner. By the time she was twelve, she had run away from home, dropped out of school, and fled blindly into the arms of a brutal pimp. Even when she escaped him, she could not outrun the crushing inner pain of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. With little to hope for, she expected to end up in prison, or worse. But then her life was transformed through the unexpected kindness of a teacher and a counselor. Through small miracles, Carissa accomplished the unimaginable, graduating from UCLA with both a law degree and an MBA. She left the streets behind, yet found herself back, this time working to help homeless and at-risk youth discover their own paths to a better life. Like the multimillion-copy bestseller The Glass Castle, this memoir moves us through the power of its unflinching candor and generosity.
Greg Mortenson has built a global reputation as a selfless humanitarian and childrenÕs crusader, and heÕs been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also not what he appears to be. As acclaimed author Jon Krakauer discovered, Mortenson has not only fabricated substantial parts of his bestselling books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, but has also misused millions of dollars donated by unsuspecting admirers like Krakauer himself.
This is the tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong.
One hundred percent of Jon Krakauer's proceeds from the sale of Three Cups of Deceit will be donated to the "Stop Girl Trafficking" project at the American Himalayan Foundation (www.himalayanfoundation.org/live/project/stopgirltrafficking).
PRAISE FOR "THREE CUPS OF DECEIT"
"The truth matters. Jon Krakauer's takedown of Greg Mortenson's book "Three Cups of Tea" and the charitable foundation he built from it is devastating. It is not just the fascinating story of a huckster who took publishers, philanthropists, journalists, academics, and a gullible public for a ride, but a detailed trip into the slippery netherworld where what matters most is what sells, not what really happened." ÑMark Bowden, author of "Black Hawk Down"
"Packed with interviews and anecdotes that undercut Mortenson's image as a cheerful do-gooder, Krakauer's account of good intentions gone horribly wrong is a stunning example of investigative journalism." ÑPublishers Weekly
ÒKrakauer forcefully claims that Mortenson improperly used his charityÕs funds and failed to build all the schools he says he did.Ó ÑElizabeth Taylor, Literary Editor, Chicago Tribune
Kristen Iversen grew up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated "the most contaminated site in America." Full Body Burden is the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and--unknown to those who lived there--tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium. It's also a book about the destructive power of secrets--both family and government. Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what was made at Rocky Flats--best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions and discovered some disturbing realities.
Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book promises to have a very long half-life.
“Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. . . . We may ignore him at our own risk.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
With a new Preface drawn from the writings of Eknath Easwaran
In the annals of spirituality certain books stand out both for their historical importance and for their continued relevance. The Vintage Spiritual Classics series offers the greatest of these works in authoritative new editions, with specially commissioned essays by noted contemporary commentators. Filled with eloquence and fresh insight, encouragement and solace, Vintage Spiritual Classics are incomparable resources for all readers who seek a more substantive understanding of mankind's relation to the divine.
In this honest and irreverent memoir, she introduces readers to the realities of life as an aid worker. We watch as she manages a 24,000-person camp in Darfur, collects evidence for the Charles Taylor trial in Sierra Leone, and contributes to the massive aid effort to clean up a shattered Haiti. But we also see the alcohol-fueled parties and fleeting romances, the burnouts and self-doubt, and the struggle to do good in places that have long endured suffering.
Tracing her personal journey from wide-eyed and naïve newcomer to hardened cynic and, ultimately, to hopeful but critical realist, Alexander transports readers to some of the most troubled locations around the world and shows us not only the seemingly impossible challenges, but also the moments of resilience and recovery.
Brown’s story begins with growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Philadelphia and attending a predominantly white school, where she first sensed what it meant to be black, female, and poor in America. She describes her political awakening during the bohemian years of her adolescence, and her time as a foot soldier for the Panthers, who seemed to hold the promise of redemption. And she tells of her ascent into the upper echelons of Panther leadership: her tumultuous relationship with the charismatic Huey Newton, who would become her lover and her nemesis; her experience with the male power rituals that would sow the seeds of the party's demise; and the scars that she both suffered and inflicted in that era’s paradigm-shifting clashes of sex and power. Stunning, lyrical, and acute, this is the indelible testimony of a black woman’s battle to define herself.
“A glowing achievement.” —Los Angeles Times
“Honest, funny, subjective, unsparing, and passionate. . . A Taste of Power weaves autobiography and political history into a story that fascinates and illuminates.” —The Washington Post
“A stunning picture of a black woman’s coming of age in America. Put it on the shelf beside The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” —Kirkus Reviews
From the Trade Paperback edition.
During the heroic early years of the civil rights movement, Carmichael and other civil rights activists advocated nonviolent measures, leading sit-ins, demonstrations, and voter registration efforts in the South that culminated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Still, Carmichael chafed at the slow progress of the civil rights movement and responded with Black Power, a movement that urged blacks to turn the rhetoric of freedom into a reality through whatever means necessary. Marked by the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., a wave of urban race riots, and the rise of the anti-war movement, the late 1960s heralded a dramatic shift in the tone of civil rights. Carmichael became the revolutionary icon for this new racial and political landscape, helping to organize the original Black Panther Party in Alabama and joining the iconic Black Panther Party for Self Defense that would galvanize frustrated African Americans and ignite a backlash among white Americans and the mainstream media. Yet at the age of twenty-seven, Carmichael made the abrupt decision to leave the United States, embracing a pan-African ideology and adopting the name of Kwame Ture, a move that baffled his supporters and made him something of an enigma until his death in 1998.
A nuanced and authoritative portrait, Stokely captures the life of the man whose uncompromising vision defined political radicalism and provoked a national reckoning on race and democracy.
We long for heroes and have too few. Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013 at the age of ninety-five, is the closest thing the world has to a secular saint. He liberated a country from a system of violent prejudice and helped unite oppressor and oppressed in a way that had never been done before.
Now Richard Stengel, the editor of Time magazine, has distilled countless hours of intimate conversation with Mandela into fifteen essential life lessons. For nearly three years, including the critical period when Mandela moved South Africa toward the first democratic elections in its history, Stengel collaborated with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and traveled with him everywhere. Eating with him, watching him campaign, hearing him think out loud, Stengel came to know all the different sides of this complex man and became a cherished friend and colleague.
In Mandela’s Way, Stengel recounts the moments in which “the grandfather of South Africa” was tested and shares the wisdom he learned: why courage is more than the absence of fear, why we should keep our rivals close, why the answer is not always either/or but often “both,” how important it is for each of us to find something away from the world that gives us pleasure and satisfaction—our own garden. Woven into these life lessons are remarkable stories—of Mandela’s childhood as the protégé of a tribal king, of his early days as a freedom fighter, of the twenty-seven-year imprisonment that could not break him, and of his fulfilling remarriage at the age of eighty.
This uplifting book captures the spirit of this extraordinary man—warrior, martyr, husband, statesman, and moral leader—and spurs us to look within ourselves, reconsider the things we take for granted, and contemplate the legacy we’ll leave behind.
The teenagers who spontaneously launched sit-ins across the South in the summer of 1960 became the SNCC activists and veterans without whom the civil rights movement could not have succeeded. The Shadows of Youth replaces a story centered on the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. with one that unearths the cultural currents that turned a disparate group of young adults into, in Nash's term, skilled freedom fighters. Their dedication to radical democratic possibility was transformative. In the trajectory of their lives, from teenager to adult, is visible the entire arc of the most decisive era of the American civil rights movement, and The Shadows of Youth for the first time establishes the centrality of their achievement in the movement's accomplishments.
After sitting at the feet of Martin Luther King at the University of Michigan in 1963, Larry Brilliant was swept up into the civil rights movement, marching and protesting across America and Europe. As a radical young doctor he followed the hippie trail from London over the Khyber Pass with his wife Girija, Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm commune to India. There, he found himself in a Himalayan ashram wondering whether he had stumbled into a cult. Instead, one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, Neem Karoli Baba, opened Larry’s heart and told him his destiny was to work for the World Health Organization to help eradicate killer smallpox. He would never have believed he would become a key player in eliminating a 10,000-year-old disease that killed more than half a billion people in the 20th century alone.
Brilliant’s unlikely trajectory, chronicled in Sometimes Brilliant, has brought him into close proximity with political leaders, spiritual masters, cultural heroes, and titans of technology around the world—from the Grateful Dead to Mikhail Gorbachev, from Ram Dass, the Dalai Lama, Lama Govinda, and Karmapa to Steve Jobs and the founders of Google, Salesforce, Facebook, Microsoft and eBay and Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama. Anchored by the engrossing account of the heroic efforts of the extraordinary people involved in smallpox eradication in India, this is a riveting and fascinating epidemiological adventure, an honest reckoning of an entire generation, and a deeply moving spiritual memoir. It is a testament to faith, love, service, and what it means to engage with life’s most important questions in pursuit of a better, more brilliant existence.
As she grew up in 1970s Oakland, California, role models for Mary Williams were few and far between: her father was often in prison, her older sister was a teenage prostitute, and her hot-tempered mother struggled to raise six children alone. For all Mary knew, she was heading down a similar path.
But her life changed when she met Jane Fonda at summer camp in 1978. Fonda grew attached to the bright girl and eventually invited her to become part of her family, becoming the mother Mary never had. Mary’s life since has been one of adventure and opportunity—from hiking the Appalachian Trail solo, working with the Lost Boys of Sudan, and living in the frozen reaches of Antarctica. Her most courageous trip, though, involved returning to Oakland and reconnecting with her biological mother and family, many of whom she hadn’t seen since the day she left home. The Lost Daughter is a chronicle of her journey back in time, an exploration of fractured family bonds, and a moving epic of self-discovery.
The scion of a grand family that rarely went to church, Dietrich decided as a thirteen-year-old to become a theologian. By twenty-one, the rather snobbish and awkward young man had already written a dissertation hailed by Karl Barth as a “theological miracle.” But it was only the first step in a lifelong effort to recover an authentic and orthodox Christianity from the dilutions of liberal Protestantism and the modern idolatries of blood and nation—which forces had left the German church completely helpless against the onslaught of Nazism.
From the start, Bonhoeffer insisted that the essence of Christianity was not its abstract precepts but the concrete reality of the shared life in Christ. In 1930, his search for that true fellowship led Bonhoeffer to America for ten fateful months in the company of social reformers, Harlem churchmen, and public intellectuals. Energized by the lived faith he had seen, he would now begin to make what he later saw as his definitive “turn from the phraseological to the real.” He went home with renewed vocation and took up ministry among Berlin’s downtrodden while trying to find his place in the hoary academic establishment increasingly captive to nationalist fervor.
With the rise of Hitler, however, Bonhoeffer’s journey took yet another turn. The German church was Nazified, along with every other state-sponsored institution. But it was the Nuremberg laws that set Bonhoeffer’s earthly life on an ineluctable path toward destruction. His denunciation of the race statutes as heresy and his insistence on the church’s moral obligation to defend all victims of state violence, regardless of race or religion, alienated him from what would become the Reich church and even some fellow resistors. Soon the twenty-seven-year-old pastor was one of the most conspicuous dissidents in Germany. He would carry on subverting the regime and bearing Christian witness, whether in the pastorate he assumed in London, the Pomeranian monastery he established to train dissenting ministers, or in the worldwide ecumenical movement. Increasingly, though, Bonhoeffer would find himself a voice crying in the wilderness, until, finally, he understood that true moral responsibility obliged him to commit treason, for which he would pay with his life.
Charles Marsh brings Bonhoeffer to life in his full complexity for the first time. With a keen understanding of the multifaceted writings, often misunderstood, as well as the imperfect man behind the saintly image, here is a nuanced, exhilarating, and often heartrending portrait that lays bare Bonhoeffer’s flaws and inner torment, as well as the friendships and the faith that sustained and finally redeemed him. Strange Glory is a momentous achievement.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this poignant, powerful book, Deborah Ziegler makes good on the promise she made to her only child: that she would honor her daughter and carry forward her legacy by sharing their story and offering hope, empowerment, and inspiration to the growing tens of millions of people who are struggling with end-of-life issues.
The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
USA Today, “New and Noteworthy”
Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017
A Parade Magazine Pick
"This book is distinctly Coretta's story . . . particularly absorbing. . . generous, in a manner that is unfashionable in our culture."—New York Times Book Review
“Eloquent . . . inspirational"—USA Today
The life story of Coretta Scott King—wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist—as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.
Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.
As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.
Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.
From music journalist and former Spin and Vibe editor-in-chief Alan Light comes a biography of incandescent soul singer and Black Power icon Nina Simone, one of the most influential, provocative, and least understood artists of our time. Drawn from a trove of rare archival footage, audio recordings and interviews (including Simone's remarkable private diaries), this nuanced examination of Nina Simone’s life highlights her musical inventiveness and unwavering quest for equality, while laying bare the personal demons that plagued her from the time of her Jim Crow childhood in North Carolina to her self-imposed exile in Liberia and Paris later in life.
Harnessing the singular voice of Miss Simone herself and incorporating candid reflections from those who knew her best, including her only daughter, Light brings us face to face with a legend, examining the very public persona and very private struggles of one of our greatest artists.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
In the first comprehensive biography of Chavez, Miriam Pawel offers a searching yet empathetic portrayal. Chavez emerges here as a visionary figure with tragic flaws; a brilliant strategist who sometimes stumbled; and a canny, streetwise organizer whose pragmatism was often at odds with his elusive, soaring dreams. He was an experimental thinker with eclectic passions-an avid, self-educated historian and a disciple of Gandhian non-violent protest. Drawing on thousands of documents and scores of interviews, this superbly written life deepens our understanding of one of Chavez's most salient qualities: his profound humanity.
Pawel traces Chavez's remarkable career as he conceived strategies that empowered the poor and vanquished California's powerful agriculture industry, and his later shift from inspirational leadership to a cult of personality, with tragic consequences for the union he had built. The Crusades of Cesar Chavez reveals how this most unlikely American hero ignited one of the great social movements of our time.
In the tough, humane, and lyrical language that has typified his plays and novels, Soyinka captures the indomitable spirit of Nigeria itself by bringing to life the friends and family who bolstered and inspired him, and by describing the pioneering theater works that defied censure and tradition. Soyinka not only recounts his exile and the terrible reign of General Sani Abacha, but shares vivid memories and playful anecdotes–including his improbable friendship with a prominent Nigerian businessman and the time he smuggled a frozen wildcat into America so that his students could experience a proper Nigerian barbecue.
More than a major figure in the world of literature, Wole Soyinka is a courageous voice for human rights, democracy, and freedom. You Must Set Forth at Dawn is an intimate chronicle of his thrilling public life, a meditation on justice and tyranny, and a mesmerizing testament to a ravaged yet hopeful land.
From the Hardcover edition.
It was like a scene out of a thriller: one morning in April 2012, China's most famous political activist—a blind, self-taught lawyer—climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and escaped. Days later, he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, and only a furious round of high-level negotiations made it possible for him to leave China and begin a new life in the United States.
Chen Guangcheng is a unique figure on the world stage, but his story is even more remarkable than anyone knew. The son of a poor farmer in rural China, blinded by illness when he was an infant, Chen was fortunate to survive a difficult childhood. But despite his disability, he was determined to educate himself and fight for the rights of his country's poor, especially a legion of women who had endured forced sterilizations and abortions under the hated "one child" policy. Repeatedly harassed, beaten, and imprisoned by Chinese authorities, Chen was ultimately placed under house arrest. After nearly two years of increasing danger, he evaded his captors and fled to freedom.
Both a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, The Barefoot Lawyer tells the story of a man who has never accepted limits and always believed in the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.
The family of Rosa Parks share their remembrances of the woman who was not only the mother of the civil rights movement, but a nurturing mother figure to them as well. Her brave act on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955, was just one moment in a life lived with great humility and decency.
After the deaths of Rosa Parks's husband and brother, her nieces and nephews became her only family and the closest that she would ever experience to having biological sons and daughters. In this book, they share with readers what she shared with them about her experiences growing up in a racist South, her deep dedication to truth and justice, and the personal values she held closest to her heart.
From the Hardcover edition.
In 1965, Helen Gurley Brown, author of the groundbreaking bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, took over an ailing Cosmopolitan and soon revamped it into one of the most bankable—and revolutionary—brands on the planet. At a time when women’s magazines taught housewives how to make the perfect casserole, Helen spoke directly to the single girl next door, cheekily advising her on how to pursue men, money, power, pleasure, and, most of all, personal happiness.
In this retro romp that will appeal to fans of Mad Men, journalist Brooke Hauser reveals how a self-proclaimed “mouseburger” from the Ozarks became one of the most influential women of her time. Though she was married (to the renowned movie producer David Brown), no one embodied the idea of the Cosmo Girl more than Helen, who willed, worked, and flirted her way to the top. Bringing New York City vibrantly to life during the sexual revolution and the women’s movement, and featuring a rich cast of characters, including Hugh Hefner and Gloria Steinem, Enter Helen is the riveting story of a polarizing pioneer who bucked convention to define her own destiny, baiting a generation that both revered and rejected her.
Who was this man? A sterling philanthropist and educator, D. L. Moody was also the finest evangelist in the nineteenth century—bringing the transformative message of the gospel before 100 million people on both sides of the Atlantic in an age long before radio and television. Thousands of underprivileged young people were educated in the schools he established. Before The Civil War, he went to a place no one else would: the slums of Chicago called Little Hell. The mission he started there, in an abandoned saloon, in time drew children in the hundreds, and prompt a visit from president-elect. Abraham Lincoln in 1860.
But all this is just to begin to tell the life of D.L. Moody. Drawing on the best, most recent scholarship, D. L. Moody – A Life chronicles the incredible journey of one of the great souls of history.
That modest desire led her to a political activism fueled by the fearless idealism of the young. Her parents begged her to be prudent, but even they could not have imagined the horrors she faced in prison. She underwent psychological and physical torture, hanging on to sanity by scratching messages to fellow prisoners on the latrine door. She fought despair by recalling her idyllic childhood in a sprawling and affectionate family that prized tolerance and freedom of thought. After a show trial, Ghahramani was driven deep into the desert outside Tehran, uncertain if she was to be executed or freed. There she was abandoned to begin the long walk back to reclaim herself. In prose of astonishing dignity and force, Ghahramani recounts the ways in which power seduces and deforms.
A richly textured memoir that celebrates a triumph of the individual over the state, My Life as a Traitor is an affecting addition to the literature of struggle and dissent.
Starting with Ellison’s hardscrabble childhood in Oklahoma and his ordeal as a student in Alabama, Rampersad documents his improbable, painstaking rise in New York to a commanding place on the literary scene. With scorching honesty but also fair and compassionate, Rampersad lays bare his subject’s troubled psychology and its impact on his art and on the people about him.This book is both the definitive biography of Ellison and a stellar model of literary biography.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Harriet Tubman encouraged enslaved Africans to make the break for freedom and reinforced the potential of black freedom and independence.
Born in the United States and enslaved as a child, Harriet Tubman (circa 1820-1913) is one of the best-known figures connected to the Underground Railroad. Through her knowledge and outdoor survival skills, honed through her unpaid labour in the fields and through the later connections she made in the abolitionist community, Tubman was well poised to command her followers. By her discipline and example, she never lost a "passenger."
Tubman’s exploits helped to empower those opposed to slavery and enrage those who supported it. Her success encouraged enslaved Africans to make the brave break for freedom and reinforced the belief held by abolitionists in the potential of black freedom and independence. Referred to as "General Tubman" due to her contributions to the Underground Railroad and to the Union Army, Tubman’s numerous rescue missions ending in Canada helped to build the interest in escape and reinforce the position of Canada as the final stop on the journey to freedom.
Ted Williams was panhandling in December 2010 when a passerby taped him and posted a clip of his gorgeous radio voice on YouTube. The video went viral, and overnight, launched him—the homeless man with a golden voice—into the hearts of millions.
Since then, millions have heard pieces of his story: his successful radio career, his crack addiction, his multiple arrests, and his heartbreaking relationship with his ninety-year-old mother. But in A Golden Voice, Ted Williams finally puts all the pieces together to give an unforgettable, searingly honest account of life on the streets. Nothing is held back, as Williams takes the reader through prostitution, theft, crack houses, and homeless shelters in a search, ultimately, for redemption and hope. Along the way, we see his relationship with his long-term girlfriend, Kathy, grow into an unlikely and inspiring love story, and we hear the Golden Voice of God lead Ted from the selfishness of crime to the humility of the street corner—almost a year before he was “discovered” on that highway entrance ramp.
But this memoir isn’t just an exploration of wrongs and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to give homelessness a voice. It is a deeply American, from-the-heart comeback story about the power of hope, faith, and personal responsibility. With the innate charisma that has won him millions of fans, Ted Williams proves that no one, no matter how degraded, is too lost for a second chance.
With a swift bat and fierce athleticism, Roberto Clemente intimidated major league pitchers for eighteen seasons, compiling three thousand hits. His legs were among the quickest of his era. His throwing arm was one of the strongest, gunning down base runners from right field with incredible frequency. He would spend a career fighting for respect and finally achieve it after a historic World Series performance and a second half of a career that would have him mentioned with greats like Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle.
But what Roberto Clemente did off the field made him an equally great humanitarian. One of the first athletes who understood how the power of sports could be used to transform not just a handful of lives but many thousands of them, he would die following his heart and conscience by helping others. Clemente was on an aircraft loaded with supplies for an earthquake-stricken Nicaragua when the plane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Forty years after that tragic day, the widow and sons of this regal athlete and consummate humanitarian open up for the first time about the husband and father they lost. Featuring an extensive array of rare and never-before-seen photos of Clemente on the field and off, this powerful memoir tells his inspiring story from the voices of those who knew him best.
since I never had any. . . . I think slavery is the next thing to hell!” —Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman was born into the hell of slavery. For many years she was beaten and treated like an animal. But then Harriet began having strange dreams and visions—she saw a star, hidden pathways, and a line that separated slavery from freedom. One day, Harriet would find out just what these dreams meant.
Harriet stood barely five feet tall and was unable to read or write. But she outsmarted slave catchers, outran bloodhounds, and gave hope to millions of slaves. From Maryland to Mississippi, slaves knew Harriet as “Moses”—the deliverer who would lead her people out of slavery.
Paul Monette grew up all-American, Catholic, overachieving . . . and closeted. As a child of the 1950s, a time when a kid suspected of being a “homo” would routinely be beaten up, Monette kept his secret throughout his adolescence. He wrestled with his sexuality for the first thirty years of his life, priding himself on his ability to “pass” for straight. The story of his journey to adulthood and to self-acceptance with grace and honesty, this intimate portrait of a young man’s struggle with his own desires is witty, humorous, and deeply felt.
Before his death of complications from AIDS in 1995, Monette was an outspoken activist crusading for gay rights. Becoming a Man shows his courageous path to stand up for his own right to love and be loved.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the Paul Monette papers of the UCLA Library Special Collections.
Schweitzer is celebrated around the world as a European pioneer of medical service in Africa, a groundbreaking philosopher and musical scholar, and a catalyst of environmental and peace activism. Yet people most revere Schweitzer for his dedication to serving others and his profound and influential ethic of reverence for life. For Schweitzer, reverence for life was not a theory or a philosophy but a discovery—a recognition that the capacity to experience and act on a reverence for all life is a fundamental part of human nature, a characteristic that sets human beings apart from the rest of the natural world.
This anniversary edition coincides with several high profile celebrations of his 1949 visit, as well as the release of a new feature film starring Jeroen Krabbe and Barbara Hershey. In addition to a foreword by Nobel Laureate and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, this edition features a new foreword by Lachlan Forrow, president of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
In this monumental account of the life of Martin Luther King Jr., professor and historian David Garrow traces King’s evolution from young pastor who spearheaded the 1955–56 bus boycott of Montgomery, Alabama, to inspirational leader of America’s civil rights movement. Based on extensive research and more than seven hundred interviews, with subjects including Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, and Coretta Scott King, Garrow paints a multidimensional portrait of a charismatic figure driven by his strong moral obligation to lead—and of the toll this calling took on his life. Bearing the Cross provides a penetrating account of King’s spiritual development and his crucial role at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose protest campaigns in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, led to enactment of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
This comprehensive yet intimate study reveals the deep sense of mission King felt to serve as an unrelenting crusader against prejudice, inequality, and violence, and his willingness to sacrifice his own life on behalf of his beliefs. Written more than twenty-five years ago, Bearing the Cross remains an unparalleled examination of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the legacy of the civil rights movement.
After the fierce battles of the 1960s, Dr. Height concentrates on troubled black communities, on issues like rural poverty, teen pregnancy and black family values. In 1994, her efforts are officially recognized. Along with Rosa Parks, she receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
Among them are the man thought to be the model for Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, an advertising executive who photographs Thai bargirls for Playboy, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who moved there to die, a Catholic priest who has lived and worked in the Bangkok slums for 35 years, a circus dwarf turned computer programmer turned restaurateur, three Vietnam war helicopter pilots who opened a go-go bar, a pianist at one of the world's best hotels who ended up on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list, a gem dealer who smuggles antiquities from Burma and Cambodia, a detective who tracks runaways who fake their deaths, and a documentary filmmaker who lives with elephants.
All of them "escaped" to Thailand to re-invent themselves and live out their fantasies in one of the world's most notorious cities.
Jenny Brown was just ten years old when she lost a leg to bone cancer. Throughout the ordeal, her constant companion was a cat named Boogie. Years later, she would make the connection between her feline friend and the farm animals she ate, acknowledging that most of America’s domesticated animals live on industrialized farms, and are viewed as mere production units. Raised in a conservative Southern Baptist family in Kentucky, Brown had been taught to avoid asking questions. But she found her calling and the courage to speak out. She left a flourishing career as a film and television producer after going undercover and exposing horrific animal abuse in Texas stockyards.
Bringing to life this exhilarating transformation, The Lucky Ones introduces readers to Brown’s crowning achievement, the renowned Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary she established with her husband in 2004. With a cast of unforgettable survivors, including a fugitive slaughterhouse cow named Kayli; Albie, the three-legged goat; and Quincy, an Easter duckling found abandoned in New York City, The Lucky Ones reveals shocking statistics about the prevalence of animal abuse throughout America’s agribusinesses. Blending wry humor with unflinching honesty, Brown brings a compelling new voice to the healthy-living movement—and to the vulnerable, voiceless creatures among us.
As a black man living in a white-dominated world, author E. R. Braithwaite was painfully aware of the multitude of injustices suffered by people of color and he wrote powerfully and poignantly about racial discrimination in his acclaimed novels and nonfiction works. So it came as a complete surprise when, in 1973, the longstanding ban on his books was lifted by the South African government, a ruling body of minority whites that brutally oppressed the black majority through apartheid laws. Applying for a visa—and secretly hoping to be refused—he was granted the official status of “Honorary White” for the length of his stay. As such, Braithwaite would be afforded some of the freedoms that South Africa’s black population was denied, yet would nonetheless be considered inferior by the white establishment.
With Honorary White, Braithwaite bears witness to a dark and troubling time, relating with grave honesty and power the shocking abuses, inequities, and horrors he observed and experienced firsthand during his six-week stay in a criminal nation. His book is a personal testament to the savagery of apartheid and to the courage of those who refused to be broken by it.
Suu Kyi’s remarkable life begins with that of her father, Aung San. The architect of Burma’s independence, he was assassinated when she was only two. Suu Kyi grew up in India (where her mother served as ambassador), studied at Oxford, and worked for three years at the UN in New York. In 1972, she married Michael Aris, a British scholar. They had two sons, and for several years she lived as a self-described “housewife”—but she never forgot that she was the daughter of Burma’s national hero.
In April 1988, Suu Kyi returned to Burma to nurse her sick mother. Within six months, she was leading the largest popular revolt in the country’s history. She was put under house arrest by the regime, but her party won a landslide victory in the 1990 elections, which the regime refused to recognize. In 1991, still under arrest, she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Altogether, she has spent over fifteen years in detention and narrowly escaped assassination twice.
Peter Popham distills five years of research—including covert trips to Burma, meetings with Suu Kyi and her friends and family, and extracts from the unpublished diaries of her co-campaigner and former confidante Ma Thanegi—into this vivid portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, illuminating her public successes and private sorrows, her intellect and enduring sense of humor, her commitment to peaceful revolution, and the extreme price she has paid for it.
Structured around the 1968 Democratic presidential campaign, The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert Kennedy offers an in-depth exploration of Robert Kennedy, both as a man and a politician. Kennedy’s mass appeal to minority groups, his antiwar stance, and his support from Catholics made him unlike any other politician of his stature in the late 1960s. Acclaimed journalist David Halberstam dives into Kennedy’s career, covering his work as US attorney general and campaign manager for his brother John, his run for a New York state senate seat, and his candidacy in the 1968 Democratic presidential primary. Through this crucial period, he charts Kennedy’s evolution as one of the nation’s most clear-headed progressives, ultimately revealing a man who—even now—personifies the shift toward a more equal America. This ebook features an illustrated biography of David Halberstam including rare images from the author’s estate.
For nearly a decade, Matteo Pistono smuggled out of Tibet evidence of atrocities by the Chinese government, showing it to the U.S. government, human rights organizations, and anyone who would listen. Yet Pistono did not originally intend to fight for social justice in Tibet-he had gone there as a Buddhist pilgrim.
Disillusioned by a career in American politics, he had gone to the Himalayas looking for a simpler way of life. After encountering Buddhism in Nepal, Pistono's quest led him to Tibet and to a meditation master whose spiritual brother is Sogyal Rinpoche, bestselling author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Pistono not only became the master's student but also couriered messages to him in Tibet from the Dalai Lama in India. This began an extraordinary, and ultimately vital, adventure.
In the Shadow of the Buddha is a book about Tibet through the eyes of a devotee-a stranger hiding in plain sight. It's about how a culture's rich spiritual past is slipping away against the force of a tyrannical future. It's about how Tibetans live today, and the tenacity of their faith in the future in spite of dire repression and abuse. It's also about Pistono's own journey from being a frustrated political activist to becoming a practicing Buddhist mystic, a man who traveled thousands of miles and risked his own life to pursue freedom and peace.
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Rosa later attended the Alabama state teachers college high school. However, due to both her grandmother and mothers illnesses, she was forced to drop out.
Rosa became active in the civil rights movement along with her husband. She served as a youth leader for the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and she worked as a secretary to E.D Nixon, president of the NAACP through 1957.
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Nabeel had grown up in the late 1950s and early '60s in a large and loving family, amid the domestic drama typical of Iraq's new middle class, with his mother Sabria working as a seamstress to send all of her seven children to college. As his story unfolds, Nabeel meets his future wife and finds his poetic voice while he is a student. But Saddam's rise to power ushers in a new era of repression, imprisonment and betrayal from which few families will escape intact. In this new climate of intimidation and random violence Iraqis live in fear and silence; yet Nabeel’s mother tells him “It is your duty to write.” His poetry, a blend of myth and history, attacks the regime determined to silence him. As Nabeel’s fame and influence as a poet grows, he is forced into hiding when the Party begins to dismantle the city’s infrastructure and impose power cuts and food rationing. Two of his brothers are already in prison and a third is used as a human minesweeper on the frontline of the Iran-Iraq war. After six months in hiding, Nabeel escapes with his wife and young son to Beirut, Paris, Prague, Budapest, and finally England.
Written by Jo Tatchell, a journalist who has spent many years in the Middle East and who is a close friend of Nabeel Yasin’s, Nabeel's Song is the gripping story of a family and its fateful encounter with history. From a warm, lighthearted look at the Yasin family before the Saddam dictatorship, to the tale of Nabeel’s persecution and daring flight, and the suspense-filled account of his family’s rebellion against Saddam's regime, Nabeel's Song is an intimate, illuminating, deeply human chronicle of a country and a culture devastated by political repression and war.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this subtly crafted biography, the historian Lori D. Ginzberg narrates the life of a woman of great charm, enormous appetite, and extraordinary intellectual gifts who turned the limitations placed on women like herself into a universal philosophy of equal rights. Few could match Stanton's self-confidence; loving an argument, she rarely wavered in her assumption that she had won. But she was no secular saint, and her positions were not always on the side of the broadest possible conception of justice and social change. Elitism runs through Stanton's life and thought, defined most often by class, frequently by race, and always by intellect. Even her closest friends found her absolutism both thrilling and exasperating, for Stanton could be an excellent ally and a bothersome menace, sometimes simultaneously. At once critical and admiring, Ginzberg captures Stanton's ambiguous place in the world of reformers and intellectuals, describes how she changed the world, and suggests that Stanton left a mixed legacy that continues to haunt American feminism.
Award-winning journalist and former State Department speechwriter Rena Pederson brings to light fresh details about the charismatic Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi: the inspiration for Burma’s (now Myanmar) first steps towards democracy. Suu Kyi's party will be a major contender in the 2015 elections, a revolutionary breakthrough after years of military dictatorship. Using exclusive interviews with Suu Kyi since her release from fifteen years of house arrest, as well as recently disclosed diplomatic cables, Pederson uncovers new facets to Suu Kyi’s extraordinary story.
The Burma Spring will also surprise readers by revealing the extraordinary steps taken by First Lady Laura Bush to help Suu Kyi, and also how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton injected new momentum into Burma’s democratic rebirth. Pederson provides a never before seen view of the harrowing hardships the people of Burma have endured and the fiery political atmosphere in which Suu Kyi’s has fought a life-and-death struggle for liberty in this fascinating part of the world.
On a commuter train traveling from New Canaan, Connecticut, to New York’s Grand Central Station, a well-heeled white suburbanite reluctantly takes the only available seat and eventually strikes up a conversation with the black man sitting next to him. The white businessman’s verbal barrage of insensitive questions and offensive remarks incites a rage in his black neighbor that can barely be suppressed. But the offended rider is E. R. Braithwaite—former Royal Air Force pilot, Cambridge graduate, schoolteacher, social worker, diplomat, and bestselling author—and he has triumphed over prejudice and hatred throughout his truly extraordinary life and multifaceted career.
Against the backdrop of a short railway commute, E. R. Braithwaite powerfully recounts a personal history of remarkable accomplishments in the face of bigotry and hatred. Part memoir, part treatise on racial intolerance and oppression, and the ignorance that engenders them, Reluctant Neighbors is the unforgettable story of one man’s continuous struggle against injustice and his unwavering dedication to the pursuit of human dignity.
Plain Radical is a touching homage to a close friend and mentor taken too soon. But it is also an exploration of the ways in which an intensely local focus paired with a fierce intelligence can provide a deep, meaningful, even radical engagement with the world.
Drawing on first hand accounts as well as the nearly 3,000 pages of correspondence that flowed between the two men between 1988 and 2012, this book is about the intersection of two biographies and the ideas two men constructed together. It is in part a love story, part intellectual memoir, and part political polemic; an argument for how we should understand problems and think about solutions—in those cases when solutions are possible—to create a decent human future.