Erica Prussing, “White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native American Community” (University of Arizona Press, 2011)
For the past half century, Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step recovery program has been the dominant method for treating alcohol abuse in the United States. Reservation communities have been no exception. But as Erica Prussing vividly describes in her new… Read More
Kitty Kelley, “Oprah: A Biography” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)
When she emerged triumphant in a legal battle with the Texas beef industry, Oprah Winfrey took to the steps of the Amarillo court house and declared: “Free speech rocks!” She was likely a little less enthusiastic about the First Amendment… Read More
Colin Woodward, “American Nations: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” (Viking, 2011)
Europeans like to say that “America” (aka the “United States”) is not a nation. They are right and wrong. It’s true that Americans come from all over the place, unlike, say, Germans. Just ask an American where she comes from.… Read More
Charles J. Shields, “And So It Goes. Kurt Vonnegut, A Life” (Henry Holt, 2011)
The public image of Kurt Vonnegut is that of a crusty, irascible old man. Someone with whom one would want to drink, but never ever fall in love. The Vonnegut we meet in Charles J. Shields’s insightful new biography, And Read More
Daniel Sharfstein, “The Invisible line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White” (Penguin, 2011)
Daniel Sharfstein‘s The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin Press, 2011) is the latest and perhaps best book in the growing genre of neo-passing narratives. The Invisible Line easily rests… Read More
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