New Books Network

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 between Philip Roth’s The Human Stain and Blis Broyard’s One Drop, though... Read More
Lester K. Spence, “Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics” (University of Minnesota Press, 2011)
Hip-hop has, within a short time span, moved from a free-flowing expression of urban youth to a global–and highly marketable–musical genre. Its influence in culture, fashion, film, and music is ubiquitous, and theories about hip-hop’s importance in the political sphere abound. But what, exactly, is the relationship between hip-hop and... Read More
Pierre W. Orelus, “The Agony of Masculinity: Race, Gender, and Education in the Age of the ‘New’ Racism and Patriarchy” (Peter Lang, 2010)
In his new book, The Agony of Masculinity: Race, Gender, and Education in the Age of the “New” Racism and Patriarchy (Peter Lang, 2010), Pierre Orelus analyzes the “heartfelt stories of fifty men of African descent who vary in age, social class, family status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, and ability”... Read More
Dave Zirin, “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World” (Haymarket Books, 2011)
There are beautiful sports photos, and dramatic sports photos. There are sports photos that are funny, and others that are poignant. There are photos that capture athletic brilliance, and tenacity, and passion. But there are few images from the modern history of sports that have transcended the games, photos that... Read More
Ron Christie, “Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur” (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010)
In his new bookActing White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur (Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), former White House aide Ron Christie recounts the history of the pejorative term “acting white.” He traces its lineage from the present day through the Black Power movement back to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, unraveling... Read More
Scott Brooks, “Black Men Can’t Shoot” (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
With the NBA in the midst of a labor disagreement, players from the world’s premier basketball league are scattering in different directions to maintain their skills (and get paid). This past summer, a number of NBA players returned to their roots, so to speak, by playing in summer leagues in... Read More
Charles McKinney, Jr., “Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina” (UPA, 2010)
When I was an undergraduate, I noticed that there were certain books that seemed to be unavoidable (at least at my liberal arts college). They were assigned in many classes, and they were discussed in many others. Reading them seemed to be a secret requirement for graduation. These “liberal-arts essentials”... Read More