New Books Network

Ellen Lewin, “Gay Fatherhood: Narratives of Family and Citizenship in America” (University of Chicago, 2009)
When anthropologist Ellen Lewin gave a preliminary report on her research on gay fathers, a member of the audience asked how she could write about such “yucky people.” Yes, that’s the technical anthropological term for same-sex attracted men who parent children. But here’s the punch line: the questioner was not... Read More
Naomi Schaefer Riley, “The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For” (Ivan R. Dee, 2011)
In her new book The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get The College Education You Pay For (Ivan R. Dee, 2011), Naomi Schaefer Riley, former Wall Street Journal editor and affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values, critically examines the tenure system. She believes “tenure .... Read More
Jerald Walker, “Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption” (Bantam Books, 2010)
Jerald Walker‘s critical autobiography, Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption (Bantam, 2010), is a sheer pleasure to read. A book-length series of vignettes, reflections that alternate between his present life (he’s currently an English professor at Emerson College) and his life as a wannabe thug and habitual... Read More
Roberto Avant-Mier, “Rock the Nation:  Latin/o Identites and the Latin Rock Diaspora” (Continuum, 2010)
In Rock the Nation: Latin/o Identites and the Latin Rock Diaspora (Continuum, 2010), Roberto Avant-Mier challenges the traditional historical notion of rock and roll and rock being the result of the converging of white and African-American musics only. Instead, he argues, the history of rock is replete with Latin/o culture.... Read More
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 book,White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native... 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 following the publication of Kitty Kelley‘s unauthorized book Oprah: A... 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. She’s likely to reply that she comes from Ireland, Africa,... Read More