Lessie B. Branch, “Optimism at All Costs: Black Attitudes, Activism, and Advancement in Obama’s America” (U Massachusetts Press, 2018)
Optimism at All Costs: Black Attitudes, Activism, and Advancement in Obama’s America (University of  Massachusetts Press, 2018) takes as its point of departure and central preoccupation the notion of “paradoxical ebullience,” by which author Lessie B. Branch means the optimism expressed by African Americans during the presidency of Barack Obama despite... Read More
Paul Offit, “Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information” (Columbia UP, 2018)
You should never trust celebrities, politicians, or activists for health information. Why? Because they are not scientists! Scientists often cannot compete with celebrities when it comes to charm or evoking emotion. Science is complex and often cannot provide the easy “soundbite” worthy answers that celebrities and politicians truly comprehend. Americans... Read More
Matthew T. Hora, “Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work” (Harvard Education Press, 2016)
How can educators ensure that young people who attain a postsecondary credential are adequately prepared for the future? Matthew T. Hora and his co-authors, Ross Benbow and Amanda Oleson, explain that the answer is not simply that students need more specialized technical training to meet narrowly defined employment opportunities. Beyond... Read More
Julie A. Cohn, “The Grid: Biography of an American Technology” (MIT Press, 2017)
Though usually a background concern, the aging U.S. electric grid has lately been on the minds of both legislators and consumers. Congress wants to ensure the technological security of this important infrastructure. Consumers want to find alternative ways of powering their homes and businesses. Whatever the deliberation, the grid is... Read More
Steven Alvarez, “Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies” (SUNY Press, 2018)
In this episode, I speak with Steven Alvarez about his book, Brokering Tareas: Mexican Immigrant Families Translanguaging Homework Literacies (SUNY Press, 2017). This book highlights a grassroots literacy mentorship program that connects emerging bilingual and trilingual K-12 students with college students from similar backgrounds. We discuss how New York immigration... Read More
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