Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunnWhat it is: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists (and spouses) Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's compassionate examination of the forces contributing to the decline of America's working class.
Chapters include: "When Jobs Disappear;" "Drug Dealers in Lab Coats;" "Homeless in a Rich Nation."
Media buzz: A companion documentary premiered at the DOC NYC Film Festival in November 2019.
A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution by Jeremy D. PopkinWhat it is: "A fresh, welcome new interpretation of the French Revolution" (Kirkus Reviews) written by University of Kentucky historian Jeremy D. Popkin, an expert on the era.
Why it matters: Popkin argues that the French Revolution served as a resonant test case for modern political thought, with issues like racism, sexism, and social welfare being openly discussed and debated.
Read it for: Profiles of lesser known figures like glazier Jacques-Louis Ménétra help contextualize the Revolution's impact on the lower classes.
A Girl Stands at the Door: The Generation of Young Women Who Desegregated America's... by Rachel DevlinWhat it is: an informative account of the women and girls who fought for school desegregation between the 1940s and 1960s.
Did you know? In many of the era's desegregation cases, including 1954's Brown v. Board of Education, female plaintiffs vastly outnumbered male plaintiffs.
Try this next: Janet Dewart Bell's inspiring oral history Lighting the Fires of Freedom collects interviews with black women who were involved in the civil rights movement.
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