May 3, 2016

Book Reviews April 2016

by Marius Mason (Marie Mason)


April 2016 Book Reviews by Marius Mason

Angels with Dirty Faces by Waldish Imarisha.
An amazing in-depth and personal interview of two politicized (but not political) prisoners who are hard cases to deal with as prison abolitionists. Ms. Imarisha does not shrink from asking the toughest questions and bravely goes into the grey area. She also compares this uneasy territory with how we view rape and sexual assault by talking about her own experiences seeking accountability, healing, and restoration as opposed to punishment and isolation. A brave book. She's a great writer.

We Are Your Sons (about the Rosenberg trial and their children's lives).
I am always so grateful to the Rosenberg's Children's Fund that has helped my kids come visit me here. The book was full of their letters. Great investigative history, strong observations about correlations between times in this country's history where hysteria won out over reason and humanity. The book is a loving tribute to their parents, but you can see through the lives of the children, what courage and values were instilled, even if their time was so cruelly cut short.

The New American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs, a Detroit native and powerhouse.
Her project, Detroit Summer, is an immense, intergenerational, and interracial collaboration that has built a stronger community in the city and helped a lot of people reconnect. The book sets out to connect the vision of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. to the present problems of unemployment, discrimination, and food insecurity. Interesting essays on history and shifting the paradigm from a former dependence on a centralized authority (whether corporate or governmental) to a grassroots Democratic decision-making community that seeks to identify real needs and provide local solutions. Ms. Boggs is so clearly motivated by a genuine love and hope, and her words are insightful and motivate to action. She passed just recently, but her legacy, her life's work, will continue to be celebrated.

Melting Away: A 10 Year Journey Between the Poles by Camille Seaman.
What a beautiful and heartbreaking book, one I wish I could send to all my friends. Rare view in photos of the changes caused by global warming at the poles, and of the harsh, magical light and beauty of these extreme places at the tips of the world. Ms. Seaman has made such a sacrifice in her life to bring this experience to the rest of the world. She writes movingly and eloquently about her own history and how she was taught by her Native grandmother that the water makes up our bodies is always cycling into and out of the world around us—that we are literally part of the world and it is part of us. She has overcome such personal pain and gone on this dangerous quest to bring back something priceless: real wisdom and a message we need to hear. Please read this book.


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