Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Review: Stumbling Over Truth: The Inside Story and the ‘Sexed Up’ Dossier, Hutton and the BBC by Kevin Marsh

Book Review: War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by David Patrikarakos

Book Review: The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap by Yasemin Besen-Cassino

Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

Book Review: Border Watch: Cultures of Immigration, Detention and Control by Alexandra Hall

Book Review: 'Texas Fandango' by Cynthia D’Alba


Book Review: 'My Biggest Fan' by Lea Bronsen


Book Review: 'Caribbean Crush' by Jenna Bayley-Burke


Book Review: 'Geek Games' by Margaret Fieland


Book Review: 'Yucatan Dead' by D.V. Berkom


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Book Review: Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of The Visual in Political Struggle by Lina Khatib

Book Review: Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography by Sanjeev Sanyal

Book Review: The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction by Nate Silver

Book Review: Poverty and Insecurity: Life in Low-Pay, No Pay Britain by Tracy Shildrick et al

Book Review: 'The Trials of Phillis Wheatley' by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Phillis Wheatley: The Slave Girl `Favored by the Muses’

By Bonnie James
America’s First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding FathersHenry Louis Gates, Jr.Basic Civitas Books, 2003, 129 pages
Phillis Wheatley is perhaps the most fascinating and thought-provoking American you never heard of.
She arrived in Boston on July 11, 1761, at about age 7, but not in the ordinary way that immigrants were coming to the New World at that time. She was brought here alone, “a slender frail female child,” from the West Coast of Africa, or perhaps the islands off the coast of Guinea, aboard a slave schooner, the Phillis, and soon after, was purchased by Mrs. Susanna Wheatley, whose husband John was a prosperous tailor and merchant. Mrs. Wheatley was shopping for a house servant. The girl-child she selected was described as “naked” but for “a quantity of dirty carpet about her like a filibeg.”[1] Yet, over the course of her brief life, Phillis would come to know and be recognized by some of the most exalted personages of the Revolutionary period.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, chair of the Department of Afro-American Studies, and W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, begins his account of this extraordinary individual with a gripping rendition of her interrogation by Boston’s most stellar citizens, in October of 1772, about 11 years after she had arrived. As Gates notes, the details of the event were either not recorded, or have been lost to history, so he imagines how it might have unfolded. As he tells the story: