Archives de catégorie : Current Issues

REIGN OF TERROR de Spencer Ackerman

An examination of the profound impact that the War on Terror had in pushing American politics and society in an authoritarian direction.

How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump
by Spencer Ackerman
Viking, August 2021

For an entire generation, at home and abroad, the United States has waged an endless conflict known as the War on Terror. In addition to multiple ground wars, it has pioneered drone strikes and industrial-scale digital surveillance, as well as detaining people indefinitely and torturing them. These conflicts have yielded neither peace nor victory, but they have transformed America. What began as the persecution of Muslims and immigrants has become a normalized, paranoid feature of American politics and security, expanding the possibilities for applying similar or worse measures against other targets at home. A politically divided country turned the War on Terror into a cultural and then tribal struggle, first on the ideological fringes and ultimately expanding to conquer the Republican Party, often with the timid acquiescence of the Democratic Party. Today’s nativist resurgence walked through a door opened by the 9/11 era.
REIGN OF TERROR will show how these policies created a foundation for American authoritarianism and, though it is not a book about Donald Trump, it will provide a critical explanation of his rise to power and the sources of his political strength. It will show that Barack Obama squandered an opportunity to dismantle the War on Terror after killing Osama bin Laden. That mistake turns out to have been portentous. By the end of his tenure, the war metastasized into a broader and bitter culture struggle in search of a demagogue like Trump to lead it. A union of journalism and intellectual history, REIGN OF TERROR will be a pathbreaking and definitive book with the power to transform how America understands its national security policies and their catastrophic impact on its civic life.

As a journalist, Spencer Ackerman has spent his entire career on subjects we would like to turn our heads away from. He broke the story of Homan Square in Chicago, and Dan Jones’ report on torture. Over the past 17 years, he covered national security and the war on terrorism as a staff reporter for The New Republic, Wired and The Guardian, as well as other publications, where he reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and a number of military bases, naval ships and submarines. While at the Guardian, he was part of the team reporting on Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s 2014 Roy W. Howard Award for Public Service Reporting, and the 2013 IRE medal for investigative reporting. Ackerman’s Wired series on Islamophobic counterterrorism training at the FBI won the 2012 online National Magazine Award for reporting. He frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN and other news networks. He has over 147,000 Twitter followers.

OPIUM QUEEN de Gabrielle Paluch

In OPIUM QUEEN, Gabrielle Paluch shines a well-deserved light on the previously untold personal history of a woman who was thoroughly ahead of her time, and who was at the center of global events that altered the course of history..

The Untold Story of the Woman Warlord Who Ruled the Golden Triangle
by Gabrielle Paluch
Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022

A fearless Burmese warlord, Olive Yang dressed, smoked, fought, and loved like one of the boys, rebelling against the confines of her gender from a very young age and later carrying on eyebrow-raising love affairs with a movie starlet, a General’s wife, and her own prison warden, amongst others. Beloved and revered by her soldiers, this trailblazing woman reigned over a powerful army that controlled the Golden Triangle from the end of World War II to the early 1960s, and infamously assisted the CIA in their plan to arm militias against Communist Chinese troops. Perhaps most fascinatingly of all, this female firebrand has largely been forgotten, relegated solely to the footnotes of history books. Until a few years ago, no one even seemed to know whether Olive was alive or dead. Determined to right this wrong, Gabrielle Paluch set out on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to find Olive Yang. What she found is, as they say, stranger than fiction.
Intertwining Olive’s story with her own quest to uncover it, Gabrielle Paluch raises difficult questions about the US’s covert intervention in Burma, which is largely to thank for the birth of the modern opium trade, delves deeply into questions of gender and sexuality, and takes a look at the complicated history of the nation now known as Myanmar, which remains in turmoil to this day.

Gabrielle Paluch spent six years living in Myanmar and Thailand, reporting on both countries for Voice of America, the LA Times and other publications. In 2016, she earned an MA from Columbia University’s Graduate School in Journalism and was an Overseas Press Club Scholar, awarded the H.L. Stevenson Fellowship for her groundbreaking reporting on female genital mutilation in Thailand. As an investigative reporter, Gabrielle has been a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Associated Press, Times of London, Newsweek, CNN, Al Jazeera, and many others. She was the last journalist to meet with Olive Yang before she died. In 2017, her obituary of Olive Yang ran in the New York Times Saturday Profile; it was selected by the Times as one of the 11 best profiles of a woman that year and was nominated for a Southeast-Asian Overseas Press Award in Feature Writing.

THE MIXED EXPERIENCE de Natalie & Naomi Evans

In THE MIXED RACE EXPERIENCE, the founders of the anti-racist platform Everyday Racism share their experience of growing up mixed race in Britain, how they continue to process, understand and learn about their identity and use their privilege to advocate for change, as well as addressing the privileges and complexities of being mixed race in Britain today.

by Natalie and Naomi Evans
Square Peg, February 2022
(via Mushens Entertainment)

In the last census, Britain recorded over 1.2 million people who identified as mixed race. 6% of children under the age of 5 identify as mixed race, a higher number than any other Black and ethnic minority group in the country. So, why is it so hard for mixed race people to navigate their identity?
Weaving in real life stories from people in the UK who identify as being mixed race, are in a mixed race relationship or are raising mixed race children, practical advice and research to dispel common myths and stereotypes, this book is for anyone who needs help navigating a world that still struggles to understand mixed race people. From what it’s like to grow up in a majority white area and handling racism in your own family to understanding colourism, navigating mixed race microaggressions and internalised racism, this book is a thought provoking, sensitive, challenging and deeply moving look at identity and belonging.

Natalie Evans is a 31-year-old Events Manager, an anti-racist educator, speaker and writer from Kent. She has managed various festivals and is currently the Events Manager for a new youth festival, which will launch in 2021. Natalie is of Black Jamaican and White British heritage and has experienced racism both overtly and covertly throughout her life. She grew up in white majority town before moving to Brighton in 2015. She has recently moved back to her hometown and reflected on her experiences of racism both growing up and in her workplace. She co-founded Everyday Racism in May 2020 with her sister Naomi, after a video of her confronting two men racially abusing a ticket conductor went viral on twitter.
Naomi Evans is a 37-year-old Head of Drama at a secondary school in the South East of England, an anti-racist educator, speaker and writer. She has been a teacher since completing her PGCE at the London Institute of Education in 2005 and has a wealth of experience in training and leadership within the education system. Naomi is of Black Jamaican and White British heritage and has experienced racism both overtly and covertly throughout her life. She is working to influence change in education to ensure the curriculum is not just taught through a white lens. She is also interested in the representation of parenthood in the UK since becoming a mother herself. She has been married for 10 years and is the mother of two young children.

LET THE RECORD SHOW de Sarah Schulman

Twenty years in the making, Sarah Schulman’s monumental LET THE RECORD SHOW is the most comprehensive political history ever assembled of ACT UP and American AIDS activism.

A Political History of ACT UP, New York, 1987-1993

by Sarah Schulman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 2021
(chez Dystel Goderich & Bourret)

In just six years, ACT UP, New York, a broad and unlikely coalition of activists from all races, genders, sexualities, and backgrounds, changed the world. Armed with rancor, desperation, intelligence, and creativity, ACT UP, NY took on the AIDS crisis with an infatigable, ingenious, and multifaceted attack on the corporations, institutions, governments, and individuals who stood in the way of AIDS treatment for all. They stormed the FDA and NIH in Washington DC and started Needle Exchange in New York; they took over Grand Central terminal and fought to change the legal definition of AIDS to include women; they transformed the American insurance industry, weaponized art and advertising to push their agenda, and battled—and beat—the New York Times, the Catholic Church, and the pharmaceutical industry. AIDS Activism in its complex and intersectional power, transformed the lives of People With AIDS and the bigoted society that abandoned them.
Based on more than 200 interviews with ACT UP members and rich with lessons for today’s activists, LET THE RECORD SHOW is a revelatory exploration—and long overdue reassessment—of the coalition’s innerworkings, conflicts, achievements, and ultimate fracture. Schulman, one of the most revered queer writers and thinkers of her generation, explores the how and the why, examining, with her characteristic rigor and bite, how a group of desperate outcasts changed America forever, and in the process created a livable future for generations of people across the world.

Sarah Schulman is the author of novels, nonfiction books, plays and movies. Her recent works are Maggie Terry, The Cosmopolitans, which was picked as one of the “Best Books of 2016” by Publishers Weekly, and a nonfiction book, Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair. Previous novels are The Child, Shimmer, Empathy, Rat Bohemia, People in Trouble, After Delores, Girls Visions and Everything, The Mere Future, and The Sophie Horowitz Story. Her nonfiction titles are Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia And Its Consequences, The Gentrification Of The Mind: Witness To A Lost Imagination, Stagestruck: Theater, Aids And The Marketing Of Gay America, Israel/Palestine and The Queer International, and My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During The Reagan/Bush Years.


For readers of White Fragility, an explosive book of history and cultural criticism, which argues that white feminism has been a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against Black and Indigenous women, and women of color.

How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
by Ruby Hamad
Catapult, October 2020
(chez MacKenzie Wolf – voir catalogue)

Taking us from the slave era, when white women fought in court to keep “ownership” of their slaves, through the centuries of colonialism, when they offered a soft face for brutal tactics, to the modern workplace, White Tears/Brown Scars tells a charged story of white women’s active participation in campaigns of oppression. It offers a long overdue validation of the experiences of women of color. Discussing subjects as varied as The Hunger Games, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the viral BBQ Becky video, and 19th century lynchings of Mexicans in the American Southwest, Ruby Hamad undertakes a new investigation of gender and race. She shows how the division between innocent white women and racialized, sexualized women of color was created, and why this division is crucial to confront. Along the way, there are revelatory responses to questions like: Why are white men not troubled by sexual assault on women? (See Christine Blasey Ford.) With rigor and precision, Hamad builds a powerful argument about the legacy of white superiority that we are socialized within, a reality that we must apprehend in order to fight.

Ruby Hamad is a journalist, author, and academic completing a Ph.D. in media studies at UNSW (Australia). Her Guardian article, ‘How White Women Use Strategic Tears to Silence Women of Color,’ became a global flashpoint for discussions of white feminism and racism and inspired her debut book, White Tears/Brown Scars, which has received critical acclaim in her home country of Australia. Her writing has also featured in Prospect Magazine, The New Arab, and more. She splits her time between Sydney and New York.