Archives de catégorie : Politics

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN de Pashtana Durrani

The remarkable memoir of Pashtana Durrani, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, who has pursued her passion for educating the “disappearing girls” of the remote, contested rural tribal regions amidst all the turmoil, violence and oppression that has enveloped her country – and her family – over a generation

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN
by Pashtana Durrani
with Tamara Bralo
‎ Kensington, TBD 2023
(via The Martell agency)

Pashtana Durrani was the first recipient of a grant from Malala’s Fund, and the founder of Learn NGO, an organization that was ruthlessly targeted by the Taliban. She conceived and developed a brilliant program for getting educational materials directly into the hands of girls and young women in the form of solar-powered tablets preloaded with lessons for grades K-12.
Pashtana escaped from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover and will soon be in the U.S., with a two-year residency at Smith College to continue her critical work for girls’ education. Malala wrote one of two letters to the U.S. government to petition for Pashatana’s safe evacuation to the U.S. Pashtana is a highly sought-after expert in the on-going international advocacy struggles, a figure of hope and promise for all those determined not to cede ground in the battle for women’s education and autonomy in Afghanistan and beyond. To get an idea of her passionate engagement and resilience in the face of despair, please watch this clip of an interview the weekend after the fall of Kandahar, which was her base, on UK’s Channel 4 (the same day she was also interviewed by CNN, BBC, NBC, ABC, the
LA Times and Washington Post):

The New York Times has reached out to her twice to write an op-ed, which she will be doing shortly. For quite some time Pashtana has been a go-to person for almost every major media outlet. Her work has been recognized by Amnesty International and the UN.
Just as Malala proved, the young women of Afghanistan – and the world – will be the fiercest, most effective fighters in this just cause and Pashtana is one of their most determined and articulate voices. She has been working on educating young women since she was 7 years old (turning down a full scholarship to Cambridge, so she could so she wouldn’t be cut off from her girls for several years was an inspired, albeit shocking, decision). Her story and her students’ stories are heartbreaking and inspirational and offer essential lessons about the realities of the world beyond our borders and how meaningful lives can be led amidst stunning adversity. And the critical issues regarding the (non)education of women in Afghanistan and across the globe are not going away soon. We will never be able to shed too much light on this brutal situation.

The co-writer on the project, Tamara Bralo, is an award-winning journalist who worked for BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera English, and spent years covering war zones around the world, including Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

ORT OHNE WIEDERKEHR de Mihrigul Tursun & Andrea Claudia Hoffmann

The first book worldwide by a survivor of the Chinese concentration camps.

ORT OHNE WIEDERKEHR
(A Place of No Return)
by Mihrigul Tursun & Andrea Claudia Hoffmann
Heyne/ Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, February 2022

Human rights organisations and governments speak of a crime against humanity, a « cultural genocide ». Mihrigul Tursun has repeatedly been a victim of Chinese efforts to totally assimilate the Uyghur minority. She experienced the so-called « re-education camps » in their indescribable cruelty, the physical and psychological violence, first hand. In a way that remains unexplained to this day, her young son died while she was imprisoned. Today, despite the threat that has not disappeared even in exile, she has the courage to speak openly about what she experienced and to describe from her own experience what the Uyghur minority in China has to endure. A significant eyewitness account that brings the reader closer to the people behind the news from China.

Uyghur Mihrigul Tursun, born in 1989, was imprisoned several times in the Chinese « re-education camps » of Xinjiang. During her detention, one of her sons died in Chinese custody under unexplained circumstances. On 28 November 2018, Mihrigul Tursun gave her harrowing testimony before the US Congress (Congressional-Executive Commission on China). She described the inhumane conditions and torture methods in the camps. In December 2018, Tursun was awarded the Citizen Power Award.
Andrea C. Hoffmann works in the political editorial department of the news magazine Focus and teaches at various German universities. Her books have been translated into 17 languages worldwide.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Mihrigul_Tursun.jpg

I’LL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS NOW de Stephanie Grisham

The explosive tell-all the Trumps don’t want you to read!

I’LL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS NOW:
What I Saw at the Trump White House
by Stephanie Grisham
BenBella Books, April 2021
(via Javelin)

Stephanie Grisham rose from being a junior press wrangler on the Trump campaign in 2016 to assuming top positions in the administration as White House press secretary and communications director, while at the same time acting as First Lady Melania Trump’s communications director and eventually chief of staff. Few members of the Trump inner circle served longer or were as close to the first family as Stephanie Grisham, and few have her unique insight into the turbulent four years of the administration, especially the personalities behind the headlines.
I’LL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS NOW
is a White House memoir like no other, written by someone no longer bound by the codes of spin, denial, and twisted loyalty that the Trump administration imposed on all its members. Here is a brutally honest, frequently funny, and always perceptive look behind the scenes of a White House that was in turmoil from day one.
After an early stint in the White House press office, Grisham moved to the East Wing to work for First Lady Melania Trump. This introduced Grisham to a whole new perspective on Trump World, and she soon became a devoted adviser to the first lady, privy to Melania Trump’s most candid thoughts on every imaginable topic and noteworthy events: Jared and Ivanka, Stormy Daniels, the first lady’s infamous jacket that read “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” and much more.
Grisham’s work for the first lady would lead to her appointment as the White House press secretary in 2019. As one of the few figures in the Trump White House to last all four years, Grisham shares her unfiltered view of the whole experience—from the early days when she was seduced by the glamour and power of Trump World to her quickly ascending career in a frequently toxic, dog-eat-dog workplace, to the pinnacles of her profession, where she soon faced the harshest lessons of flying too close to the sun.
Grisham’s memoir is also a personal reckoning from someone who was a true believer, tracing her dawning awareness of how the administration began to lose sight of its mission—serving the people—in its constant battles with the press and other politicians and, above all, in the unending internal drama that consumed a rowdy cast of advisers, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and the president and first lady themselves. It is a story that ends in tragedy with the events of January 6, 2021, the day on which Grisham was the first administration official to quit, a long-overdue severing of ties with the people who had brought her to the job of a lifetime but at enormous cost. It is an account in which Grisham spares no one, not even herself.
I’LL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS NOW is not just about politics or the White House. It is about loyalty and family, learning and screwing up, proud moments and monumental regrets, narcissism and humility, love and heartbreak, friendships and loss, and, of course, falling down and trying your damnedest to get back up.

Salacious and score-settling.” –The Guardian
Part giddy travelogue, part belated apologia, part petty payback, all personal-therapy session.” –The New York Times

Stephanie Grisham started at the White House on January 20, 2017. She served as White House press secretary and communications director from 2019 to 2020. She also worked as communications director and chief of staff to First Lady Melania Trump. Born in Colorado, Grisham lives in Kansas and Washington, DC.

BECAUSE OUR FATHERS LIED de Craig McNamara

The story of a young man coming to terms with his father’s criminal legacy and forging his own path to peace.

BECAUSE OUR FATHERS LIED:
A Memoir of Truth and Family from Vietnam to Today
by Craig McNamara
Little, Brown, May 2022
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Craig McNamara is “the son of the war’s architect,” Robert McNamara, who served as John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense and was responsible for the continuation of the Vietnam War. This memoir reflects on Craig’s adolescent struggles to discern right from wrong amidst a flurry of political escalation from his own father and anti-war sentiments from his peers, and eventually, what led him to embark on a lifelong journey of anti-war protest.
It is an intimate picture of one father and son at pivotal periods in American history.
Before Robert McNamara joined Kennedy’s cabinet, he was an executive who helped turn around Ford Motor Company. Known for his tremendous competence and professionalism, McNamara came to symbolize “the best and the brightest.” Craig, his youngest child and only son, struggled in his father’s shadow. When he ultimately fails his draft board physical, Craig decides to travel by motorcycle across Central and South America, learning more about the art of agriculture and the pleasures of making what he defines as an honest living. By the book’s conclusion, Craig McNamara is farming walnuts in Northern California and coming to terms with his father’s legacy.

Craig McNamara is an American businessman and farmer serving as the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation producing primarily organic walnuts. McNamara is also the founder and president of the Center for Land-Based Learning. He is the only son of three children of the former United States Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. He graduated from UC Davis in 1976 with a degree in plant and soil science, and lives in Winters, California with his wife and three children. 

WOKE RACISM de John McWhorter

Acclaimed linguist, New York Times bestseller and award-winning writer John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric, and offers a roadmap to justice that actually will help, not hurt, Black America.

WOKE RACISM
by John McWhorter
Portfolio, October 2021
(Writers House)

Americans of good will on both the left and the right are secretly asking themselves the same question: how has the conversation on race in America gone so crazy? We’re told to read books and listen to music by people of color but that wearing certain clothes is “appropriation.” We hear that being white automatically gives you privilege and that being Black makes you a victim. We want to speak up but fear we’ll be seen as unwoke, or worse, labeled a racist. According to John McWhorter, the problem is that a well-meaning but pernicious form of antiracism has become, not a progressive ideology, but a religion—and one that’s illogical, unreachable, and unintentionally neoracist.
In WOKE RACISM, McWhorter reveals the workings of this new religion, from the original sin of “white privilege” and the weaponization of cancel culture to ban heretics, to the evangelical fervor of the “woke mob.” He shows how this religion that claims to “dismantle racist structures” is actually harming his fellow Black Americans by infantilizing Black people, setting Black students up for failure, and passing policies that disproportionately damage Black communities. The new religion might be called “antiracism,” but it features a racial essentialism that’s barely distinguishable from racist arguments of the past.

John McWorther was recently on Real Time with Bill Maher and eloquently describes his point of view:

John H. McWhorter teaches linguistics, American studies, and music history at Columbia University. He is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and host of Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast. McWhorter is the author of twenty books, including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English.