Category Archives: Nonfiction

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

Earlier this year, the media was full of stories recognizing and educating Americans about the Tulsa race massacre. Although the destruction of Greenwood (or Black Wall Street) was a particularly horrifying instance of racist violence, it was far from isolated. … Continue reading

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In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins

It’s been a while since I read a big serious theology book. Back when I was taking seminary classes, I read this kind of thing all the time, but now I tend to read books that are written for a … Continue reading

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The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

Earlier this year, I was completely swept up in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and that led me to want to learn more, so I picked up this new biography (and winner of the 2020 National Book Award and 2021 Pulitzer) by … Continue reading

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The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

In this new book, The Sum of Us, Heather McGhee. an economics expert and former head of the think tank Demos, argues that racism is bad not just for its targets but for the entire society. When white people seek … Continue reading

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The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

The proliferation of racism and of guns are two of the things that I find most worrying about U.S. culture today, so when I saw that Carol Anderson, one of my favorite writers about race in America, had written a … Continue reading

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Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath

A great deal of Sylvia Plath’s reputation is centered on her death and the mental illness that led up to it. Her work, and her personality through most of her life, ends up getting lost in the tragedy. And the … Continue reading

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Hidden Valley Road

From 1945 to 1965, Don and Mimi Galvin had 12 children, 10 boys and 2 girls. And 6 of the boys were diagnosed with schizophrenia, making the family a subject of interest to the scientific community and making life within … Continue reading

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X

In this autobiography (as told to Alex Haley), Malcolm X says “My whole life had been a chronology of changes.” Yet, too often, he, like so many historical figures, gets frozen in amber, depicted in a single moment in time, when, … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Nonfiction | 10 Comments

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

In 1972, Jean McConville, a Catholic mother of 10 in Belfast, was taken from her home, in front of her kids, and never seen again. This being Belfast in the 70s, her disappearance was assumed to be related to the … Continue reading

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Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times

My church has been doing a series of book studies over Zoom. Past selections focused on issues of racial justice, but this book by Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, took a wider view, looking at how to … Continue reading

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