Category Archives: Nonfiction

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matthew Desmond’s ethnographic study of the housing crisis among the poor in Milwaukee has won multiple awards, including the Pulitzer and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It’s easy to see why. Desmond lived in a trailer park and then … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 8 Comments

The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time

I’ve been an avid listener to On the Media for several years. I listened whenever I could when it was only on the radio, and it was among the first podcasts I subscribed to. And, right now, I consider it more essential … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 7 Comments

The Secret Life of the American Musical

Besides reading, one of my favorite things to do is to go to the theatre. So I was pretty excited to read this book about American musical theatre by Jack Viertel. Viertel has had a long career working behind the scenes … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 4 Comments

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation

In this slim book, Jeff Chang shares his perspective on various racial conflicts and controversies of the past few years. The word “Notes” in the subtitle is essential to appreciating what this book is. It’s not a comprehensive study of race … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 8 Comments

Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War

Thanks to the election, a lot of liberals are taking an interest in the plight of the rural working class these days. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and White Trash by Nancy Isenberg have been the subject of many a review and … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 19 Comments

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History

I first got into The Daily Show sometime in 2002. I had cable TV for the first time in my life, and watching the previous night’s episode at 7 pm while eating dinner became part of my typical evening routine. Like a … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 6 Comments

March: Book 3

The third volume of John Lewis’s memoir in comic-book form picks up with the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that killed four girls. As the head of the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), Lewis, along with fellow … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Novels / Comics, Memoir, Nonfiction | 7 Comments

Who We Be: The Colorization of America

This sprawling, ambitious book by Jeff Chang looks at the history of race and culture since the Civil Rights era. It’s a big topic—perhaps too big for a single book—but there’s a lot of value here. Chang focuses primarily on … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 4 Comments

The Discoverers

The Discoverers is the first in Daniel Boorstin’s “knowledge trilogy.” (The others are The Creators and The Seekers.) This book, more than 700 pages long in small type, describes the progress of the inventors and explorers of Western civilization, beginning … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 11 Comments

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

In the prologue to this short, but devastating history, scholar Carol Anderson explains her title in this way: White rage is not about visible violence, but rather it works its way through the courts, the legislatures, and a range of … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 25 Comments