Last Updated May 25, 2016
Unsettled, by Eric Tang, was reviewed in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. The review read "Researching and writing Unsettled, Eric Tang could not have predicted the 2015 refugee crisis, which makes his work oh so timely. Tang spent fifteen years as a community organizer in the Northwest Bronx's refugee neighborhoods, and his experiences permeate the pages of the book. Importantly, though, the knowledge produced through this political engagement with the subject matter only intensifies the bite of his research. The book offers readers an evocative look into an earlier refugee crisis, that of the thousands of people who fled Cambodia at the conclusion of the Southeast Asian War.... Unsettled describes and sharply analyzes how Bronx Cambodians fared, while closely following one woman and her family for several years as they make their way in what the author calls the hyperghetto."
Illness or Deviance? by Jennifer Murphy, was reviewed in the May 2016 issue of the American Journal of Sociology. The review read, "The core question in this book is whether addiction is a disease that should be treated or a crime that should be punished. Author Jennifer Murphy digs into this by means of an institutional ethnography of a drug court and affiliated treatment programs to see how they define and deploy the concept of addiction. Her inductive, grounded theory approach weaves together observations of a drug court and affiliated treatment programs, in-depth interviews with staff and participants, and an analysis of court documents. The result is a fascinating case study in social constructionism that illustrates the continuing relevance of labeling theory and raises critical questions about the medicalization of addiction."
Suffering and Sunset, by Celeste-Marie Bernier, was reviewed online first in American Literary History. The review read, "[A] provocative, meticulously researched, multidisciplinary, and multilayered interpretation of the paintings and autobiographical writings of Horace Pippin.... Through extensive and ground-breaking archival work, she offers, throughout the book, intriguing and previously unknown information about Pippin's family history, including the likely identity of his mother and the misconception that Pippin was the grandchild or son of slaves.... Bernier presents an innovative recovery and repositioning of Pippin's written archive."
Last Updated May 18, 2016
Ball Don't Lie!, by Yago Colás, was featured in the Summer Reading issue of the Baltimore City Paper. The review read, "Yago Colás' book 'Ball Don't Lie' appreciates basketball's visceral appeal but it also takes the sport seriously and wades through the many assumptions and 'myths' of the sport with some assists from thinkers such as William James, Deleuze, and Nietzsche. Here, praise of teamwork over an individual's virtuosity is questioned (along with the very idea that the point of the game is to win) and controversial figures such as Allen Iverson are recast as 'insurgent[s],' and the recent Hall of Famer's infamous crossover move is described as 'beautifully ephemeral and deceptively magical.' It's a readable and endlessly quotable academic book—a rarity, really."
Out in the Union, by Miriam Frank, was reviewed in GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, Volume 22, Number 3, 2016. The review read, "Stretching from the 1960s to the early twenty-first century, [Frank's book] looks at LGBT people and issues within the setting of trade unions, workplaces, and labor organizing drives.... [It] provide[s] the reader with a big picture of queer workers, organized labor, and the complex relationship between the two.... Frank's arguments develop through the accumulation of individual stories. The stories are powerful... Frank's very readable survey provides many...important episodes in an intersecting queer and labor history."
Last Updated May 11, 2016
Ethnic Renewal in Philadelphia's Chinatown, by Kathryn Wilson, was reviewed in April 2016 issue of The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. The review read, "Beyond its descriptive discussions and lively historical documents, the book is one of the first efforts to systematically conceptualize 'ethnic renewal.'... This book enhances and complicates the understanding of spatial justice that applies to other marginalized urban space.... Wilson's book is timely.... [It] provides a toolkit for urban planners, activists, community organizations, and city governments, not only for Chinatowns, but also for other ethnic and minority communities."
The May 2016 issue of Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas, reviewed Envisioning Emancipation by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer. The review read, "[A] fascinating interdisciplinary study of the multiple meanings and uses of photography in the nineteenth-century African American freedom struggle.... [T]he images in this beautiful volume present an intimate portrait of the lives and labors of millions of black Americans who survived slavery.... Across the volume, the authors successfully bring together methods of analysis from both history and the visual arts to show how new styles of visual interpretation can enhance well-worn paths of historical research.... Willis and Krauthamer provide a valuable primer in visual literacy that models how photographs themselves can be read for fresh insights into the lives of people who are often mute in the documentary record.... The authors' skill at unlocking new worlds of meaning even from the most familiar photographs makes the book exceptionally instructive for both seasoned historians and students.... [A] stunning and revelatory book."
Chilean New Song, by J. Patrice McSherry, was reviewed in the Fall 2015 issue of the Journal of Third World Studies. The review read, "Chilean New Song, a product of several years of research conducted by J. Patrice McSherry in Chile, will have a significant impact on many of its readers.... The reader quickly moves from a rich, concise introduction to the rise of la nueva cancion, and its connection to social change, to the book's conclusion.... McSherry's discussion of la nueva cancion in Chapter 3 is exceptional. Here one can observe the process of blending folklore with an original composition.... Chilean New Song is a beautifully written treatise on the creative grassroots soul of Chile. The book also contributes to the literature on music and song as resistance, and to cultural and political memory studies."
Out in the Union, by Miriam Frank, was featured in a review essay in the Spring 2016 issue of International Labor and Working-Class History. The review read, "Out in the Union is the first historical survey of US queer labor history and is thus a major contribution to queer labor history as a field of study.... [Frank] uncovers a largely unknown history.... Because the study is packed with quotes and individual stories, not only does queer history appear more vibrant, but it is also more nuanced than it might have been otherwise... Frank is to be commended for including the experiences of lesbian and transgender workers.... [A]n excellent and thoroughly researched study that deserves a wide readership."