Last Updated August 17, 2016
City in a Park, by James McClelland and Lynn Miller, was reviewed in Ticket, a syndicated Montgomery County, PA newspaper. The review read, "Some of the book's most riveting chapters document the myriad — and at one point, the authors call it overwhelming — examples of art in parks and other public places. Learn about the eclectic variety of statues on Kelly Drive, monuments at Laurel Hill Cemetery, the 1876 sculptures at Memorial Hall (now the Please Touch Museum), the Rodin Museum, the bronze Charles Dickens/Little Nell in Clark Park, the Claes Oldenberg "Clothespin" at Penn Center, and the colossally bizarre Catholic Total Abstinence Union Fountain close to the Mann Center. The nearly 150 photos are one of the book's strengths.... pretty impressive."
Last Updated August 10, 2016
Israel's Dead Soul, by Steven Salaita, was reviewed in Vol. 18, No. 66 of Al Jadid. The review read, "Salaita continues his unapologetic campaign against injustice, analyzing the moral contradictions of Zionism that lurk behind cultural assumptions often accepted on American college campuses as part of their multicultural programs.... Salaita complements thoughtful insight with a sense of humor.... Israel's Dead Soul belongs in the backpack of every graduate student concerned with multiculturalism for its abundance of quotable citations, along with its blend of rage, touch of irony, and academic rigor."
Greening Africana Studies, by Rubin Patterson, was reviewed in the July 2016 issue of Contemporary Sociology. The review read, "Rubin Patterson has written a book that represents an ambitious, innovative, and important undertaking: the development of a sound rationale for linking the fields of Africana Studies...and Environmental Studies.... [He] speak[s] with authority on this matter like very few others..... What readers will find even more engaging about this book are the concrete steps the author develops for making his vision achievable and for supporting its rationale.... The author makes a convincing case that not only is there a need for these sorts of commitments in these communities, but that the return on those investments would likely be quite significant and greatly beneficial to students seeking to build meaningful careers and to communities seeking environmental and economic resilience. At a historic moment when the climate crisis, pernicious and rising levels of social inequality, and the call of 'Black Lives Matter' are converging, the thesis, evidence, and analysis contained in Greening Africana Studies are timely and reflect the kind of dynamic and original thinking we need."
Last Updated August 3, 2016
The Parker Sisters, by Lucy Maddox, was reviewed (along with another title) in the August issue of Choice. The review read, "Maddox focus[es] on the kidnapping of free blacks in the pre-Civil War North, illuminating a little-known but tragic aspect of antebellum US history.... Maddox demonstrates that the resulting furor can mostly be attributed to Northern reactions to the infamous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the acrimony between Maryland and Pennsylvania over fugitive slaves and the kidnapping of free African Americans.... Maddox ha[s] performed Herculean tasks by scouring newspapers, court records, and secondary works to bring to light aspects of slavery and race relations that often pass unnoticed in most accounts of life in the antebellum US."
"I Hear America Singing" by Rachel Clare Donaldson, was reviewed in the June 2016 issue of The Journal of American Culture. The review read, "This book corrects the oversimplified notion that the folk-music revival was a midcentury fad that peaked in the 1960s and then vanished forever.... Donaldson concludes her survey by making a satisfying, and somewhat convincing, case that folk music lives on within national and regional folk festivals, where the people who live the tradition continue to play and sing their music to small appreciative audiences.... For fans of folk music, Donaldson does an outstanding job of distinguishing the major players in the folk revival: her book serves as a handy who's-who guide to them.... This book is an education for those who were never quite sure how the folksong revival got started or what happened to folk music once its pop-music boom ended. Donaldson is a knowledgeable critic."
The Spring 2016 issue of Ohio Valley History featured a review of Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis by Robert Gioielli. The review read, "Gioielli offers a compelling addition to calls expanding the boundaries of the modern environmental movement. Leveraging extensive archival research and contextualized within the literature of environmental history, Gioielli's Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis presents a revisionary account of the environmental politics of American cities in the last decades of the twentieth century.... Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis offers an interesting experience—the beginning and end of chapters are informal and accessible, often focused on charismatic individuals and recounting exciting vignettes.... Gioielli persuasively re-unites movements and activism that others would tend to split apart."
The Gender Knot, by Allan Johnson, was reviewed in The New Social Worker. The review read, "Johnson is a nationally recognized sociologist best known for his work on issues of privilege and oppression, especially in relation to gender and race.... In The Gender Knot, Johnson's goal is to make readers believe in and want to change the patriarchy.... Johnson's opinions are well constructed and explained.... Reading this book will open some eyes and challenge us to be agents of change."
Last Updated July 27, 2016
Whisper Not, by Benny Golson and Jim Merod, was reviewed in London JazzNews on May 16. The review read, "[Golson's] account of an extraordinary career beginning in 1940s Philadelphia and ending in recognition as one of the music's most respected and influential composers, arrangers and instrumentalists.... [T]he book does indeed contain numerous nuggets of great good sense on subjects such as ballads...racism...and artistic development.... [I]ts best-written and most interesting account...[is his]...relationship with Coltrane, and fascinatingly details Golson's growing appreciation of jazz via exposure to the bebop experiments taking place.... Whisper Not is good, it is very good – thoughtful, eloquent, nuanced – and anyone interested in jazz in its heyday will be fascinated and gripped by much of what Golson has to say."
Klezmer, by Hankus Netsky, was reviewed in the July 2016 issue of American Jewish History. The review read, "'Jewish music' is, for many, Irving Berlin or Debbie Friedman, George Gershwin or Leonard Bernstein. Musician, scholar and historian Hankus Netsky broadens this perspective by sharing the rich and fascinating story of a unique genre of Jewish folk music, klezmer, in a particular Jewish community, Philadelphia. He makes the case that this music is more than entertainment or contemporary popular culture; it is the door to understanding a community's history, ethnic identity and sociology.... But Netsky does so much more: he writes an historical and musical love letter to his family as viewed through the lens of his and their personal stories, overlaid with socioeconomic studies of Jewish culture and musicology. With personal reminiscences, interviews, and just a bit of family gossip, Netsky creates a compelling and fascinating web of 'meises' mixed with scholarship, seen through the colorful recollections and memories of his uncles, their friends and cronies, his bandmates and, ultimately, his musical colleagues and historians.... a fascinating and vibrant welcome into the world of klezmer."
Mobilizing Communities, edited by Gary Paul Green and Ann Goetting, was reviewed in the August 2016 issue of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. The review read, "Mobilizing Communities brackets seven chapters of case studies that illuminate the effectiveness and challenges of implementing an ABCD [asset-based community development] framework in varying cultural milieus with an opening overview of ABCD practices in general and a closing summary of lessons learned from the case studies.... A major strength of this book, then, is the way the theoretical capaciousness of the ABCD framework is closely coupled to and bears up under the in-depth analyses by researchers and practitioners in several real-world case studies of communities, programs, and organizations. The book successfully answers its own framing questions around the applicability of its framework in a number of contexts."