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Back You are here: Home Reviews Books Recommended Reading: April 2011

Recommended Reading: April 2011

BookgenericBe inspired, motivated, challenged and intrigued by this month's selection of books.









10 April 2011

White Privilege
Paula S. Rothenberg
Worth Publishers
. Distributed in Australia by Palgrave Macmillan.

White_PrivilegeStudies of racism often focus on its devastating effects on the victims of prejudice. But no discussion of race is complete without exploring the other side—the ways in which some people or groups actually benefit, deliberately or inadvertently, from racial bias. This is the subject of Paula Rothenberg's groundbreaking anthology, White Privilege.

The new edition of White Privilege once again challenges readers to explore ideas for using the power and the concept of white privilege to help combat racism in their own lives, and includes key essays and articles by Peggy McIntosh, Richard Dyer, bell hooks, Robert Jensen, Allan G. Johnson, and others.

Three additional essays add new levels of complexity to our understanding of the paradoxical nature of white privilege and the politics and economics that lie behind the social construction of whiteness, making this edition an even better choice for educators.

Essential reading for any white or white-skinned person.






Essays on Muslims & Multiculturalism
Raimond Gaita (ed)
Text Publishing

Gaita-MuslimsSeptember 11, 2001 marked a change in Australian attitudes towards immigrants. The spotlight was on Muslims.

This collection of thought-provoking essays looks at multiculturalism’s successes and failures in providing a secure, well-integrated, free and fair Australia.

Philosopher and writer Raimond Gaita has gathered some of Australia’s leading writers in the field to examine an issue that goes to the heart of Australia’s identity.

Author and lawyer Waleed Aly examines the role that the media has played in anti-Islamic myth-making in popular Western culture.

Writer and researcher Shakira Hussein looks at how Australia’s immigration policy has changed the cultural landscape.

Geoffrey Brahm Levey writes on multiculturalism and terror and Raimond Gaita on ‘the war on terror’.

A thought-provoking collection of essays on Muslims in Australia and the country’s attitudes to immigration.

Palestinian Women
Fatma Kassem
Zed Books

PalestinianWomenPalestinian Women is the first book to examine and document the experiences and the historical narrative of ordinary Palestinian women who witnessed the events of 1948 and became involuntary citizens of the State of Israel.

Told in their own words, the women's experiences serve as a window for examining the complex intersections of gender, nationalism and citizenship in a situation of ongoing violent political conflict.

Known in Palestinian discourse as the 'Nakbeh', or the 'Catastrophe', these events of 60 years ago still have a powerful resonance in contemporary Palestinian-Jewish relations in the State of Israel and in the act of narrating these stories, the author argues that the realm of memory is a site of commemoration and resistance.

A powerful collection of stories by Palestinian women displaced from their homes and country more than 60 years ago.

The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Surveillance
Robin Tudge
New Internationalist
. Distributed in Australia by Palgrave Macmillan.

Global_SurveillanceSpying, once the province of the KGB, CIA and MI5, has become part of everyday life.

Governments routinely trawl our emails, CCTV cameras follow us on every street, while state databases of our DNA become larger all the time.

The No-Nonsense Guide to Global Surveillance provides a well-researched look into the history of surveillance and how the process is carried out today with the aid of technology and often, lack of express consent.

Sobering reading but necessary to stay informed of the many ways Big Brother can watch you.

Making Girls and Boys: The Inside Science of Sex
Jane McCredie
New South Books

MakingGirls_andBoysWhat is it that makes a person a boy or a girl? From our cradles to our graves, a pair of letters, either XX or XY, will define much of our lives. “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” will be the first label applied to us, the first thing said about who we are as an individual.

For every person in every society, gender has a fundamental affect on what we choose, how we live, and how we think about the world and how the world sees us. Sex is one of the most powerfully defining concepts that we have.

Of course, we assume that we know what this gender thing is: boys are boys, girls are girls. Sex is fixed, biologically determined, simple. But what if it isn’t?

As Jane McCredie moves from laboratories to café tables, trying to find out exactly what sex is, the picture becomes much more complicated. Evolutionary psychologists, transgendered people, children playing with trucks and dolls, hormone specialists – they all have different stories to tell about what makes us girls and boys.

These stories force us to stop and ask, ‘is it really so straightforward?’ Are we all really just stamped out in blue and pink? Leading us on a remarkable exploration of the ground where biology and culture meet, intertwine and ultimately blur, this book examines the new science which is helping us answer these important questions.

Showing that we are far from “opposite” sexes, Making Girls and Boys will challenge everything you thought you knew about men and women.

A well-researched book that challenges the sex and gender binary.


A Saving Remnant: The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds
Martin Duberman
The New Press
. Distributed in Australia by Palgrave Macmillan

Saving_RemnantBy the time their paths first crossed in the 1960s, Barbara Deming and David McReynolds had each charted a unique course through the political and social worlds of the American left.

Deming, a feminist, journalist, and political activist with an abiding belief in nonviolence, had been an out lesbian since the age of 16.

The first openly gay man to run for president of the United States, on the Socialist Party ticket, McReynolds was also a longtime opponent of the Vietnam War—he was among the first activists to publicly burn a draft card after this became a felony—and friend to leading activists and artists from Bayard Rustin to Quentin Crisp.

In this remarkable dual biography, the prize-winning historian Martin Duberman reveals a vital historical milieu of activism, radical ideas, and coming to terms with homosexuality when the gay rights movement was still in its nascent stages.

With a cast of characters that includes intellectuals, artists, and activists from the critic Edmund White and the writer Mary McCarthy to the young Alvin Ailey and Allen Ginsberg, A Saving Remnant is a brilliant achievement from one of our most important historians.

A fascinating biography of a colourful array of characters.



Books selected and reviewed by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief.

For details of where to send review copies, click on the Contact menu.





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