Books

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917 by Michael Punke

Mark Twain, who knew William Clark personally, said that “by his example he has so excused and so sweetened corruption that in Montana it no longer has an offensive smell.” With diabolical brilliance, Fritz married his knowledge of Butte’s geology with a pernicious mining law known as the Apex Rule. According to the Apex Rule, rights to underground mineral holdings...

On Critical Pedagogy by Henry Giroux

In spite of the professional pretense to neutrality, academics need to do more pedagogically than simply teach students how to be adept at forms of argumentation. Students need to argue and question, but they need much more from their educational experience. The pedagogy of argumentation in and of itself guarantees nothing but it is an essential step towards opening...

Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform by Derrick Bell

As had happened in the past, the law employing the vehicle of a major judicial decision offered symbolic encouragement to the black dispossessed. The substantive losses so feared by its white adversaries evolved almost unnoticed into advances greater for whites than for blacks. And a half-century later, as must now be apparent to all, the nation’s racial...

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

“I know now that a studied evasiveness has its own limitations, its own ways of inhibiting certain forms of happiness and pleasure. The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion. The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same...

Mortality by Christopher Hitchens

For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one. A good conversation is the only human equivalent: the realizing that decent points are being made and understood, that irony is in play, and elaboration, and that a dull and obvious remark would be...

All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks

Relationships are treated like Dixie cups. They are the same. They are disposable. If it does not work, drop it, throw it away, get another. Committed bonds (including marriage) cannot last when this is the prevailing logic. Most of us are unclear about what to do to protect and strengthen caring bonds when our self-centered needs are not being met. It still took...

The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell Books

This is a book I wish I had come across a decade or so ago. The unhappiness of men in relationships, the grief men feel about the failure of love, often goes unnoticed in our society precisely because the patriarchal culture really does not care if men are unhappy. When females are in emotional pain, the sexist thinking that says that emotions should and can matter...