Seven Essential Quotes

In 2017, I hope to read at least 52 books I will attempt to review and capture in seven essential quotes

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...

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Seven Essential Quotes)

People like Larraine lived with so many compounded limitations that it was difficult to imagine the amount of good behavior or self-control that would allow them to lift themselves out of poverty. The distance between grinding poverty and even stable poverty could be so vast that those at the bottom had little hope of climbing out even if they pinched every penny. So...

The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region: Seven Essential Quotes

I read this book for debate on the 2015-16 debate topic, and it didn’t disappoint as a resource for some excellent impact cards. This litany of economic and political risks might be enough to cause observers to alter their long-term assumptions about Asia’s prospects. Yet there is a fifth risk to be mapped, the most dangerous of all: war and peace. How close is...