Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner
This is the story of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado. Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him the work of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention, she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy, and they fell in love.Their connection persisted, and Jessica helped Kennedy to escape political violence and fulfill his lifelong dream of an education, at Wesleyan University.
Combining intimate storytelling with investigative journalism, City of Thorns takes us inside Dadaab, the world's biggest and most notorious refugee camp, through the stories of the people who live there. For readers of Behind the Beautiful Forevers and What Is the What. To charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it's a "nursery for terrorists"; to the western media, it's a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, in the midst of the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of the individuals who have sought sanctuary in the camp. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for soccer; Nisho, who scrapes together an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. With deep compassion and rare eloquence, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with profound international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.
Peace was a talented young African-American man who escaped the slums of Newark for Yale University, only to succumb to the dangers of the streets -- and of one's own nature -- when he returned home. When Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with Peace, his college roommate for four years. Peace's life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, and he carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, "fronting" in Yale and at home. Through an honest rendering of Peace's relationships, Hobbs examines the collision of two fiercely insular worlds.
1948: As Jewish refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, struggle toward the new State of Israel, Arab refugees are fleeing, many under duress. Sixty years later, the memory of trauma has shaped both peoples' collective understanding of who they are.
After a war, the victors write history. How was the story of the exiled Palestinians erased – from textbooks, maps, even the land? How do Jewish and Palestinian Israelis now engage with the histories of the Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe") and the Holocaust, and how do these echo through the political and physical landscapes of their country?
Vividly narrated, with extensive original interview material, Contested Land, Contested Memory examines how these tangled histories of suffering inform Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli lives today, and frame Israel's possibilities for peace.
Chronicles a little-known court case in which Thurgood Marshall successfully saved a black citrus worker from the electric chair after the worker was accused of raping a white woman with three other black men.
In the Fall of 2003, as Iraq descended into Civil War, Annia Ciezadlo spent her honeymoon in Baghdad. For the next six years, she lived in Baghdad and Beirut, where she dodged bullets during sectarian street battles, chronicled the Arab world’s first peaceful revolution, and watched Hezbollah commandos invade her Beirut neighborhood. Throughout all of it, she broke bread with Sunnis and Shiites, warlords and refugees, matriarchs and mullahs. Day of Honey is her story of the hunger for food and friendship during wartime—a communion that feeds the soul as much as the body.
Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
Mohammed Dar and his three brothers were born in a boat on a lake in Kashmir, a place of exquisite beauty that was to become a war zone and nuclear flashpoint. This work tells their story of living through the destruction of their adored homeland.
Thomas L. Friedman
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the astonishing expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is "hot, flat, and crowded." Already the earth is being affected in ways that threaten to make it dangerously unstable. In vivid, entertaining chapters, Friedman makes it clear that the green revolution we need is like no revolution the world has seen. It will be the biggest innovation project in American history; it will be hard, not easy; and it will change everything from what you put into your car to what you see on your electric bill. But the payoff for America will be more than just cleaner air. It will inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time -- nation-building in America -- by summoning the intelligence, creativity, boldness, and concern for the common good that are our nation's greatest natural resources.
The rise and fall of ancient Rome has been on American minds from the beginning of our Republic. Depending on who's doing the talking, the history of Rome serves either as a triumphal call to action, or a dire warming of imminent collapse. Esteemed editor and author Murphy ventures past the pundits' rhetoric to draw nuanced lessons about how we might avoid Rome's demise. Working on a canvas that extends far beyond the issue of an overstretched military, Murphy reveals a wide array of similarities between the two empires: the blinding, insular culture of our capitals; the debilitating effect of corruption; the paradoxical issue of borders; and the weakening of the body politic through various forms of "privatization." Most pressingly, he argues that we most resemble Rome in the burgeoning corruption of our government and in our arrogant ignorance of the world outside--two things that are in our power to change.
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
One man's campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia: in 1993 Greg Mortenson was an American mountain-climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan's Karakoram. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of a Pakistani village, he promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time--Mortenson's one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban. In a region where Americans are often feared and hated, he has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself--at last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools.
An account of the first great human rights crusade, which originated in England in the 1780s and resulted in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of slaves around the world. In 1787, twelve men gathered in a London printing shop to pursue a seemingly impossible goal: ending slavery in the largest empire on earth. Along the way, they would pioneer most of the tools citizen activists still rely on today, from wall posters and mass mailings to boycotts and lapel pins. Within five years, more than 300,000 Britons were refusing to eat the chief slave-grown product, sugar; London's smart set was sporting antislavery badges created by Josiah Wedgwood; and the House of Commons had passed the first law banning the slave trade. The activists brought slavery in the British Empire to an end in the 1830s, long before it died in the United States.