Nonfiction Views: this week’s new non-fiction

Sorry, everyone, but I couldn’t get a full review this week. Coming back and forth to the Queen’s funeral took me too long. I read Neal deGrasse Tyson’s new book Star messenger and that was my intended feature. Maybe next week.

Anyway, here are some of the new non-fiction books of interest released today. See also the weekly commentary I do for the Black Kos journal featuring books of particular interest to BIPOC.

(I didn’t actually go to the Queen’s funeral. I didn’t even read about it or watch the cover.)


  • Abominations: Selected Essays from a Career of Courtesan Self-Destruction, by Lionel Shriver. A collection of the non-fiction writings of the novelist bringing together thirty-five works selected from her numerous columns, reports, essays and editorials for personalities such as Spectatorthe Guardianthe New York Times, Harper’s Magazinethe the wall street journal, speeches and reviews, and some unpublished pieces. Relentlessly skeptical, cutting and contrarian, this collection features Shriver’s piquant opinions on a wide range of topics, including religion, politics, disease, mortality, family and friends, tennis, sex, immigration, consumerism, health care and taxes.
  • American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America’s First Paramedics, by Kevin Hazard. Until the 1970s, if you had a medical crisis, your chances of survival were slim. A call to 9-1-1 can bring the police or even the local funeral home. But that all changed with Freedom House EMS in Pittsburgh, a group of black men who became America’s first paramedics and set the benchmark for emergency medicine in the world, only to have their history and legacy erased – so far.
  • Forbidden: why innocent people can’t get out of jail, by Daniel S. Medwed. Thousands of innocent people are behind bars in the United States. But proving their innocence and securing their release is almost impossible. A groundbreaking expose on how our legal system makes it nearly impossible to overturn wrongful convictions.
  • Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization, by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The black astrophysicist offers a new collection of science essays, but this time geared towards

    shedding new light on the crucial fault lines of our time – war, politics, religion, truth, beauty, gender and race – in a way that stimulates a deeper sense of oneness for all of us . At a time when our political and cultural views feel more polarized than ever, Tyson provides a much-needed antidote to so much that divides us, while passionately advocating for the twin tanks of enlightenment – a cosmic perspective and the rationality of Science .

  • The Big Solution: Seven Practical Steps to Saving Our Planet, by Hal Harvey and Justin Gillis. An engaging and accessible citizen’s guide to the seven urgent changes that will really make a difference to our climate and how we can hold our governments accountable for implementing these plans.
  • Cannibal capitalism: how our system is devouring democracy, care and the planet and what we can do about it, by Nancy Fraser. Marxist feminist theorist Nancy Fraser traces the voracious appetite of capital, following it from one point of crisis to another, from ecological devastation to the collapse of democracy, from racial violence to the devaluation of care work . These crisis points all come to a head in Covid-19, which Fraser says can help us imagine the resilience we need to end the binge eating.
  • Chaotic Neutral: How the Democrats lost their souls at the center, by Ed Burmila. This book traces the evolution (or devolution) of the Democratic Party from the New Deal era to Biden’s status quo bid and the pandemic, when, even in the midst of a national crisis, Democrats failed to failed to pass radical progressive legislation. It is a timely and, at the same time, timeless analysis that shows why Democratic politicians act like mavericks even when in office. Burmila pulls no punches when describing the Democrats’ brand of futile politics, but he also doesn’t pretend it’s all futile, instead laying out a powerful strategy for how the party could abandon its lesser of two evils strategy and come back. to driving.
  • The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser. The New Yorker reporters offer an ambitious and enduring story of the complete Trump presidency, from the chaotic start to the violent finale.
  • Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America, by Dahlia Lithwick. One of the nation’s leading legal commentators tells the gripping and heroic story of women lawyers who fought racism, sexism and xenophobia under President Donald Trump and won.
  • Lies by omission: algorithms versus democracyby Catherine DeSoto.

    A sharp and more hostile division is emerging in the United States. The change is documented by various polls, and the speed of change is alarming. There are certainly contributing factors, but one factor is unique to the contemporary era: receiving the majority of our information through social media experiences. Media algorithms and, to some extent, overt censorship, serve users curated content that is unlike what their neighbors are receiving. lies by omission brings together diverse perspectives on the causes and effects of divided information flows. Psychology and neuroscience, combined with some historical jurisprudence, are woven together to spell out the dangers of the modern social media experience. Importantly, the human response can be understood to be rooted in our psychology and neurochemistry.

  • Meme Wars: The Untold Story of Online Battles Shaping Democracy in America, by Joan Donovan, Emily Dreyfuss and Brian Friedberg. A groundbreaking investigation into the digital underworld, where far-right operatives wage wars against mainstream America, led by a masterful trio of media and tech experts.

  • We Are Proud Boys: How a right-wing street gang ushered in a new era of American extremism, by Andy Campbell. A gripping investigation into the nation’s most notorious far-right group, revealing how they created a new blueprint for extremism and turned American politics into a blood sport.

  • Nomads: the wanderers who shaped our world, by Anthony Sattin. Through millennia, Nomads explores the transformative and often bloody relationship between sedentary and mobile societies. Often overlooked in history, the story of the umbilical ties between these two very different ways of life presents a radical new vision of human civilization. From the Neolithic Revolution in the 21st century to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the great nomadic empires of the Arabs and Mongols, the Mughals and the development of the Silk Road, nomads have been a counterweight perpetual to the empires created by the power of human cities.

  • Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America, by Pekka Hämäläinen. Acclaimed historian Pekka Hämäläinen presents a radical counter-narrative that shatters the most basic assumptions about American history. Shifting our perspective away from Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, the Revolution and other well-known episodes of conventional chronology, it depicts a sovereign world of Indigenous nations whose members, far from being helpless victims of colonial violence, dominated the continent for centuries after the first European arrivals. From the Iroquois in the northeast to the Comanches on the plains, and from the Pueblos in the southwest to the Cherokees in the southeast, Indigenous nations frequently decimated newcomer whites in battle. Even as the white population exploded and settler land greed grew more extravagant, Indigenous peoples thrived on sophisticated diplomacy and leadership structures.
  • A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Unlikely Presidency of Grover Cleveland, by Troy Senic. Provided the book’s publisher, Threshold, publishes conservative books, here’s a biography of an under-explored president.
  • Faith, Hope and Carnage, by Nick Cave and Seán O’Hagan. Your musical offer of the week. Created from over forty hours of intimate conversations with Seán O’Hagan, it is a deeply thoughtful exploration, in Cave’s own words, of what truly drives his life and creativity.
  • This is what it looks like: what the music you love says about youby Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas. a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. But it’s also the story of a music pioneer who started out as a humble audio technician in Los Angeles, became Prince’s chief engineer for purple rainthen created other No. 1 hits, including “Barenaked Ladies”One week“, as one of the most successful record producers of all time.

All book links in this journal are to my online bookstore The literate lizard. If you already have a favorite independent bookstore, keep supporting it. If you are able to throw me some business, that would be appreciated. Use promo code DAILYKOS for 15% off your order, as a thank you for your support (a handful of ever-evolving new releases are already 15% off each week). We also collaborate with Hummingbird Media for eBooks and for audiobooks. The ebook app is admittedly not as robust as some, but it gets the job done. is similar to Amazon’s Audible, with audiobooks a la carte or a $14.99 monthly subscription that includes the audiobook of your choice and 20% off subsequent purchases during the month.



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