Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston (Historical Folk Memoir, 2018). Zora Neale Hurston was one of the bright lights in the flowering of African-American culture centered in Harlem in the 1920s. An acclaimed novelist, antropologist and folklorist, she published numerous short stories, nonfiction articles, essays and seven books in her […]Read more "REVIEWED: Barracoon"
Bringing Columbia Home by Michael D. Leinbach & Jonathan H. Ward, with foreword by Robert Crippen and epilogue by Eileen Collins (Nonfiction, 2018). Some 15 years ago, the space shuttle Columbia’s damaged heatshield led to a disastrous and deadly breakup after reentering Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts were killed and a grim debris field spread along a 250-mile […]Read more "REVIEWED: Bringing Columbia Home"
Mothers of Massive Resistance by Elizabeth Gillespie McRae (History/Politics/White Supremacy Movements, 2018). Massive Resistance is the term social scientists usually give for how some white Americans sought to oppose racial desegregation, especially in the South in the 1950s and ’60s. The usual focus of scholarly and/or academic studies of this history is on the activities of […]Read more "REVIEWED: Mothers of Massive Resistance"
The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst (Contemporary Novel, 2017). This novel focuses on an multi-racial family struggling to deal with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The disaster exaggerates and forces them to confront underlying tensions and issues none of them are eager to admit to, let alone confront. Tess, the mother, is a wealthy white […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Floating World"
A Hiss Before Dying by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (Cat Detective Novel, 2017). Yes, our favorite feline co-author and her human helper are at it again. The title is, of course, a playful pun on a classic hardboiled mystery novel (shame on you for two weeks, if you can’t puzzle out which one). […]Read more "REVIEWED: A HISS BEFORE DYING"
Be Free Or Die by Cate Lineberry (Nonfiction/Civil War History, 2017). About a year into America’s Civil War, a enslaved man named Robert Smalls made an epic break for freedom from that hotbed of succession, Charleston, South Carolina. A skilled boatman and born leader, he was by this time the de facto pilot of a steamer […]Read more "REVIEWED: Be Free Or Die"
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. (Historical Novel/Classic Literature, 1852). This anti-slavery epic from shortly before the American Civil War is of great historical significance (Lincoln himself claimed that it played a major part in bringing on the war itself). It was certainly in its time an influential and controversial book. Yet as a famous […]Read more "REVIEWED: Uncle Tom’s Cabin"