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What has made anti-black violence such a predominant feature of life not only in the U.S. but around the world? Why does race seem to color almost every feature of our moral and political universe? How does slavery, in all of its cultural, intellectual, and other modern forms, continue to define the African American experience? Frank B. Wilderson explores those questions in his book Afropessimism, which the University of California, Irvine, professor discusses in a special, two-part online Library event.
Germany’s defeat in World War II was inevitable by late 1943, but Adolf Hitler supposedly had an audacious plan for softening the final terms: dispatching a team of hand-picked Nazi commandos to Iran to kill Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin, then hoping for less hard-line replacements.
We’ve been beguiled over the past decade by a romanticized, Silicon Valley-inspired take on entrepreneurship, glorifying its practitioners as daring dreamers and heroes who’ve revved innovation and invented the future. But startup failure is an all-too-common truth.
Can the U.S. and other coronavirus-ravaged countries take a cue from individuals in crisis and follow their own 12-step path to recovery? Jared Diamond, one of America’s most celebrated scholars, says the answer is yes. In a discussion drawing from his book Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, the Pulitzer Prize and National Medal of Science winner from UCLA looks at how and why some nations through history have recuperated from trauma and others haven’t. As with people, success lies in taking responsibility for problems, seeking and accepting help, and being open to change.
Francis Glessner Lee seemed an unlikely candidate to become the early 20th-century godmother of forensic science. But she had a bent for science and an obsession for getting the bottom of suspicious deaths. Bruce Goldfarb, a former journalist who’s now executive assistant to the chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland, spotlights her improbable life and work in his newly released 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics. He joins Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, in a discussion of the book.
Feminism’s ultimate breakthrough remains elusive. America again will not elect a woman as president in 2020, despite the initial promise in a crowded field of Democratic candidates, underscoring the questions and challenges facing the feminist cause.
Jean Becker, Neil Bush, Lauren Bush Lauren, Ashley Walker Bush
Family members and other close associates share what they learned from late first lady Barbara Bush in the newly released Pearls of Wisdom: Little Pieces of Advice (That Go a Long Way). Bush’s ghostwriter and longtime aide, Jean Becker, discusses the book and its remarkable author. She will be joined in the online presentation by Bush’s son, Neil Bush, and his daughters Lauren Bush Lauren and Ashley Walker Bush.
In an online discussion of his new book,What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues, author Clifford Thompson discusses his interviews with a small but varied group of Americans from whom he heard sharply divergent opinions about what is happening in the country and how those views shaped his own.
Perhaps no one took more meaning from the advent of the automobile—and its promise of freedom and adventure, power and self-expression—than African Americans. With the aid of the famed Green Book and other travel guides, black-only businesses, and informal communication networks, they could navigate the mid-20th century’s Jim Crow landscape.