Author Bob Goldstein - Discrediting the Red Scare
Robert Justin Goldstein is emeritus professor of political science at Oakland University. His many books include Flag Burning and Free Speech: The Case of Texas v. Johnson and American Blacklist: The Attorney General s List of Subversive Organizations, both from Kansas.
During the Allies invasion of Italy in the thick of World War II, American soldier James Kutcher was hit by a German mortar shell and lost both of his legs. Back home, rehabilitated and given a job at the Veterans Administration, he was soon to learn that his battles were far from over. In 1948, in the throes of the post-war Red Scare, the hysteria over perceived Communist threats that marked the Cold War, the government moved to fire Kutcher because of his membership in a small, left-wing group that had once espoused revolutionary sentiments. Kutcher's eight-year legal odyssey to clear his name and assert his First Amendment rights, described in full for the first time in this book, is at once a cautionary tale in a new period of patriotic one-upmanship, and a story of tenacious patriotism in its own right.
The son of Russian immigrants, James Kutcher came of age during the Great Depression. Robbed of his hope of attending college or finding work of any kind, he joined the Socialist Workers Party, left-wing and strongly anti-Soviet, in his hometown of Newark. When his membership in the SWP came back to haunt him at the height of the Red Scare, Kutcher took up the fight against efforts to punish people for their thoughts, ideas, speech, and associations. As a man who had fought for his country and paid a great price, had never done anything that could be construed as treasonous, held a low level clerical position utterly unconnected with national security, and was the sole support of his elderly parents, Kutcher cut an especially sympathetic figure in the drama of Cold War witch-hunts. In a series of confrontations, in what were highly publicized as the case of the legless veteran, the federal government tried to oust Kutcher from his menial Veterans Administration job, take away his World War II disability benefits, and to oust him and his family from their federally subsidized housing. Discrediting the Red Scare tells the story of his long legal struggle in the face of government persecution that redoubled after every setback until the bitter end.
Socialist Workers Party member James Kutcher lost both legs in Italy during WW II. Taking a minor file clerk position in the Veterans' Administration in 1946, he was secretly targeted by the FBI, was ultimately purged from his job, and then lost his federal housing for "loyalty" during the second Red Scare, accused of subverting a country he had defended in combat. For a decade, Kutcher tenaciously fought and lost his way through the courts, until in 1956, the Supreme Court upheld his contention that citizens' rights could not be denied on the strength of executive suspicion or assertion without evidence. Goldstein (Michigan) draws heavily from Kutcher's autobiography and declassified documents to present a story rather than a legal brief. The "Landmark Law Cases and American Society"series of short volumes focuses, as the title implies, on important legal cases with particular relevance to sociopolitical issues. Lacking the copious footnotes expected of legal scholarship, the book is written for interested and informed non-professionals. Like other volumes in the series, the work is a well-researched, thorough narrative of the case, suitable for undergraduates and general readers. Summing Up: Recommended. Public and undergraduate libraries.--R. L. Saunders, Southern Utah University Reprinted with permission of Choice, copyright 2016, American Library Association.
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Good People - Robert Lopez & Wonderland - Samuel Ligon
Lopez has the ability to give the reader whiplash with his unconventional and bewitching stories. "Los Angeles Times"
Robert Lopez is the master of deadpan dread, of the elliptical koan, of the sudden turn of language that reveals life to be so wonderfully absurd. Always with Lopez, the voice is all hisenchanting, surprising, at times devastating. JESS WALTER, author of "Beautiful Ruins"
Robert Lopez's strange, incantatory, visionary stories reveal the mysteries behind the ordinary world. You lift your head from this book and it's as if a third eye has been opened. DAN CHAON, author of "Await Your Reply" and "Stay Awake"
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, claims Samuel Beckett. To this, we add: nothing is funnier than unhappiness with a heavy dose of amorality, as we learn from Robert Lopez's unforgettable "Good People." In these twenty stories, a motley cast of obsessive, self-deluded outsiders narrate their darker moments, which include kidnapping, voyeurism, and psychic masochism. As their struggles give way to the black humor of life's unreason, the bleak merges with the oddly poetic, in a style as lean and resolute as Carver or Hemingway.
Treading the fine line between confession and self-justification, the absurd violence of threatened masculinity, and the perverse joy of neurosis, Lopez's stories reveal the compulsive suffering at the precarious core of our universal humanity.
"I didn't know how much there was to want in the world until I saw Sheena, and then I wanted it all." These twelve short-short stories, illustrated by collage artist Stephen Knezovich, are as dark and absurd as they are poignant, playful, and true, examining men and women, love and loss, donkeys and goats, and murder, carnivals, and whiskey bosoms. "Nobody deserves love. Or everyone does. It comes and it goes of its own free will. Like fever. Like flood. Like the greatest thing you're ever gonna lose. And once it's gone, it's gone for good."
Ashes - Children’s Author Laurie Halse Anderson
Return to the American Revolution in this blistering conclusion to the trilogy that began with the bestselling National Book Award Finalist Chains and continued with Forge, which The New York Times called “a return not only to the colonial era but to historical accuracy.”
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies.
Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.
Demand the Impossible - Author and Activist Bill Ayers
In an era defined by mass incarceration, endless war, economic crisis, catastrophic environmental destruction, and a political system offering more of the same, radical social transformation has never been more urgentor seemed more remote.
A manifesto for movement-makers in extraordinary times, "Demand the Impossible " urges us to imagine a world beyond what this rotten system would have us believe is possible.
In critiquing the world around us, insurgent educator and activist Bill Ayers uncovers cracks in that system, raising the horizons for radical change, and envisioning strategies for building the movement we need to make a world worth living in.
October 1st at 11:00 am
School’s First Day of School - Author Adam Rex and Illustrator Christian Robinson
It's the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone's just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?
The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he's not the only one going through first-day jitters.
YA Authors Shutta Crum and Kristin Bartley Lenz
A charming re-imagination of Sleeping Beauty in which a boy must solve a witch's riddle in order to save his family and end a centuries-long curse.
William and his little brother, Pinch, have been left alone at their home atop the mountain ever since their mother disappeared and their father went to look for her. When William is visited by a mysterious witch named Morga, it seems their lives might be in danger unless they help the witch solve a riddle and find a dark family heirloom.
William sets out on a quest that leads him into the heart of the Old Forest. There his mother rests in the deep sleep of an ancient curse, her only companions a boy who wakes up a different size every day and a tiny yellow dragon who can dream storms into life.
Can William solve Morga's riddle, or will he unleash Morga's curses upon the world?
Competitive climber Cara Jenkins feels most at home high off the ground, clinging to a rock wall by her fingertips. She's enjoyed a roaming life with her mountaineering parents, making the natural world her jungle gym, the writings of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau her textbooks. But when tragedy strikes on an Ecuadoran mountaintop, Cara's nomadic lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt.
Starting over at her grandparents’ home in suburban Detroit, Cara embarks on a year of discovery, uncovering unknown strengths, friendships, and first love. Cara's journey illustrates the transformative power of nature, love and loss, and discovering that home can be far from where you started.
Everfair (Nisi Shawl)
Nisi Shawl is a writer of science fiction and fantasy short stories and a journalist. She is the co-author (with Cynthia Ward) of "Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction." Her short stories have appeared in "Asimov's SF Magazine," "Strange Horizons," and numerous other magazines and anthologies.
"Everfair "is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.
Nisi Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. "Everfair "is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. "Everfair "is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.