Friday, March 12, 2021

Chronicling the Resistance

For your consideration:  a trio of nonfiction books about different aspects of doing the right thing.


Driving While Brown: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Versus the Latino Resistance
Terry Greene Sterling, Jude Joffe-Block
UC Press - April 20, 2021

[from the publisher]
Journalists Terry Greene Sterling and Jude Joffe-Block spent years chronicling the human consequences of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s relentless immigration enforcement in Maricopa County, Arizona. In Driving While Brown, they tell the tale of two opposing movements that redefined Arizona’s political landscape—the restrictionist cause embraced by Arpaio and the Latino-led resistance that rose up against it.

The story follows Arpaio, his supporters, and his adversaries, including Lydia Guzman, who gathered evidence for a racial-profiling lawsuit that took surprising turns. Guzman joined a coalition determined to stop Arpaio, reform unconstitutional policing, and fight for Latino civil rights. Driving While Brown details Arpaio's transformation—from "America’s Toughest Sheriff," who forced inmates to wear pink underwear, into the nation’s most feared immigration enforcer who ended up receiving President Donald Trump’s first pardon. The authors immerse readers in the lives of people on both sides of the battle and uncover the deep roots of the Trump administration's immigration policies.

The result of tireless investigative reporting, this powerful book provides critical insights into effective resistance to institutionalized racism and the community organizing that helped transform Arizona from a conservative stronghold into a battleground state.

Terry Greene Sterling is affiliated faculty and writer-in-residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She is the author of Illegal. Her writing has been published in the Washington Post, the Rolling Stone, Newsweek, the Atlantic, Slate, the Daily Beast, the Village Voice, High Country News, the Guardian, the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, and other publications. Greene Sterling is Editor-at-Large for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

Jude Joffe-Block joined The Associated Press as a reporter and editor in 2020. Before that, she reported on immigration for more than a decade for outlets that include NPR, the Guardian, The World and Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. She was a visiting journalist at the Russell Sage Foundation and a fellow with New America, the Center for the Future of Arizona, and the Logan Nonfiction Program while coauthoring this book. She began her journalism career in Mexico.


Mario T. García (Editor), Ellen McCracken (Editor)
University of Arizona Press - March 2, 2021

[from the publisher]
The Chicano Movement, el movimiento, is known as the largest and most expansive civil rights and empowerment movement by Mexican Americans up to that time. It made Chicanos into major American political actors and laid the foundation for today’s Latino political power. Rewriting the Chicano Movement is a collection of powerful new essays on the Chicano Movement that expand and revise our understanding of the movement. These essays capture the commitment, courage, and perseverance of movement activists, both men and women, and their struggles to achieve the promises of American democracy.

The essays in this volume broaden traditional views of the Chicano Movement that are too narrow and monolithic. Instead, the contributors to this book highlight the role of women in the movement, the regional and ideological diversification of the movement, and the various cultural fronts in which the movement was active. Rewriting the Chicano Movement stresses that there was no single Chicano Movement but instead a composite of movements committed to the same goal of Chicano self-determination. Scholars, students, and community activists interested in the history of the Chicano Movement can best start by reading this book.

Contributors: Holly Barnet-Sanchez, Tim Drescher, Jesús Jesse Esparza, Patrick Fontes, Mario T. García, Tiffany Jasmín González, Ellen McCracken, Juan Pablo Mercado, Andrea Muñoz, Michael Anthony Turcios, Omar Valerio-Jiménez


John-Michael Rivera

University of Arizona Press - March 30, 2021

[from the publisher]
How do you document the undocumented? Undocuments both poses and attempts to answer this complex question by remixing the forms and styles of the first encyclopedia of the New World, the Florentine Codex, in order to tell a modern story of Greater Mexico. Employing a broad range of writing genres and scholarly approaches, Undocuments catalogs, recovers, and erases documents and images by and about peoples of Greater Mexico from roughly the first colonial moment. This brave and bracing volume organizes and documents ancient New World Mexican peoples from the Florentine Codex (1592) to our current technology-heavy age, wherein modern lawmakers and powerful global figures desire to classify, deport, and erase immigrants and their experiences.  While grappling with anxiety and the physical and mental health consequences of the way the United States treats immigrant bodies, John-Michael Rivera documents and scrutinizes what it means to seek opportunities in America. With a focus on the poetics of Latinx documentality itself, this book is concerned with the complicated and at times contradictory ways peoples of Greater Mexico have been documented and undocumented within systems of colonial knowledges, and how these peoples have been rendered as specters of the bureaucratic state. Rivera takes us through the painful, anxiety-ridden, and complex nature of what it means to be documented or undocumented, and the cruelty married to each of these states of being.

John-Michael Rivera
is an associate professor and writer at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he serves as director of the Program for Writing and Rhetoric. He has published memoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, and scholarship. He is the curator of El Laboratorio, a literary space for Latinx writers, and was co-founder of Shadowbox Magazine, a literary journal for creative nonfiction.



Manuel Ramos writes crime fiction. His latest novel, Angels in the Wind, will be published by Arte Público Press April 30.


Daniel Cano said...

You know it's a fine reviewer when he or she makes the reader want to rush out and buy the books. Exactly how I feel about these reviews, Manuel, thanks.

Manuel Ramos said...

Daniel - thanks for the kind words, but all I do is use the publisher's summary of the book, along with a cover image and a link to a place where the book can be found. I'm too slow of a reader to review all the new books I find.

Daniel Cano said...

Ha! You see. You know not to, what do they call it, "invent the wheel."