#BookReview – WHILE THE CITY SLEPT by Eli Sanders

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping account of one young man’s path to murder—and a wake-up call for mental health care in America On a summer night in 2009, three lives intersected in one American neighborhood. Two people newly in love—Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper, who spent many years trying to find themselves and who eventually found each other—and a young man on a dangerous psychological descent: Isaiah Kalebu, age twenty-three, the son of a distant, Read More …

#BookReview – WHERE THE BODIES WERE BURIED by T.J. English – Nonfiction

The New York Times bestselling author of The Westies and Paddy Whacked offers a front-row seat at the trial of Whitey Bulger, and an intimate view of the world of organized crime—and law enforcement—that made him the defining Irish American gangster. For sixteen years, Whitey Bulger eluded the long reach of the law. For decades one of the most dangerous men in America, Bulger—the brother of influential Massachusetts senator Billy Bulger—was often romanticized as a Read More …

Book Review – SHOTS ON THE BRIDGE: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina

A harrowing story of blue on black violence, of black lives that seemingly did not matter. On September 4, 2005, six days after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, two groups of people intersected on the Danziger Bridge, a low-rising expanse over the Industrial Canal. One was the police who had stayed behind as Katrina roared near, desperate to maintain control as their city spun into chaos. The other was the residents forced to stay Read More …

Book Review – DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

In fascinating detail, Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin—the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, 2 to 3 times purer than its white powder cousin—to the veins of people across the United States. Communities where heroin had never been seen before—from Charlotte, NC and Huntington, WVA, to Read More …

Book Review – DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Read More …

Review – Tell It to the World: International Justice and the Secret Campaign to Hide Mass Murder in Kosovo

On April 5, 1999, Serbian police found a truck half-submerged in the Danube River. When they looked inside, they found it filled with human bodies. Following orders, they hid the truck and its contents. Two weeks later, on the other side of Serbia, the same thing happened. The full picture would only emerge years later, when the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia investigated and prosecuted the chief architects of the ethnic cleansing of Read More …

Book Review: LOCKED DOWN, LOCKED OUT by Maya Schenwar

Through the stories of prisoners and their families, including her own family’s experiences, Maya Schenwar shows how the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans and decimates poor communities of color is shredding the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety. As she vividly depicts here, incarceration takes away the very things that might enable people to build better lives. But looking toward a future beyond imprisonment, Schenwar profiles community-based initiatives that successfully Read More …

Book Review: JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our Read More …

Review: The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case by Michael Ross

In June 1870, the residents of the city of New Orleans were already on edge when two African American women kidnapped seventeen-month-old Mollie Digby from in front of her New Orleans home. It was the height of Radical Reconstruction, and the old racial order had been turned upside down: black men now voted, held office, sat on juries, and served as policemen. Nervous white residents, certain that the end of slavery and resulting “Africanization” of Read More …