Media Picks

What’s new and noteworthy, and some book advice from a friend.


“With even President Clinton proclaiming that Americans must ‘clean house’ with regard to racism, the arrival of a book like this could hardly be more timely. It’s written at the human level, and looks practically at what people can do about racism without having to take on the world. It goes beyond the black/white thing; it’s about bridging the great divide from all sides.”

So says Robert Allen, senior editor of the Black Scholar, about Paul Kivel’s Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice (Philadelphia: New Society, 1995). Kivel, co-founder of the Oakland Men’s Project, draws upon many years of experience as a community organizer to sculpt a book that never becomes a manual for political correctness. You might also want to check out Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America–An Anthology (New York: Ballantine Books, 1995), co-edited by Allen and Herb Boyd.

If ever there was a role model for budding young activists, it’s Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. In Mother Jones: One Woman’s Fight for Labor (New York: Clarion Books, 1995), Betsy Harvey Kraft gives a brief 100-page biography of one of the world’s most fearless labor leaders and women’s rights advocates at the turn of the century. Mother Jones’ humanistic hellraising is recommended bedtime reading for the kids, even if it means they’ll learn how to make the case for a bigger allowance.

And on the opposite side of the management-labor divide: On Our Own Terms: Portraits of Women Business Leaders by Liane Enkelis and Karen Olsen (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1995). They cover a diverse cross section of some of the most powerful women in business. On Our Own Terms’ “can-do” attitude aims to inspire the women business leaders of tomorrow, and is presented in an extremely accessible manner (big print, glossy cover, lots of pictures).

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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