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

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“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).

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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