Topic | book review

The Prophet of Ferguson

…The truth is that this country does not know what to do with its black population now that the blacks are no longer a source of wealth, are no longer to be bought and sold and bred like cattle; and they especially do not know what to do with young black men…It is not accidental […]

Book Review: Giovanni’s Room

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Then the door is before him. There is darkness all around him, there is silence in him. Then the door opens and he stands alone, the whole world falling away from him. And the brief corner of the sky seems to be shrieking, though he does not hear a sound. Then the earth tilts, he […]

Book Review: Soledad Brother

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I remember years ago when I was a member of ACT-UP, a woman who joined the group reviewed our direct action plans and said something along the lines of, “All this militant stuff must make you feel manly, and I guess that feels good since you’re hated partly because people think gay men are like […]

The Origins of the Asian American Model Minority Myth

color of success

Historian Ellen Wu’s The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority just might be the best examination of the roots of the model minority stereotype in print. More than just a connect-the-dots documentation of the rise of the model minority myth, The Color of Success succeeds at putting the myth […]

Book Review: Haoles in Hawaii

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Haoles in HI cover

If you’re interested in Hawai’i or just interested in critical race studies, you ought not miss Haoles in Hawai’i. I found it to be a fast, accessible read, mercifully short and to the point, unapologetic without being polemical and one-sided, and highly educational. Literally translated “haoles” are foreigners, but in contemporary Hawai’i, “haoles” include all […]

Book Review: Baseball in April

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Baseball in April and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by one of the dons of Latino literature in the U.S., Gary Soto. It was first published in 1990, but it remains relevant today – a classic. The stories in the collection filled me with nostalgia for my own childhood (or at […]

Book Review: Unfamiliar Fishes

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unfamiliar fishes cover

I found this book to be one of the most readable and entertaining texts on the history of Hawai’i since Cook, and I’ve read a lot of them. It’s practically the history of Hawai’i as a beach read. In fact, I read most of it on a beach in Hawai’i. Vowell’s writing is accessible and […]

Book Review: Shoal of Time

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shoal of time cover

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders occupy an awkward space in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) coalition. Many groups call themselves API, but the PI is often absent. In some cases, it doesn’t appear that PIs were ever present to begin with. With this in mind, I undertook a project of reading everything I could […]

Book Review: Aloha Betrayed

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A must-read for those interested in Hawai’i. Much of the colonial history of the islands is built around the notion that the “bloodless revolution” was an indication of the passive consent of the Hawaiian people to the takeover of Hawai’i by white business interests. This book uses Hawaiian language resources to demonstrate that Hawaiians did […]

Book Review: The Glass Palace

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glass palace cover

At the risk of sounding cliche, Amitav Gosh’s The Glass Palace is an important book. It’s importance begins with the subject matter – a one-hundred year span of history that unfolds in India, Malaya (now Malaysia) and Burma (now Myanmar), all countries of which most Americans, myself included, know precious little. The book addresses the […]