Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

This week, with appropriate timing, H-Net brings a review of Johanna Schoen's Abortion after Roe: Abortion after Legalization (UNC Press).
"With this book, Johanna Schoen attempts to fill a gap in the historical narrative of legalized abortion in the United States: namely, the experience of providing abortion in the context of the politicalization of abortion after Roe. Schoen, who writes from a clear position of support for reproductive rights, tells the story of how the provision of abortion has changed through the years and the impact of this medical service on the physicians, staff, clinic owners, and patients (although she explicitly excludes Planned Parenthood from this history)."
More in reproductive rights from the New Republic: a review of Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen (Penguin).

From New Books, there is an interview with Kennetta H. Perry, who talks over her new book, London is the Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship, and the Politics of Race (Oxford University Press).

Our previous guest blogger, Mitra Sharafi, also speaks with New Books this week about her recent book, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 (Cambridge University Press).

David Cole reviews The Fight to Vote by Michael Waldman (Simon and Schuster) for The Washington Post.
"Such a self-consciously partisan and highly coordinated strategy of vote suppression is, one might think, profoundly un-American. The nation was founded on the “consent of the governed.” “We the people” rejected monarchy for popular sovereignty. Yet as Michael Waldman deftly shows in “The Fight to Vote,” there have long been two competing strains in American politics." 
From Seven Days, there comes a review of Slavish Shore: The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana Jr. by Jeffrey Amestoy (Harvard University Press).

And, with the beautiful image of a Pauli Murray mural, the Boston Review adds Kenneth Mack's review of The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott (Knopf).
"Patricia Bell-Scott, who corresponded with Murray in the early 1980s and spent decades writing The Firebrand and the First Lady, recognizes the challenge. Her biography addresses it in part with the choice to focus only on Murray’s long and influential friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt, which Bell-Scott largely chooses to present as a conventional narrative with only minimal interpretation. Although Murray narrated many of the details of the friendship in her autobiography, Bell-Scott notes that many facets of it still cry out for explanation. For instance, how did the patrician first lady and the poor, undernourished, and intermittently employed black woman initiate, preserve, and deepen a sometimes brutally frank relationship? Despite her efforts, a satisfying answer to this critical question remains elusive in Bell-Scott’s well-researched book."