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Accidental Activists

Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas

David Collins

In early 2013 same-sex marriage was legal in only ten states and the District of Columbia. That year the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor appeared to open the door to marriage equality. In Texas, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, together for sixteen years and deeply in love, wondered why no one had stepped across the threshold to challenge their state’s 2005 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. They agreed to join a lawsuit being put together by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLD. Two years later—after tense battles in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, after sitting through oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges—they won the right to marry deep in the heart of Texas. But the road they traveled was never easy. Accidental Activists is the deeply moving story of two men who struggled to achieve the dignity of which Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke in a series of Supreme Court decisions that recognized the “personhood,” the essential humanity of gays and lesbians. Author David Collins tells Mark and Vic’s story in the context of legal and social history and explains the complex legal issues and developments surrounding same-sex marriage in layman’s terms.

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After Katrina

Race, Neoliberalism, and the End of the American Century

Anna Hartnell

Argues that post-Katrina New Orleans is a key site for exploring competing narratives of American decline and renewal at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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The American Dream in the 21st Century

Edited by Sandra Hanson and John White

The American Dream has long been a dominant theme in U.S. culture, one with enduring significance, but these are difficult times for dreamers. The editors of and contributors to The American Dream in the 21st Century examine the American Dream historically, socially, and economically and consider its intersection with politics, religion, race, gender, and generation.

The conclusions presented in this short, readable volume provide both optimism for the faith that most Americans have in the possibility of achieving the American Dream and a realistic assessment of the cracks in the dream. The last presidential election offered hope, but the experts here warn about the need for better programs and policies that could make the dream a reality for a larger number of Americans.

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Asian Americans in Dixie

Race and Migration in the South

Edited by Jigna Desai and Khyati Y. Joshi

Extending the understanding of race and ethnicity in the South beyond the prism of black-white relations, this interdisciplinary collection explores the growth, impact, and significance of rapidly growing Asian American populations in the American South. Avoiding the usual focus on the East and West Coasts, several essays attend to the nuanced ways in which Asian Americans negotiate the dominant black and white racial binary, while others provoke readers to reconsider the supposed cultural isolation of the region, reintroducing the South within a historical web of global networks across the Caribbean, Pacific, and Atlantic.

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Banded Together

Economic Democratization in the Brass Valley

Jeremy Brecher

Providing incisive commentary on the historical and contemporary American working class experience, Banded Together: Economic Democratization in the Brass Valley documents a community's efforts to rebuild and revitalize itself in the aftermath of deindustrialization. Through powerful oral histories and other primary sources, Jeremy Brecher tells the story of a group of average Americans--factory workers, housewives, parishioners, and organizers--who tried to create a democratic alternative to the economic powerlessness caused by the closing of factories in the Connecticut Naugatuck Valley region during the 1970s and 1980s. This volume focuses on grassroots organization, democratically controlled enterprises, and supportive public policies, providing examples from the Naugatuck Valley Project community alliance that remain relevant to the economic problems of today and tomorrow. Drawing on more than a hundred interviews with Project leaders, staff, and other knowledgeable members of the local community, Brecher illustrates how the Naugatuck Valley Project served as a vehicle for community members to establish greater control over their economic lives.

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The Bitter Taste of Hope

Ideals, Ideologies, and Interests in the Age of Obama

Stephen Eric Bronner

Essays that critically evaluate America's domestic and foreign policy landscape since President Obama took office.

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Black Georgetown Remembered

A History of Its Black Community From the Founding of “The Town of George” in 1751 to the Present Day

Kathleen Menzie Lesko, Valerie Babb, and Carroll R. Gibbs

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Bush on the Home Front

Domestic Policy Triumphs and Setbacks

John D. Graham

Military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq consumed so much attention during his presidency that few people appreciated that George W. Bush was also an activist on the home front. Despite limited public support, and while confronting a deeply divided Congress, Bush engineered and implemented reforms of public policy on a wide range of issues: taxes, education, health care, energy, environment, and regulatory reform. In Bush on the Home Front, former Bush White House official and academic John D. Graham analyzes Bush's successes in these areas and setbacks in other areas such as Social Security and immigration reform. Graham provides valuable insights into how future presidents can shape U.S. domestic policy while facing continuing partisan polarization.

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Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-First Century

David L. Brown

The twentieth century was one of profound transformation in rural America. Demographic shifts and economic restructuring have conspired to alter dramatically the lives of rural people and their communities. Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty-First Century defines these changes and interprets their implications for the future of rural America. The volume follows in the tradition of "decennial volumes" co-edited by presidents of the Rural Sociological Society and published in the Society's Rural Studies Series. Essays have been specially commissioned to examine key aspects of public policy relevant to rural America in the new century.

Contributors include:Lionel Beaulieu, Alessandro Bonnano, David Brown, Ralph Brown, Frederick Buttel, Ted Bradshaw, Douglas Constance, Steve Daniels, Lynn England, William Falk, Cornelia Flora, Jan Flora, Glenn Fuguitt, Nina Glasgow, Leland Glenna, Angela Gonzales, Gary Green, Rosalind Harris, Tom Hirschl, Douglas Jackson-Smith, Leif Jensen, Ken Johnson, Richard Krannich, Daniel Lichter, Linda Lobao, Al Luloff, Tom Lyson, Kate MacTavish, David McGranahan, Diane McLaughlin, Philip McMichael, Lois Wright Morton, Domenico Parisi, Peggy Petrzelka, Kenneth Pigg, Rogelio Saenz, Sonya Salamon, Jeff Sharp, Curtis Stofferahn, Louis Swanson, Ann Tickameyer, Leanne Tigges, Cruz Torres, Mildred Warner, Ronald Wimberley, Dreamal Worthen, and Julie Zimmerman.

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Changing Texas

Implications of Addressing or Ignoring the Texas Challenge

Steve H. Murdock

Drawing on nearly thirty years of prior analyses of growth, aging, and diversity in Texas populations and households, the authors of Changing Texas: Implications of Addressing or Ignoring the Texas Challenge examine key issues related to future Texas population change and its socioeconomic implications. Current interpretation of data indicates that, in the absence of any change in the socioeconomic conditions associated with the demographic characteristics of the fastest growing populations, Texas will become poorer and less competitive in the future. However, the authors delineate how such a future can be altered so that the “Texas Challenge” becomes a Texas advantage, leading to a more prosperous future for all Texans.

Presenting extensive data and projections for the period through 2050, Changing Texas permits an educated preview of Texas at the middle of the twenty-first century. Discussing in detail the implications of population-related change and examining how the state could alter those outcomes through public policy, Changing Texas offers important insights for the implications of Texas’ changing demographics for educational infrastructure, income and poverty, unemployment, healthcare needs, business activity, public funding, and many other topics important to the state, its leaders, and its people. Perhaps most importantly, Changing Texas shows how objective information, appropriately analyzed, can inform governmental and private-sector policies that will have important implications for the future of Texas.

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