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Out of the Mainstream: Books and Films You May Have Missed
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Books

Blue Ridge Commons
By Kathryn Newfont
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA PRESS, 2012

This detailed history documents the role of some mountain residents in western North Carolina in opposing wilderness designation of national forests but supporting campaigns to block clear cutting and oil and gas development. The consistent thread was that they wanted to maintain their tradition of hunting and fishing while being able to log in a sustainable way.

Chasing Molecules
By Elizabeth Grossman
ISLAND PRESS, 2012

Chemicals in consumer products threaten our health and planet. Some scientists are developing "green chemistry" to substitute safer alternatives.

Conspiracy of Silence
By Chris Lamb
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESS, 2012

The campaign to desegregate baseball took more than a decade. Sportswriters for radical and African-American newspapers played a crucial role, while nearly all white writers for major publications either remained silent or opposed the change.

Crusade 2.0
By John Feffer
CITY LIGHTS, 2012

Islam has replaced communism as the all-purpose enemy whose presence justifies huge increases in U.S. military spending, invasions of other countries, and erosion of civil liberties at home. The author argues that those who oppose Islamophobia must advocate not mere "tolerance" but active, positive engagement on a personal, community, and international level.

Dear White America
By Tim Wise
CITY LIGHTS, 2012

A leading white analyst of racism in America once again provides fresh takes as he punctures myths and defenses.

Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power
By Amy Sonnie and James Tracy
MELVILLE HOUSE, 2012

This is a history of organizations in the 1960s that united working-class whites for radical change. As part of their mission, they directly challenged racism because it divided working people. At times, they supported radical black groups with whom they had more in common than with white power brokers.

It Started in Wisconsin
Edited by Mari Jo Buhle and Paul Buhle
VERSO, 2012

This anthology focuses in part on the historical background behind the recent struggle over workers' rights in Wisconsin. It also includes eyewitness accounts.

Living as Form
Edited by Nato Thompson
MIT PRESS, 2012

Inspiring text and color photos describe more than a hundred projects from around the world that combined elements of art, social engagement, and community building during the past two decades. Some involved performance art or historical reenactments with a twist. Others involved occupying public spaces. Still others gave normally marginalized people a chance to express and see themselves in a new way. All challenged corporate commercial culture.

Mink River
By Brian Doyle
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2012

This exceptional novel was written by a poet, and it shows in the lyrical style that brings alive characters and stories in a small town on the Oregon coast. Both the style and stories draw on the inhabitants' cultural roots, from Native Americans to Irish immigrants.

So Rich, So Poor
By Peter Edelman
THE NEW PRESS, 2012

A lifelong activist who resigned from the Clinton administration to protest the gutting of welfare programs asks why poverty rates have steadily grown in America over the past ten years and proposes some solutions.

The Color of Law
By Steve Babson, Dave Riddle, and David Elsila
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2012

The late Ernie Goodman, the subject of this detailed biography, was a Detroit-based attorney who devoted his career to supporting movements of the powerless, from the industrial sit-down strikes of the 1930s to victims of the Red Scare of the 1950s to the civil rights movement and the Attica prison rebellion of the 1970s. The law, he learned, serves those with wealth unless grassroots movements create enough pressure to force the courts and the political system to provide justice.

The Highest Vocation
By Helen Fox
PETER LANG, 2012

A professor at the University of Michigan trained in the bottom-up educational principles of Paulo Freire raises controversial issues about the experiences of students of the Millennial Generation. As a broad generalization, she says, faculty who work with them find many more comfortable with structure than with...


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