Archive for John Lewis

The Book Booth: First We Take Manhattan Edition



Image: NYTimes

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: First We Take Manhattan Edition

It's been a hard week, but we have managed to get through it. The struggle for justice and peace will continue in spite of our setbacks. And, for now, life goes on.

The Awards continued with the announcement of the National Book Award winners at a ceremony this past Wednesday night. Larry Wilmore hosted the event, and as NPR reported "Host Larry Wilmore set the tone early, taking aim at the president-elect with a series of quips and barbs in his opening monologue. Of Trump's election last week, Wilmore noted: "It's exciting in the way that an asteroid hurtling toward Earth is exciting." Among the winners were novelist Colson Whitehead for his novel Underground Railroad and Representative John Lewis for his collaboration on a young adult book March: Book Three.
NBA Awards

As it turns out, Bob Dylan will not be attending the ceremony for the Nobel Prize. He cited schedule conflicts. He would not be the first laureate not to attend, and must only deliver or have delivered a lecture of some kind in the next few months.
Bob Dylan Will Not Attend Nobel Prize Ceremony

Obviously there has been a lot of reaction in the literary world to the election of Donald Trump. There is much wariness and alarm. Here you can read the statement from the Authors Guild which is frightening.
Authors Guild Statment On President-Elect Trump

The New Yorker asked several writers for short essays on the election results, including novelists Hilary Mantel, Toni Morrison, as well as political writer Jeffrey Toobin and the aforementioned Larry Wilmore. The responses are well worth your time.
New Yorker Authors on President-Elect Trump

For what is in store for us, who can tell. But the calls for resistance are beginning and not without cause. Emily Temple at Lithub suggests 25 books for dealing with the anger and for action.
It's Time for Action

Andrew Liptak at The Verge has some suggestions as well, including the best of the dystopian novels that the Sci-fi genre has to offer.
Get Ready for Dystopia Right Here in the US

Another writer we should be reading in these times would be Kurt Vonnegut. His writing was always perceptive, interesting and, at times, very funny, and who couldn't use a laugh? Marc Leeds has recently compiled The Vonnegut Encyclopedia and here, for Publishers Weekly, he lists his top ten books by that master of the word.
Best Kurt Vonnegut Books

Billy Pilgrim was Vonnegut's character in Slaughterhouse Five, a man who survived the fire bombing of Dresden and was a spastic in time. Time travel has long been a staple in science-fiction. Here John Lanchester reviews for the New York Review of Books a new work by James Gleick, Time Travel: A History, which gives a good overview of the subgenre.
Time Travel

One of the good guys in modern literature is Michael Chabon, author of many novels, including his latest one, Moonglow, a fictional memoir of his family. Here Doree Shafrir profiles the man and his work for Buzzfeed.
Michael Chabon: An Underdog On Top of the World?

Sadly this past week we also lost poet, novelist and songwriter Leonard Cohen, who'd only recently released a new album of songs. I remember in my late teens when I first heard him sing Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy and That's No Way to Say Goodbye on his first album. There were more great songs to come, and now he will be sorely missed.
Leonard Cohen

Again, do not despair. Find a good book, take some time to breathe and have the best possible weekend you can. Enjoy this tune by Mr. Cohen and please let us know what books you are loving.


Tar Heels To Tar Babies


repulsiveThere's little attempt by the Republican party to hide their bigotry in North Carolina. At one time they were considered inspired. Now they're heading to become expired. They've quickly gone from impulsive to repulsive. If this ever was more evident than this video, I haven't seen it -- yet. But I am talking about the GOP/Tea Party.


Aasif Mandvi sat down with Don Yelton, a North Carolinian precinct captain who apparently missed the "don't be racist" memo. In the interview, he copped to loving portrayals of President Obama as a witch doctor, claimed that one of his best friends is black, and even used both the phrase "lazy blacks" and the N-word while defending the state's voter ID laws.

UPDATE: Don Yelton, the man who made racially insensitive comments on Wednesday's "Daily Show," has resigned his position as a GOP precinct captain upon the request of the North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope. Mr. Pope denounced his statements as "completely inappropriate and highly offensive." Pope also clarified that contrary to "The Daily Show's" identification, Yelton is not in fact a member of the NCGOP Executive Committee.


VIDEO: Speeches by A.G. Holder, Asean Johnson, Rep. John Lewis, Rev. Al Sharpton #MarchOnWashington #MOW50


march on washington 50th anniversary 2013 MLK

The following speeches were some of the best of the best (There were so many!) at today's March On Washington's 5oth anniversary.

The videos show four incredible speeches in full made by a very well-received and news-making Attorney General Eric Holder, nine-year-old Asean Johnson (the youngest to speak), the awe-inspiring Rep. John Lewis (who, at 23, was the youngest speaker 50 years ago), and the inimitable co-organizer of today's march, Rev. Al Sharpton.

You can read my thoughts here: The long civil rights movement: “Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.”

We must keep #AdvancingTheDream. We have no choice.

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VIDEO: Rep. Lewis was "shocked." He was also there in 1965. "You're going to suggest that [the right to vote] is some racial entitlement?"


scalia voting rights act maddowvoting rights act maddow

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voting rights maddow

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As I watched Rachel Maddow explain the history of the Voting Rights Act, put everything into context so beautifully as she always does, as I watched and listened to her narrative, as it unfolded, as I watched her interview with the amazing John Lewis, I dissolved into tears. I couldn't stop.

I couldn't fathom that we have a sitting judge on the Supreme Court who comes out with as many biased opinions as he does, who politicizes when he should be dispassionately offering legal arguments, who consistently spouts Fox News [sic] talking points.

"Racial entitlement" Justice Scalia? Really?

I'm sorry, did I just write the words "Justice" and "Scalia" in the same sentence? That's an oxymoron, my bad.

Rep. John Lewis:

"On bloody Sunday, nearly 50 years ago, Hosea Williams from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Organization, and I, led 600 peaceful nonviolent protesters attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery to dramatize the need for voting rights protection in the state of Alabama throughout the south and our nation.

"As we crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, we were met by state troopers who shot us with tear gas, beat us with nightsticks and trampled us with horses. I was hit on the head and suffered a concussion on the bridge. Seventeen of us went to the hospital on that day, the Good Samaritan Hospital in downtown Selma.

"Just eight days later, President Lyndon Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act, and later, on August 6th, 1965, he signed that act into law."

Rachel Maddow:

"That was congressman John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia who led the march on the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma that day in 1965. He was speaking about that experience today on the steps of the Supreme Court as the conservative majority on the court seemed to indicate a willingness to at least considering dismantling the pillars the Voting Rights Act first passed in 1965 in the aftermath of that violent day in Selma."

Rep. John Lewis:

"I grew up in the South. I lived in the South. I tasted the bitter fruits of racism. I saw discrimination with my own eyes. I felt it. We made progress, but we're not there yet. There are still methods and means, devices that have been used to make it hard, to make it difficult for people to participate in a democratic process.

"And it's not just African-Americans, but it's seniors, students, Asian Americans, Latinos, and the movement was saying in effect, open up the system and let all of the people come in. Let everyone participate.

"My fear, if we get rid of Section 5, we will go farther and farther back. We made progress, but I say over and over again, we're not there yet. So you can argue oh we have an African- American president. we elected some African-American, Latino officials, some Asian American officials. But I tell you, in some of these towns and communities in the South still represent the Old South."

"I was shocked. I couldn't believe that a member of the United States Supreme Court... it was just nonsense. It was almost the verge of some racist feeling of another period. And it pained me to hear a member of the Supreme Court saying something like this. That to protect the right to vote, to participate in the democratic process, you're going to suggest that it's some racial entitlement?

"We all have a right to vote. We all have a right to participate in a democratic process. One person, one vote.

"The congress spoke, we represent the American people, the House and the Senate. We work hard in a bipartisan coalition to extend the voting rights act in 2006."

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