My American History courses in school did not cover the Great Migration - the relocation of 6 million Southern Americans to northern and western stateMy American History courses in school did not cover the Great Migration - the relocation of 6 million Southern Americans to northern and western states between World War I and 1975. I remember one American History course in 11th grade explaining Jim Crow a bit, but until you've considered some of the real world examples of how it affected actual people's daily lives, you don't have a anything like understanding of how difficult and wrong it was. Other Suns is full cover-to-cover with such examples.
Other Suns is an impressive accomplishment, both because nothing like it on the Great Migration had previously been attempted and also because of the enormous scope of Wilkerson's project. She interviewed over 1200 aging African-American "Great Migrants" over many years to find the three whose complete life stories she presents here. I found myself fascinated with the strength of character of each of them as their stories pulled me through this long, often-times painful to read book.
Wilkerson draws parallels between African-American migrants from the South and immigrants from foreign countries, underscoring the shame and irony of this overlooked aspect of United States history. She also rightly uses strong words like "caste" and "class" to explain segregation and Jim Crow to a modern audience.
I can't recommend Other Suns enough; as difficult as it can be to face the uglier aspects of our history, facing them is a requirement of anyone who claims to believe in the idea of America and who wants to make the U.S. a better place....more
This book provides some much needed critical review of the Google juggernaut - its current place in our culture; its displacement of civic, governmentThis book provides some much needed critical review of the Google juggernaut - its current place in our culture; its displacement of civic, government, and public services; our own misperceptions of what Google actually is. Vaidhyanathan approaches the subject from a variety of angles and ties in many interesting ideas to his arguments. He does not roundly, thoroughly condemn Google, but rather critically examines the cultural, social and educational value it holds right now, while acknowledging what it does do well. In a climate where it often feels like everybody uses Google, everybody loves Google and Google can do everything, it is refreshing to see an alternative viewpoint on the subject. ...more
Lots of examples and lots of background explanation of the hoarding phenomenon. I read it because I am covered by Chapter 11 " A Pack Rat in the FamilLots of examples and lots of background explanation of the hoarding phenomenon. I read it because I am covered by Chapter 11 " A Pack Rat in the Family" i.e. I was raised in what the authors call a 'hoarded home.' Very much improved my insight into the problem. Makes the point that most of us have a little hoarding tendency here or there that do not interfere with our lives or qualify as compulsion. Also, it is far more common than most people think....more