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violence

Book cover for "When Evil Lived in Laurel"
W. W. Norton & Company / W. W. Norton & Company

In January 1966, Vernon Dahmer, head of a Mississippi chapter of the NAACP and a dedicated advocate for voter registration, was murdered by the White Knights, one of the most violent sects of the KKK in the South.

Veteran journalist Curtis Wilkie’s "When Evil Lived in Laurel" is the chilling story of this little-known brutal murder from the Civil Rights era and its aftermath, which ultimately led to the downfall of the infamous Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers and the destruction of his virulently racist organization.

To recreate these harrowing events—the conversations, incendiary nighttime meetings, plans leading up to Dahmer’s murder, and the nearly botched execution of them—Wilkie drew on his exclusive access to the almost daily journals, kept secret for fifty years, of a former Klan infiltrator for the FBI who risked his life to help break the White Knights.

Bookcover for "The Groundbreaking"
Icon Books Ltd / Icon Books Ltd

  On 31 May 1921, in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a mob of white men and women reduced a prosperous African American community, known as Black Wall Street, to rubble, leaving countless dead and unaccounted for, and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed.

But along with the bodies, they buried the secrets of the crime.  Scott Ellsworth, a native of Tulsa, became determined to unearth the secrets of his home town. Now, nearly 40 years after his first major historical account of the massacre ("Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921"), Ellsworth returns to the city in search of answers.

Author, journalist and filmmaker Sebastian Junger has long been attracted to extremes. In his new book “Freedom,” Junger uses a months-long hike he and some friends took along the railroad tracks in the mid-Atlantic a few years ago as a frame to discuss autonomy, community, violence and what freedom really means.

Book cover for "These Violent Delights"
Harper

Micah Nemerever studied art history and queer theory at the University of Connecticut, where he wrote his MA thesis on gender anxiety in the art of the Weimar Republic.

In his debut novel, "These Violent Delights," Paul enters university in early 1970s Pittsburgh with the hope of moving past the recent death of his father. Sensitive, insecure, and incomprehensible to his grieving family, Paul feels isolated and alone. When he meets the worldly Julian in his freshman ethics class, Paul is immediately drawn to his classmate’s effortless charm.

But as charismatic as he can choose to be, Julian is also volatile and capriciously cruel, and Paul becomes increasingly afraid that he can never live up to what Julian expects of him. As their friendship spirals into all-consuming intimacy, they each learn the lengths to which the other will go in order to stay together, their obsession ultimately hurtling them toward an act of irrevocable violence.

Book cover for "The Devil You Know" and author photo of Charles M. Blow
Harper

Acclaimed New York Times columnist and author Charles M. Blow never wanted to write a “race book.” But as both physical and psychological violence against Black people seemed only to increase in recent years, culminating in the historic pandemic and protests of the summer of 2020, he felt compelled to write a new story for Black Americans.

His new book is "The Devil You Know."

Book cover for "Stakes is High" - red and gray text on a black background
Bold Type Press / Bold Type Press

Mychal Denzel Smith’s last book, "Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching," was a powerful account of what it means being a young black man in America. In his follow up, he confronts the well-meaning liberal reaction to the 2016 election and calls on us all to reckon with who we are as Americans and, perhaps more importantly, who we want to be.

We have been invested in a set of beliefs about our American identity: our exceptionalism, the inevitable rightness of our path, and the promise that hard work and determination will carry us to freedom.

But in his new book, "Stakes Is High," Mychal confronts the shortcomings of these stories--and with the American Dream itself--and calls on us to live up to the principles we profess but fail to realize. He exposes the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, holding all of us, individually and as a nation, to account. We’ve gotten used to looking away, but the fissures and casual violence--of incarceration, poverty, misogyny, and racism--are ever-present. But there is a future that is not as grim as our past. In this profound work, Mychal helps us envision it, with care, honesty, and imagination.

Book cover for MS-13
Blink Publishing / https://www.blinkpublishing.co.uk/

MS-13 is one of the most infamous street gangs on earth, with an estimated ten thousand members operating in dozens of states and linked to thousands of grisly murders each year in the US and abroad. But it is also misunderstood.

In his book "MS-13: The Making of America's Most Notorious Gang," journalist and longtime organized crime investigator Steven Dudley brings readers inside the nefarious group to tell a larger story of how a flawed US and Central American policy, and the exploitative and unequal economic systems helped foster the gang and sustain it.

Even now, after more than fifteen years, it is hard to see the invasion of Iraq through the cool, considered gaze of history. Most of the major players in that decision are still with us, and few are not haunted by it.

New York Times contributor and author Robert Draper talked to most of the key officials involved to revisit their roles, among them Powell, Armitage, Rice, Wolfowitz, Feith, Tenet, Bremer, Fleischer; he interviewed dozens who worked in the Departments of State, Defense, the National Security Council and the intelligence community, as well reporters who fumbled or challenged the story at the time.

The result is his new book, "To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq," is a psychologically complex and page-turning account: it includes a set of obsessed actors who gamed the process relentlessly as well as a group of patriotic men and women who, in the wake of the nightmare of 9/11, pursued that most elusive of dreams: finding peace through war.

Several people who clashed with police Tuesday morning early this morning were arrested after confrontation on Quail and West streets. Police say they were hurling rocks and bricks at police officers. The clash occurred shortly after midnight and followed a standoff around the city's public safety building on Henry Johnson Boulevard.

All of this came after a peaceful show of civil disobedience in the streets of Albany throughout the day on Monday. Albany police chief Eric Hawkins met yesterday with protesters and told them he takes reports of police brutality very seriously. We are joined by the Chief of Police for the city of Albany Eric Hawkins.

There's an average of one mass shooting per day in the United States. In "Repeal the Second Amendment," Allan J. Lichtman has written the first book that uses history, legal theory and up-to-the-minute data to make a compelling case for the amendment’s repeal in order to create a clear road to sensible gun control in the US.

Allan J. Lichtman is Distinguished Professor of History at American University and the author of many acclaimed books on U.S. political history, including "White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement," which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, "FDR and the Jews" (with Richard Breitman), and "The Case for Impeachment."

The majority of celestial space is inactive and will remain forever unruffled. But when cosmic violence does unfold, it changes the very fabric of the universe, with mega-explosions and ripple effects that reach the near limits of human comprehension. In his new book “Earth-Shattering,” astronomy writer Bob Berman investigates these instances of violence both mammoth and microscopic.

Thomas Abt is a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he served as a policymaker in Barack Obama's Justice Department and worked for New York governor Andrew Cuomo, overseeing all criminal justice and homeland security agencies in the state.

Urban violence is one of the most divisive and allegedly intractable issues of our time. But as Thomas Abt shows in "Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence--and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets," we actually possess all the tools necessary to stem violence in our cities.

Coupling the latest social science with firsthand experience as a crime-fighter, Abt proposes a relentless focus on violence itself -- not drugs, gangs, or guns. Because violence is "sticky," clustering among small groups of people and places, it can be predicted and prevented using a series of smart-on-crime strategies that do not require new laws or big budgets.

We call it domestic violence. We call it private violence. Sometimes we call it intimate terrorism. But whatever we call it, we generally do not believe it has anything at all to do with us, despite the World Health Organization deeming it a “global epidemic.” In America, domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains locked in silence, even as its tendrils reach unseen into so many of our most pressing national issues, from our economy to our education system, from mass shootings to mass incarceration to #MeToo. We still have not taken the true measure of this problem.

In "No Visible Bruises," journalist Rachel Louise Snyder gives context for what we don't know we're seeing. She frames this urgent and immersive account of the scale of domestic violence in our country around key stories that explode the common myths-that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; and most insidiously that violence inside the home is a private matter, sealed from the public sphere and disconnected from other forms of violence.

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi, is the author of the novel "Long Division" and a collection of essays, "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America."

In his new book, "Heavy: An American Memoir," he writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling.

By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is blaming the Republican Party and President Donald Trump for Friday night’s violence in Manhattan outside a GOP headquarters.

Donna Freitas lectures at universities across the United States on her work about college students. She is the author of "Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America's College Campuses" and "The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost," and has written for publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Freitas is currently a non-resident research associate at the Center for Religion and Society at Notre Dame.

A 2015 survey of twenty-seven elite colleges found that twenty-three percent of respondents reported personal experiences of sexual misconduct on their campuses. That figure has not changed since the 1980s, when people first began collecting data on sexual violence. What has changed is the level of attention that the American public is paying to these statistics. Reports of sexual abuse repeatedly make headlines, and universities are scrambling to address the crisis.

Their current strategy, Donna Freitas argues, is wholly inadequate. She writes about it in her new book, "

Consent on Campus: A Manifesto."

In “The Sky Is Falling: How Vampires, Zombies, Androids, and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism,” cultural journalist Peter Biskind dives headlong into two decades of popular culture, from superhero franchises and series like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” to thrillers like “Homeland” and “24,” and emerges to argue that these shows are saturated with the values that are currently animating our extreme politics.

Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of "All American Boys" (with Jason Reynolds), "The Last True Love Story," and "The Gospel of Winter." His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014.

His new novel, "Tradition," explores the insidious nature of tradition at a prestigious boarding school. He will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, New York on June 10 in a Hudson Valley YA Society event with Marisha Pessl.

Vegas Tenold is an award-winning journalist. He has covered the far right in America for years, as well as human rights in Russia, conflict in central Africa and the Middle East, and national security. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, his work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, New Republic, and Al Jazeera America.

Six years ago, Vegas Tenold embedded himself among the members of three of America's most ideologically extreme white nationalist groups-the KKK, the National Socialist Movement, and the Traditionalist Workers Party. At the time, these groups were part of a disorganized counterculture that felt far from the mainstream.

But since then, all that has changed. Racially-motivated violence has been on open display at rallies in Charlottesville, Berkeley, Pikesville, Phoenix, and Boston. Membership in white nationalist organizations is rising, and national politicians, including the president, are validating their perceived grievances.

Gilbert King is the author of "Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America," which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He has written about Supreme Court history and the death penalty for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine and The Marshall Project.

His new book, "Beneath a Ruthless Sun" tells a powerful, page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.

On July 17, 2014, a black man named Eric Garner died on a sidewalk after a police officer put him in what has been described as an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes.

In his new book, “I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street,” journalist Matt Taibbi writes about Garner's life, the police practices that contributed to his death and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

  Nineteenth-century New York City was one of the most magnificent cities in the world, but also one of the most deadly. Without any real law enforcement for almost 200 years, the city was a lawless place where the crime rate was triple what it is today and the murder rate was five or six times as high. The staggering amount of crime threatened to topple a city that was experiencing meteoric growth and striving to become one of the most spectacular in America.

In Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth of the NYPD, award-winning historian Bruce Chadwick examines how rampant violence led to the founding of the first professional police force in New York City. 

In Josh Barkan’s Mexico: Stories  the characters - chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime - are simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet, inevitably, crime has a way of intruding on their lives all the same.

A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal peril. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the walls between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, and when they collapse the consequences are life-changing.

  In Days Of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary, author Bryan Burrough offers an account of the decade-long battle between the FBI and the homegrown revolutionary movements of the 1970s.

Burrough digs deep to reveal the truth about what many call our country’s first “Age of Terror.”

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of five previous books, including The Big Rich and Public Enemies

  All American Boys is a new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

In the book, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

  Julius Caesar, a beautiful and popular girl from a wealthy family has been selected as the ‘face’ of Rome Preparatory Academy, an elite all girls boarding school. She will be the president of the student council and represent the school at both fund raising and social events, including Homecoming, over which she will preside as queen. Although well liked, Caesar's sense of entitlement and hubris are resented by other students. ---- If that sounds familiar but some the details seem new – you’re keeping up with us just fine.

The Theatre Department at SUNY New Paltz is staging a production of William Shakepeare’s Julius Caesar set in a girls’ boarding school.

This re-imagining of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar asks the audience to consider violence on a more personal level by eliminating the safe distance of history and putting the weapons in the hands of young people.

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

  Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. Previously he worked at The Washington Post.

He is the author of three New York Times best-sellers: The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers; a collection of his New Yorker articles titled What the Dog Saw and most recently, David and Goliath

This episode was recorded live at The White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT and presented by Oblong Books and Music. 

  In his 60-plus years as a trial lawyer, Gerry Spence has never represented a person accused of a crime in which the police hadn't themselves violated the law. The police and prosecutors won't charge or convict themselves, and so the crimes of the criminal justice system are swept under the rug. Nothing changes.

According to Spence, too many police officers are killers on the loose, and every uninformed American is a potential next victim. He discusses this in his new book, Police State: How America's Cops Get Away with Murder.

Dave Lucas / WAMC

Update: 1:02 p.m.

Two Troy police officers were shot Saturday night in the Capital Region city's Lansingburgh neighborhood.

MidHudsonNews.com

Residents of Newburgh Friday evening gathered at the site of the city’s latest murder, its fourth this year, to call for an end to the violence in the city.

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