Archive for journalism

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Kelly

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, activism, About the Author by skylightbooks on May 3rd, 2022
Fresh off of May Day 2022, join us for a conversation with organizer and journalist Kim Kelly, as she discusses the feasibility of labor reform in her lifetime, the origins of Independent Workers' Day, and her new book, Fight Like Hell.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Sanaa Seif + Sharif abdel Kouddous, ”YOU HAVE NOT YET BEEN DEFEATED”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, journalism, activism, politics, skylit by skylightbooks on April 18th, 2022
Join us for a conversation between activist Sanaa Seif and journalist Sharif abdel Kouddous, as they discuss You Have Not Yet Been Defeateda collection of works from Seif's brother, incarcerated political prisoner Alaa Abd el-Fattah. In this discussion, Seif talks about the circumstances of her brother's imprisonment, her own arrest, the limited agency provided to prisoners of the state, and what she hopes will come of their writing.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrian Shirk and Amanda Montell

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, About the Author by skylightbooks on April 8th, 2022
Join us for a fun conversation between Adrian Shirk and Amanda Montell about the nature of cults and utopias, basing narratives in autobiographical perspective, and their respective books Heaven is a Place on Earth and Cultish.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Paul Haddad, ”FREEWAYTOPIA” w/ Steve DeVorkin

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, history, skylit by skylightbooks on March 30th, 2022

From the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which began construction during the Great Depression, to the Century Freeway, completed in 1993, author Paul Haddad provides an entertaining and thought-provoking history of the 527 miles of roadways that comprise the Los Angeles freeway system.

Each of Los Angeles's twelve freeways receives its own chapter, and these are supplemented by "Off-Ramps"--sidebars that dish out pithy factoids about Botts' Dots, SigAlerts, and all matter of freeway lexicon, such as why Southern Californians are the only people in the country who place the word "the" in front of their interstates, as in "the 5," or "the 101."

Freewaytopia also explores those routes that never saw the light of day. Imagine superhighways burrowing through Laurel Canyon, tunneling under the Hollywood Sign, or spanning the waters of Santa Monica Bay. With a few more legislative strokes of the pen, you wouldn't have to imagine them--they'd already exist.

Haddad is joined in conversation by Steve DeVorkin.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Brooks Hefner, ”BLACK PULP”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, film/tv, journalism, BIPOC, skylit by skylightbooks on January 10th, 2022

In recent years, Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Marvel’s Black Panther, and HBO’s Watchmen have been lauded for the innovative ways they repurpose genre conventions to criticize white supremacy, celebrate Black resistance, and imagine a more racially just world—important progressive messages widely spread precisely because they are packaged in popular genres. But it turns out, such generic retooling for antiracist purposes is nothing new.  

As Brooks E. Hefner’s Black Pulp shows, this tradition of antiracist genre revision begins even earlier than recent studies of Black superhero comics of the 1960s have revealed. Hefner traces it back to a phenomenon that began in the 1920s, to serialized (and sometimes syndicated) genre stories written by Black authors in Black newspapers with large circulations among middle- and working-class Black readers. From the pages of the Pittsburgh Courier and the Baltimore Afro-American, Hefner recovers a rich archive of African American genre fiction from the 1920s through the mid-1950s—spanning everything from romance, hero-adventure, and crime stories to westerns and science fiction. Reading these stories, Hefner explores how their authors deployed, critiqued, and reassembled genre formulas—and the pleasures they offer to readers—in the service of racial justice: to criticize Jim Crow segregation, racial capitalism, and the sexual exploitation of Black women; to imagine successful interracial romance and collective sociopolitical progress; and to cheer Black agency, even retributive violence in the face of white supremacy. 

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Rosecrans Baldwin, ”EVERYTHING NOW” w/ Charles Yu

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on December 13th, 2021

Deeply reported and researched, provocatively argued, and eloquently written, Rosecrans Baldwin's Everything Now approaches the metropolis from unexpected angles, nimbly interleaving his own voice with a chorus of others, from canonical L.A. literature to everyday citizens. Here, Octavia E. Butler and Joan Didion are in conversation with activists and astronauts, vampires and veterans. Baldwin records the stories of countless Angelenos, discovering people both upended and reborn: by disasters natural and economic, following gospels of wealth or self-help or personal destiny. The result is a story of a kaleidoscopic, vibrant nation unto itself―vastly more than its many, many parts.

Baldwin’s concept of the city-state allows us, finally, to grasp a place―Los Angeles―whose idiosyncrasies both magnify those of America, and are so fully its own. Here, space and time don’t quite work the same as they do elsewhere, and contradictions are as stark as southern California’s natural environment. Perhaps no better place exists to watch the United States’s past, and its possible futures, play themselves out.

Welcome to Los Angeles, the Great American City-State.

Baldwin is in conversation with Charles You during this live Crowdcast event, which was recorded on June 15, 2021.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, Natalie Freeman, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Allyson Brantley, “BREWING A BOYCOTT”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, activism, history, skylit by skylightbooks on August 13th, 2021

In the late twentieth century, nothing united union members, progressive students, Black and Chicano activists, Native Americans, feminists, and members of the LGBTQ+ community quite as well as Coors beer. They came together not in praise of the ice cold beverage but rather to fight a common enemy: the Colorado-based Coors Brewing Company. Wielding the consumer boycott as their weapon of choice, activists targeted Coors for allegations of antiunionism, discrimination, and conservative political ties. Over decades of organizing and coalition-building from the 1950s to the 1990s, anti-Coors activists molded the boycott into a powerful means of political protest.

In Brewing a Boycott, the first narrative history of one of the longest boycott campaigns in U.S. history, Allyson P. Brantley draws from a broad archive as well as oral history interviews with long-time boycotters to offer a compelling, grassroots view of anti-corporate organizing and the unlikely coalitions that formed in opposition to the iconic Rocky Mountain brew. The story highlights the vibrancy of activism in the final decades of the twentieth century and the enduring legacy of that organizing for communities, consumer activists, and corporations today.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Daniel Oppenheimer, “FAR FROM RESPECTABLE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, criticism, art, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on June 14th, 2021
Regarded as both a legend and a villain, the critic Dave Hickey has inspired generations of artists, art critics, musicians, and writers. His 1993 book The Invisible Dragon became a cult hit for its potent and provocative critique of the art establishment and its call to reconsider the role of beauty in art. His next book, 1997's Air Guitar, introduced a new kind of cultural criticism--simultaneously insightful, complicated, vulnerable, and down-to-earth--that propelled Hickey to fame as an iconoclastic thinker, loved and loathed in equal measure, whose influence extended beyond the art world. Far from Respectable is a focused, evocative exploration of Hickey's work, his impact on the field of art criticism, and the man himself, from his Huck Finn childhood to his drug-fueled periods as both a New York gallerist and Nashville songwriter to, finally, his anointment as a tenured professor and MacArthur Fellow. Drawing on in-person interviews with Hickey, his friends and family, and art world comrades and critics, Daniel Oppenheimer examines the controversial writer's distinctive takes on a broad range of subjects, including Norman Rockwell, Robert Mapplethorpe, academia, Las Vegas, basketball, country music, and considers how Hickey and his vision of an "ethical, cosmopolitan paganism" built around a generous definition of art is more urgently needed than ever before.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Sarah Berman, “DON’T CALL IT A CULT” w/ Ashley Ray Harris

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, True Crime, Crime, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on May 8th, 2021
Sex trafficking. Self-help coaching. Forced labor. Mentorship. Multi-level marketing. Gaslighting. Investigative journalist Sarah Berman explores the shocking practices of NXIVM, a cult run by Keith Raniere and many enablers. Through the accounts of central NXIVM figures, Berman uncovers how dozens of women seeking creative coaching and networking opportunities instead were blackmailed, literally branded, near-starved, and enslaved. Don't Call It a Cult is a riveting account of NXIVM's rise to power, its ability to evade prosecution for decades, and the investigation that finally revealed its dark secrets to the world.
 
Berman is in conversation with Ashley Ray Harris.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Seamus McGraw, “FROM A TALLER TOWER” w/ the Orfanos

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on April 28th, 2021

We, as a nation, have become desensitized to the shock and pain in the wake of mass shootings. In the bottomless silence between gunshots, as political stalemate ensures inaction, the killing continues; the dying continues. From a Taller Tower attends to the silence that has left us empty in the aftermath of these atrocities. Veteran journalist Seamus McGraw chronicles the rise of the mass shooter to dismantle the myths we have constructed around the murderers and ourselves.

In 1966, America's first mass shooter, from atop the University of Texas tower, unleashed a new reality: the fear that any of us may be targeted by a killer, and the complicity we bear in granting these murderers the fame or infamy they crave. Addressing individual cases in the epidemic that began in Austin, From a Taller Tower bluntly confronts our obsession with the shooters--and explores the isolation, narcissism, and sense of victimhood that fan their obsessions. Drawing on the experiences of survivors and first responders as well as the knowledge of mental health experts, McGraw challenges the notion of the "good guy with a gun," the idolization of guns (including his own), and the reliability of traumatized memory. Yet in this terrible history, McGraw reminds us of the humanity that can stop the killing and the dying.

McGraw is in conversation with Mark and Susan Orfanos.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Sara Kamali, “HOMEGROWN HATE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, journalism, activism, skylit by skylightbooks on April 15th, 2021

Homegrown Hate is a groundbreaking and deeply researched work that directly compares White nationalists and militant Islamists in the United States. In this timely book, scholar and holistic justice activist Sara Kamali examines these Americans’ self-described beliefs, grievances, and rationales for violence, and details their organizational structures within a transnational context. She presents compelling insight into the most pressing threat to homeland security not only in the United States, but in nations across the globe: citizens who are targeting their homeland according to their respective narratives of victimhood. She also explains the hate behind the headlines and provides the tools to counter this hate from within, cogently offering hope in uncertain and divisive times. Innovative and engaging, this is an indispensable resource for all who cherish equity and justice in the United States and around the world.

Kamali is in conversation with Skylight's Emily Van Koughnett.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Michael Wilson Becerril, “RESISTING EXTRACTIVISM”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on March 28th, 2021
Peru is classified as one of the deadliest countries in the world for environmental defenders, where activists face many forms of violence. Through an ethnographic and systematic comparison of four gold-mining conflicts in Peru, Resisting Extractivism presents a vivid account of subtle and routine forms of violence, analyzing how meaning-making practices render certain types of damage and suffering noticeable while occluding others. The book thus builds a theory of violence from the ground up--how it is framed, how it impacts people's lived experiences, and how it can be confronted. By excavating how the everyday interactions that underlie conflicts are discursively concealed and highlighted, this study assists in the prevention and transformation of violence over resource extraction in Latin America.
Author Michael Wilson Becerril draws on a controlled, qualitative comparison of four case studies, extensive ethnographic research conducted over fourteen months of fieldwork, analysis of over nine hundred archives and documents, and unprecedented access to more than 250 semi-structured interviews with key actors across industry, the state, civil society, and the media. Becerril identifies, traces, and compares these dynamics to explain how similar cases can lead to contrasting outcomes--insights that may be usefully applied in other contexts to save lives and build better futures.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: William Deverell, “KATHY FISCUS”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on March 24th, 2021
Kathy Fiscus tells the story of the first live, breaking-news TV spectacle in American history. At dusk on a spring evening in 1949, a three-year old girl fell down an abandoned well shaft in the backyard of her family's home in Southern California. Across more than two full days of a fevered rescue attempt, the fate of Kathy Fiscus remained unknown. Thousands of concerned Southern Californians rushed to the scene. Jockeys hurried over from the nearby racetracks, offering to be sent down the well after Kathy. 20th Century Fox sent over the studio's klieg lights to illuminate the scene. Rescue workers-ditch diggers, miners, cesspool laborers, World War II veterans-dug and bored holes deep into the aquifer below, hoping to tunnel across to the old well shaft that the little girl had somehow tumbled down. The region, the nation, and the world watched and listened to every moment of the rescue attempt by way of radio, newsreel footage, and wire service reporting. They also watched live television. Because of the well's proximity to the radio towers on nearby Mount Wilson, the rescue attempt because the first breaking-news event to be broadcast live on television. The Kathy Fiscus event invented reality television and proved that real-time television news broadcasting could work and could transfix the public.
 
Author William Deverell is in conversation with Skylight's Lance Morgan.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Lynell George, “A HANDFUL OF EARTH, A HANDFUL OF SKY” w/ Louise Steinman

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, journalism, writing, biography, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on February 8th, 2021

A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler offers a blueprint for a creative life from the perspective of award-winning science-fiction writer and “MacArthur Genius” Octavia E. Butler. It is a collection of ideas about how to look, listen, breathe—how to be in the world. This book is about the creative process, but not on the page; its canvas is much larger. Author Lynell George not only engages the world that shaped Octavia E. Butler, she also explores the very specific processes through which Butler shaped herself—her unique process of self-making. It’s about creating a life with what little you have—hand-me-down books, repurposed diaries, journals, stealing time to write in the middle of the night, making a small check stretch—bit by bit by bit. A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky draws the reader into Butler’s world, creating a sense of unmatched intimacy with the deeply private writer.

George is in conversation with writer, artist, and literary curator Louise Steinman.

 
This episode was recorded on November 9, 2020 during a live Crowdcast event hosted by Skylight Books. Visit us at www.crowdcast.io/skylightbooks to RSVP for future events.
 
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Megan Rosenbloom, “DARK ARCHIVES” w/ Caitlin Doughty

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, history, skylit by skylightbooks on February 5th, 2021
On bookshelves around the world, surrounded by ordinary books bound in paper and leather, rest other volumes of a distinctly strange and grisly sort: those bound in human skin. Would you know one if you held it in your hand?

In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy—the practice of binding books in this most intimate covering. Dozens of such books live on in the world’s most famous libraries and museums. Dark Archives exhumes their origins and brings to life the doctors, murderers, innocents, and indigents whose lives are sewn together in this disquieting collection. Along the way, Rosenbloom tells the story of how her team of scientists, curators, and librarians test rumored anthropodermic books, untangling the myths around their creation and reckoning with the ethics of their custodianship.

A librarian and journalist, Rosenbloom is a member of The Order of the Good Death and a cofounder of their Death Salon, a community that encourages conversations, scholarship, and art about mortality and mourning. In Dark Archives—captivating and macabre in all the right ways—she has crafted a narrative that is equal parts detective work, academic intrigue, history, and medical curiosity: a book as rare and thrilling as its subject.

Rosenbloom is joined by mortician and activist Caitlin Doughty.
 
This episode was recorded on October 29 during a live Crowdcast event hosted by Skylight Books. Visit us at www.crowdcast.io/skylightbooks to RSVP for future events.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.





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