Archive for journalism

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.




SKYLIT: Amelia Pang, “MADE IN CHINA” w/ Agnes Borinsky

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on January 31st, 2021

Trigger Warning: Contains descriptions of torture and sexual violence.

In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.
 

“Sir: If you occassionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicuton of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

The note’s author, Sun Yi, was a mild-mannered Chinese engineer turned political prisoner, forced into grueling labor for campaigning for the freedom to join a forbidden meditation movement. He was imprisoned alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and tens of thousands of others the Chinese government had decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.

In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on Sun’s story and the stories of others like him, including the persecuted Uyghur minority group whose abuse and exploitation is rapidly gathering steam. What she reveals is a closely guarded network of laogai—forced labor camps—that power the rapid pace of American consumerism. Through extensive interviews and firsthand reportage, Pang shows us the true cost of America’s cheap goods and shares what is ultimately a call to action—urging us to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies we patronize.

Pang is in conversation with fellow author and Skylight's own Agnes Borinsky.

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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: Daniel Brook, “THE ACCIDENT OF COLOR” w/ Erin Aubry Kaplan & Guenveur Smith

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, history, BIPOC, skylit by skylightbooks on November 30th, 2020

In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.

In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.

Brook is in conversation with journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan and actor/director/writer Roger Guenveur Smith.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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

 




SKYLIT: Frederick Kaufman, “THE MONEY PLOT” w/ Indrani Sen

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, business, skylit by skylightbooks on November 25th, 2020

Frederick Kaufman tackles the complex history of money, beginning with the earliest myths and wrapping up with Wall Street’s byzantine present-day doings. Along the way, he exposes a set of allegorical plots, stock characters, and stereotypical metaphors that have long been linked with money and commercial culture, from Melanesian trading rituals to the dogma of Medieval churchmen faced with global commerce, the rationales of Mercantilism and colonial expansion, and the U.S. dollar’s 1971 unpinning from gold.
 
The Money Plot offers a tool to see through the haze of modern banking and finance, demonstrating that the standard reasons given for economic inequality—the Neoliberal gospel of market forces—are, like dollars, euros, and yuan, contingent upon structures people have designed. It shines a light on the one percent’s efforts to contain a money culture that benefits them within boundaries they themselves are increasingly setting. And Kaufman warns that if we cannot recognize what is going on, we run the risk of becoming pawns and shells ourselves, of becoming characters in someone else’s plot, of becoming other people’s money.

Kaufman is in conversation with Indrani Sen, editor-in-chief at Forge and editorial director at Medium.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Carmen Boullosa, “LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR WALL” w/ Juan Villoro

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, latinx, skylit, immigration by skylightbooks on November 13th, 2020

Despite the extensive coverage in the U.S. media of the southern border and Donald Trump's proposed wall, most English speakers have had little access to the multitude of perspectives from Mexico on the ongoing crisis. Celebrated novelist Carmen Boullosa (author of Texas and Before) and Alberto Quintero redress this imbalance with this collection of essays--translated into English for the first time--drawing on writing by journalists, novelists, and documentary-makers who are Mexican or based in Mexico. Contributors include the award-winning author Valeria Luiselli, whose Tell Me How It Ends is the go-to book on the child migrant crisis, and the novelist Yuri Herrera, author of the highly acclaimed Signs Preceding the End of the World.

Let's Talk About Your Wall uses Trump's wall as a starting point to discuss important questions, including the history of U.S.-Mexican relations, and questions of sovereignty, citizenship, and borders. An essential resource for anyone seeking to form a well-grounded opinion on one of the central issues of our day, Let's Talk About Your Wall provides a fierce and compelling counterpoint to the racist bigotry and irrational fear that consumes the debate over immigration, and a powerful symbol of opposition to exclusion and hate.

Boullosa is in conversation with writer and journalist Juan Villoro.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Adam Goodman, “THE DEPORTATION MACHINE” w/ Romeo Guzmán

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, activism, latinx, skylit by skylightbooks on November 11th, 2020

Constant headlines about deportations, detention camps, and border walls drive urgent debates about immigration and what it means to be an American in the twenty-first century. The Deportation Machine traces the long and troubling history of the US government's systematic efforts to terrorize and expel immigrants over the past 140 years. This provocative, eye-opening book provides needed historical perspective on one of the most pressing social and political issues of our time.

In a sweeping and engaging narrative, Adam Goodman examines how federal, state, and local officials have targeted various groups for expulsion, from Chinese and Europeans at the turn of the twentieth century to Central Americans and Muslims today. He reveals how authorities have singled out Mexicans, nine out of ten of all deportees, and removed most of them not by orders of immigration judges but through coercive administrative procedures and calculated fear campaigns. Goodman uncovers the machine's three primary mechanisms--formal deportations, voluntary departures, and self-deportations--and examines how public officials have used them to purge immigrants from the country and exert control over those who remain. Exposing the pervasive roots of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, The Deportation Machine introduces the politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and ordinary citizens who have pushed for and profited from expulsion.

Goodman is in conversation with academic, public historian, and cultural worker Romeo Guzmán.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Vanessa Díaz, “MANUFACTURING CELEBRITY” w/ Elizabeth Hinton

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on September 21st, 2020

In Manufacturing Celebrity, Vanessa Díaz traces the complex power dynamics of the reporting and paparazzi work that fuel contemporary Hollywood and American celebrity culture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, her experience reporting for Peoplemagazine, and dozens of interviews with photographers, journalists, publicists, magazine editors, and celebrities, Díaz examines the racialized and gendered labor involved in manufacturing and selling relatable celebrity personas. Celebrity reporters, most of whom are white women, are expected to leverage their sexuality to generate coverage, which makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and assault. Meanwhile, the predominantly male Latino paparazzi can face life-threatening situations and endure vilification that echoes anti-immigrant rhetoric. In pointing out the precarity of those who hustle to make a living by generating the bulk of celebrity media, Díaz highlights the profound inequities of the systems that provide consumers with 24/7 coverage of their favorite stars.

Díaz is in conversation with Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale University and Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is a historian of American inequality who is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on policing and mass incarceration.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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





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