This book is an intersection of my favorite band and a comic book. Rush's album A Farewell to Kings was made into a graphic novel. The book chronicles the creation of the album. With great songs like Closer to the Heart, the opener with the same name as the album, and their epic songs on the album Xanadu and Cygnus X-1, the album will not disappoint. Any progressive rock fans, classic rock fans, or really comic book fans, will enjoy this read.
All of us who live in Metro Detroit know that there was a major event in the late sixties in the City of Detroit. This book reviews the events from many different perspectives. Throughout you can tell that even naming the event there is no consensus. Some folks want to call it a riot, some a revolution, and some an uprising (among others). After reading through most of the book so far, I believe it to be a combination of all. It started out more as a riot (one definition: "a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd"), due to an onlooker at the blind pig throwing a glass bottle at a police officer. From there much violence ensued. But after that point, as most uprisings or revolutions came much good (remember that the Boston Tea Party was a destruction of the East India Company's tea). The bad relationship between the citizens of Detroit and its police department came to public light, and some issues were addressed. Of course, to this day, there is of course much work to do.
Something I like to do is read books by folks running for office, or folks already elected to office. It not only helps me think about my journey as a public servant, but also the events surrounding the day, and what that person thought was important. Joe Biden's book helps put things in perspective. He talks about how he juggled home life and work life, even when Vice President of the United States.
It was also interesting to hear the Vice President's take on his son's illness, after I had so recently gone through a ruptured brain aneurysm. He had described hospital visits, and I was now listenting to what it feels like from the other side, as I spent eleven days in the ICU.
Overall, the book shows that Joe Biden is compassionate, and one who thinks deeply about how his decisions affect others. This is the kind of person that I want representing me, even I do not agree with them 100% of the time (what government official do you ever agree with 100% of the time?). I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to hear stories about the Obama administration, being an elected official in general, or just read (or listen, as I did!) a good political book.
It was a tumultous two terms for Governor Jennifer Granholm in Michigan. The Great Recession had taken its course by the end of her tenure, but she reviews the steps she took to get the best result for Michiganders. The main theme of her governership was jobs, due to the loss of manufacturing jobs, compounded by the Great Recession. She explains how tax cuts alone di not create an economic recovery (and outlines in an index the 99 corporate tax cuts and 17 individual tax cuts she signed into law over her two terms), and that it took the federal government to step in and assist in Michigan. President Obama's signing of the auto sector bail out was crucial to us getting back on our feet. She also shares many of her favorite moments from campaigning, but it is clear that she enjoys the government-side more than the campaign-side.
This book is far more than a story about Ms. Carr's son Eric Garner being killed at the hands of police. She goes into great detail about the tragic situation, but also covers many topics on how tragedies like hers can be prevented in the future. She recounts her steps as an activist. She believes the most effective way to improve police effectiveness is through training, but more in a way that encourages the public to trust their police force. Neighborhood watches, she believes, are an effective tool. We have recently started a Neighborhood Watch in Eastpointe. She reviews bills that had been introduced in Congress regarding policing policies. She talks about how we should appoint special prosecutors when folks are killed in police custody. She discusses the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York City, the board that recommended the stiffest penalties to the officer that murdered her son, and nothing was done.
This is a book I bought months ago, and had not yet read. I started reading it before George Floyd was murdered by a police officer, and I am now trying to finish it. Claiming to be "not racist" is not good enough. Everyone needs to be antiracist. Standing by while someone else is racist, pushing racist policies, or degrading someone according to their race, is being "not racist", when clearly a stand needs to be made as antiracist.
We must reconsider policies when police officers are murdering black citizens. We must reconsider policies that discriminate. We must reconsider ordinances that do not provide for equal treatment.
If you are looking for positive change, this is the book for you. The author provides an easy way to understand his ideas, and also details his own stories he now considers racist (and of course did not realize at the time). This is a must read.