From review of “Left in the Midwest: St. Louis Progressive Activism in the 1960s and 1970s” (2023): “For most of Missouri, especially the GOP leadership in the Legislature, St. Louis is a hotbed of progressive tomfoolery. At the same time, some progressives who live here think the place is culturally conservative and politically stagnant — and they despair. As one longtime activist quoted in the book says, ‘It’s a great place to organize, but a tough place to make a difference.’”

From review of Linda Morice’s “Nuked: Echoes of the Hiroshima Bomb in St. Louis” (2022): “The common thread that appeared to link these illnesses and deaths was Coldwater Creek, the 19-mile Missouri River tributary that starts at a spring-fed lake in Overland and winds through North County, including near her family’s former Florissant home.”

From review of Carey Gillam’s “The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man’s Search for Justice” (2021): “Despite the subject matter — complicated science and legal proceedings — “The Monsanto Papers” is a gripping read that provides an easy-to-follow explanation of how this litigation unfolded, how the jurors reached their verdict and why Bayer appears to be, in effect, throwing up a white flag now.”

From review of Ben Montgomery’s “A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South” (2021): “Montgomery does more than resurrect this old story; he digs deep into trial testimony, newspaper records and archives and weaves a richly textured and dramatic story that underscores a truth of the Jim Crow era — that Black people faced oppression with great courage and resilience, and that their fearlessness and moral rectitude made even unreconstructed apologists for an unjust system bend.”

From review of Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s ‘Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism’ (2020): “Couple the staggering cost of health care in the U.S. with the erosion of other key pillars of the traditional safety net — traditional old-age pensions and meager unemployment insurance — and you may despair, as well.  ‘Deaths of Despair’ was released last month as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Its analysis seems both timely and dated, as millions of people suddenly find themselves out of work, facing a dread disease and struggling to navigate a broken health care system.”


From review of Carl Boggs’ ‘Fascism Old and New: American Politics at the  Crossroads’(2018): “[Carl] Boggs credits Trump with unleashing a multitude of dark social forces in American society, tapping a certain ethno-nationalism that encourages stereotyping, hate speech and targeting. But Trump — despite the strong passions he arouses — may not really matter all that much. Certain tendencies are now so institutionalized, so thoroughly entrenched in American public life, that the leadership factor as such is bound to be less decisive than generally believed, Boggs writes.”


From review of Henry W. Berger’s ‘St. Louis & Empire: 250 Years of Imperial Quest & Urban Crisis’ (2015): Past attempts to address poverty, racial segregation and inequality, and troubled public education have had, at best, limited success and, in many cases, made things worse. Far more extensive attention and far greater corrective action is required, he writes. The focus should … be on people, not real estate. High-ticket enterprises such as stadiums, convention centers, and condo buildings do not a city make.’”

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