Tag Archives: What We’re Reading

New Jim Crow-It’s What We’re Reading

February 2016

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

New Jim Crow cover from Google Books
New Jim Crow cover from Google Books

The New Jim Crow 
Alexander, Michelle

Published in 2010, this book is about an issue that is not new to many people. As someone who missed this title when it came out, I highly recommend it.

Ms. Alexander, a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar, leads readers through the details of mass incarceration in America. She argues that mass incarceration is a new form of systemic oppression that directly grew to take the place of Jim Crow laws. The common misperception is that “guilty” prisoners serve their time in jail and are released. In reality laws against ex-felons discriminate against and disenfranchise them for the rest of their lives.  Most people know that our laws are applied  discriminatorily against minority groups, especially African Americans, but they may not connect the dots to systemic racism and instead chalk it up to “bad apples” or specific municipalities. This book will convince you otherwise. Thoroughly researched, it could and has been used as a textbook for college classes. As the author brings in stories of real people damaged by our criminal justice system, it remains a riveting read even though it is also a dense and disturbing one.

Reforms that are currently in demand, such as more monitoring of police activity and reducing sentences for most drug crimes, do not obviate Ms. Alexander’s underlying argument. It is even more important to understand the system while we are thinking about these issues. Focusing only on one or two aspects of the system she presents will not be enough to save our American people or our collective soul.

The New Jim Crow is part of the Library’s collection and is
available on the second floor. Make sure to check the availability online. It may already be checked out.

Amandine – It’s What We’re Reading

September 2010

The inaugural monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

Amandine by Marlena de Blasi – As an infant, the illegitimate child of a Polish aristocrat is consigned to be raised as an orphan in a remote French convent. Although tenderly cared for by Solange, her young governess, Amandine longs to find her real mother. As Europe descends into the madness of WWII, Amandine and Solange transverse the war-torn continent in search of the child’s true identity. Combining an historical context with a compelling personal quest, Amandine is a captivating read.

This book is held in the Library’s Popular Fiction collection.

What We’re Reading

Watch for a new review each month.

The Library’s Season’s Readings list presented each year at the holiday season, has been so popular that we are starting an ongoing set of book reviews provided by our staff. All reviewed books are part of our collection at the Francis A. Drexel Library.

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If you have read this book–we welcome your comments here on the blog.