A taut, moving, powerful account of an ongoing human rights disaster.



A viscerally affecting memoir from a Uyghur woman who “endured hundreds of hours of interrogation, torture, malnutrition, police violence, and brainwashing.”

By 2006, Haitiwaji and her husband, Kerim, began to realize that she and her fellow Uyghurs were being incrementally stripped of their civil rights in her native region of Xinjiang. They moved to France, where life was difficult but livable. Although the couple had been well-paid engineers at an oil company in Xinjiang, they scraped by in Paris, with Kerim working as an Uber driver and the author as a baker and cook. In 2017, pressure by her former employer about her work pension convinced them that it was safe for her to return to sign required paperwork. Not long after she arrived, she was apprehended and interrogated. Photos of her adult daughter in Paris at an anti-Chinese protest for Uyghurs convinced police that she was dangerous. She was branded as a “terrorist,” a fate that has befallen many Uyghurs, who are Muslim and fiercely wary of Chinese authoritarianism. Languishing without a trial for a year, she was eventually sentenced to seven years of “reeducation.” In this urgent and eloquent narrative, the author fashions harrowing depictions of daily humiliations at the camps (so-called “schools”), including rote memorization, senseless interrogation, and violence. After more than two years, pressure by her daughter, who publicized her mother’s ordeal, raising alarm to the highest levels of the French government, agitated Xinjiang authorities. In order to secure her release, Haitiwaji was forced to confess to crimes she hadn’t committed. Despite her courage in the face of a brutal ordeal, it appears that she was one of the lucky ones: Many of the women she met in prison never made it out, and thousands still suffer based on the flimsiest of charges simply because of their ethnicity.

A taut, moving, powerful account of an ongoing human rights disaster.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64421-148-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seven Stories

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A cogent “horror story” about the plot to reanimate mid-20th-century White male supremacy at the expense of abortion access.


Incisive look at the destructive path of anti-abortion ideology in the U.S.

Even though most Americans believe in a woman’s right to choose—“consistent research has shown that more than 7 in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion”—the radical right has succeeded in steadily eroding reproductive freedoms since Roe v. Wade. According to NARAL Pro-Choice America leaders Hogue and Langford, the campaign against abortion is but a means to an end for the architects of the pro-life movement. Their true aim is the uncontested dominion of White Christian men. The battle began in 1954, when Brown v. Board of Education struck down “state laws used by segregationists to maintain structural inequality in the nation’s schools.” In 1976, the IRS rescinded the tax-exempt status of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s segregationist Bob Jones University. What has followed, argue the authors convincingly, is more than a half-century of machinations designed “to halt progressive cultural change and maintain power for a privileged minority.” Anti-abortion rhetoric is just a weapon, driven by design, propaganda, disinformation, and cowed Republican politicians—hallmarks of the Trump era. Hogue and Langdon make a strong case that the rises of Trump, fake news, and science skepticism are not flukes but rather the culmination of a dogged campaign by forces still smarting from desegregation and second- and third-wave feminism. The reproductive freedom of American women is the victim of an “anti-democratic power grab on a historic scale.” The authors build a chilling case that the startling 2019 wave of abortion bans across the nation should serve as a canary in the coal mine for citizens concerned with democracy and a catalyst for bolder messaging, better strategic planning, and sustained action to combat disinformation.

A cogent “horror story” about the plot to reanimate mid-20th-century White male supremacy at the expense of abortion access.

Pub Date: July 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947492-50-9

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Strong Arm Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2020

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