Category Archives: reviews

December 17, 2013, 12:33 pm

The Education of Henry Adams: A Review


Henry and his book in fall, 2013 (Photo credit: Rachel Adams)

Rachel Adams, Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability and Discovery (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013). 272 pp. $17.95.

Raising Henry begins with two images. The first is the photograph of author Rachel Adams and her son Henry on the front of the book. It is, Adams tells us, one of the few photographs of them together, since she is usually the one behind the camera. The second image is one she only describes in the opening paragraphs of the book: a cherished photograph of her mother, already dying of cancer in Rachel’s childhood.

These images combine to ask the reader: what does it mean, not only to focus on the disabled subject, but to expand our view and allow a disabled child’s mother, father or siblings to be “in the picture”…

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April 20, 2009, 10:12 pm

Off The Radical Shelf– Chesa Boudin, Gringo: A Coming-Of-Age In Latin America (Scribners: 2009), $25.00. 226 pp.

Chesa Boudin’s first solo trip to the southern hemisphere was in 1999, an immersion visit to the colonia of San Andres, Guatemala, during his senior year in high school. The trip launched a passion for travel, and for seeing the swift political changes sweeping the global south first hand.

Over the course of the next ten years, Boudin would return repeatedly, visiting almost every country in Latin and Central America. He observed, and sometimes participated in, an evolving socialist political movement during a period in which neoliberal policies promoted by the United States and its allies at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund first wrecked economies and, eventually, country by country, inspired political change. Boudin, a Rhodes scholar who studied at Oxford and is now a law student at Yale, was in the right place at a lot of right times. In February 2002, he arrived …

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April 21, 2008, 1:04 pm

Be Afraid of Your Wife: Feminism and the History of Everyday Rage

(Crossposted at Cliopatra)

A Vietnam-era suburban housewife is standing in front of a kitchen counter. She stares calmly and without expression into the camera, as if she is the star of her own cooking show. “Knife,” she intones, displaying a knife in her right hand. With short, violent strokes she stabs the cutting board in front of her. She puts the knife aside. “Measuring cup,” she intones, and begins to flip an invisible liquid into the face of an invisible person. “Nutcracker,” she says, holding up the new implement and snapping it together sharply three or four times before setting it down.

Ouch. “Semiotics of the Kitchen” (1975), one of five short performance pieces produced and filmed by Lynda Begler, shows how ordinary kitchen implements express a woman’s rage, or what Betty Friedan famously called “the problem that has no name.” But Friedan – and…

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