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3 Books | by Allyson Strong

The Boys in the Bunkhouse

The Boys in the Bunkhouse

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With this Dickensian tale from America’s heartland, New York Times writer and columnist Dan Barry tells the harrowing yet uplifting story of the exploitation and abuse of a resilient group of men with intellectual disability, and the heroic efforts of those who helped them to find justice and reclaim their lives. In the tiny Iowa farm town of Atalissa, dozens of men, all with intellectual disability and all from Texas, lived in an old schoolhouse. Before dawn each morning, they were bussed to a nearby processing plant, where they eviscerated turkeys in return for food, lodging, and $65 a month. They lived in near servitude for more than thirty years, enduring increasing neglect, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse—until state social workers, local journalists, and one tenacious labor lawyer helped these men achieve freedom. Drawing on exhaustive interviews, Dan Barry dives deeply into the lives of the men, recording their memories of suffering, loneliness and fleeting joy, as well as the undying hope they maintained despite their traumatic circumstances. Barry explores how a small Iowa town remained oblivious to the plight of these men, analyzes the many causes for such profound and chronic negligence, and lays out the impact of the men’s dramatic court case, which has spurred advocates—including President Obama—to push for just pay and improved working conditions for people living with disabilities. A luminous work of social justice, told with compassion and compelling detail, The Boys in the Bunkhouse is more than just inspired storytelling. It is a clarion call for a vigilance that ensures inclusion and dignity for all.

Wendell Berry: Essays 1993-2017 (LOA #317)

Wendell Berry: Essays 1993-2017 (LOA #317)

Books

The second volume of the Library of America's definitive two-volume selection of the nonfiction writings of our greatest living advocate for sustainable culture. Writing with elegance and clarity, Wendell Berry is a compassionate and compelling voice for our time of political and cultural distrust and division, whether expounding the joys and wisdom of nonindustrial agriculture, relishing the pleasure of eating food produced locally by people you know, or giving voice to a righteous contempt for hollow innovation. He is our most important writer on the cultural crisis posed by industrialization and mass consumerism, and the vital role of rural, sustainable farming in preserving the planet as well as our national character. Now, in celebration of Berry's extraordinary six-decade-long career, Library of America presents a two-volume selection of his nonfiction writings prepared in close consultation with the author. In this second volume, forty-four essays from ten works turn to issues of political and social debate--big government, science and religion, and the meaning of citizenship following the tragedy of 9/11. Also included is his Jefferson Lecture to the National Endowment for the Humanities, "It All Turns on Affection" (2012). Berry's essays remain timely, even urgent today, and will resonate with anyone interested in our relationship to the natural world and especially with a younger, politically engaged generation invested in the future welfare of the planet. INCLUDES: Life is a Miracle AND SELECTIONS FROM Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community Another Turn of the Crank Citizenship Papers The Way of Ignorance What Matters? Imagination in Place It All Turns on Affection Our Only World The Art of Loading Brush LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

High School Confidential

High School Confidential

Books

It's spring semester at Mirador High in Southern California, and twenty-four-year-old Jeremy Iversen is going deep undercover to deliver the real deal about the dull classes and fast times of American teens today. Trading in his suit and tie for jeans and skater shoes, Iversen posed as a senior transfer student. He took six classes five days a week, dissected a cat, got sent to detention, hung out at the mall, signed yearbooks, and graduated in cap and gown. He infiltrated the homes of his teenage friends, met their parents, and went to their parties. For one entire semester, he led the life of a modern-day high school student -- and lived to tell all about it. Going way beyond the usual clichés of jock and nerd, the book introduces readers to a revolving cast of fascinating characters from every walk of social life: promiscuous freshmen girls, lunchtime alcoholics, evangelical Christians, perfectionist drug dealers, masochistic vampires, steroid-raging baseball stars, and one principal who will stop at nothing to make her failing school look good. In this fast-paced exposé, Jeremy Iversen blows the lid off a secret world in which the sexual revolution runs unchecked, where the use of recreational drugs is chronic, and where apathetic teachers don't even bother to teach. This Wild West wonderland, however, lives by strict unwritten rules and ultraconservative politics, creating a pressure cooker of conflict that's bound to explode. High School Confidential isn't confidential anymore.

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