Father Figure

Jordan Shapiro

A thoughtful and long-overdue exploration of fatherhood and masculinity in the 21st century that "redefines what it means to be a good father" (Adam Grant).

There are hundreds of books on parenting, and with good reason—becoming a parent is scary, difficult, and life-changing. But when it comes to books about parenting identity, rather than the nuts and bolts of raising children, nearly all are about what it's like to be a mother.

Drawing on research in sociology, economics, philosophy, gender studies, and the author's own experiences, Father Figure sets out to fill that gap. It's an exploration of the psychology of fatherhood from an archetypal perspective as well as a cultural history that challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of so-called traditional parenting roles. What paradoxes and contradictions  are inherent in our common understanding of dads? Might it be time to rethink some aspects of fatherhood?

Gender norms are changing, and old economic models are facing disruption. As a result, parenthood and family life are undergoing an existential transformation. And yet, the narratives and images of dads available to us are wholly inadequate for this transition. Victorian and Industrial Age tropes about fathers not only dominate the media, but also contour most people's lived experience. Father Figure offers a badly needed update to our collective understanding of fatherhood—and masculinity in general. It teaches dads how to embrace the joys of fathering while guiding them toward an image of manliness for the modern world.

Upcoming Events

Hosted by Charis Books & More

Virtual Conversation

JORDAN SHAPIRO IN CONVERSATION WITH JO PIAZZA

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Hosted by Book Passage

Virtual Conversation

Jordan Shapiro in conversation with Ted Bunch

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Hosted by Politics & Prose

Virtual Conversation

Parenting Panel: Gregg Behr, Ryan Rydzewski, and Jordan Shapiro-When You Wonder, You're Learning & Father Figure—with Anya Kamenetz

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Rooted

Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Deepen your connection to the natural world with this inspiring meditation, "a path to the place where science and spirit meet" (Robin Wall Kimmerer).

In Rooted, cutting-edge science supports a truth that poets, artists, mystics, and earth-based cultures across the world have proclaimed over millennia: life on this planet is radically interconnected. Our bodies, thoughts, minds, and spirits are affected by the whole of nature, and they affect this whole in return. In this time of crisis, how can we best live upon our imperiled, beloved earth?

Award-winning writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s highly personal new book is a brilliant invitation to live with the earth in both simple and profound ways—from walking barefoot in the woods and reimagining our relationship with animals and trees, to examining the very language we use to describe and think about nature. She invokes rootedness as a way of being in concert with the wilderness—and wildness—that sustains humans and all of life.

In the tradition of Rachel Carson, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Mary Oliver, Haupt writes with urgency and grace, reminding us that at the crossroads of science, nature, and spirit we find true hope. Each chapter provides tools for bringing our unique gifts to the fore and transforming our sense of belonging within the magic and wonder of the natural world. 

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Online

Author event with Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Virtually hosted by Napa Bookmine

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Learning in Public

Courtney E. Martin

One mother’s story of enrolling her daughter in a local public school, and the surprising, necessary lessons she learned with her neighbors.

From the time Courtney E. Martin strapped her daughter, Maya, to her chest for long walks, she was curious about Emerson Elementary, a public school down the street from her Oakland home. She learned that White families in their gentrifying neighborhood largely avoided the majority-Black, poorly-rated school. As she began asking why, a journey of a thousand moral miles began.
 
Learning in Public is the story, not just Courtney’s journey, but a whole country’s. Many of us are newly awakened to the continuing racial injustice all around us, but unsure of how to go beyond hashtags and yard signs to be a part of transforming the country. Courtney discovers that her public school, the foundation of our fragile democracy, is a powerful place to dig deeper.  
 
Courtney E. Martin examines her own fears, assumptions, and conversations with other moms and dads as they navigate school choice. A vivid portrait of integration’s virtues and complexities, and yes, the palpable joy of trying to live differently in a country re-making itself. Learning in Public might also set your family’s life on a different course forever. 

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City Arts broadcast on KQED/ NPR - to air Aug 8

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Battle for the Big Top

Les Standiford

The untold story of three Golden Age titans and the confrontations, cutthroat business strategies, and eccentric personalities that built the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus
 

Millions have sat under the “big top,” watching as trapeze artists glide and clowns entertain, but few know the captivating stories behind the men whose creativity, ingenuity, and determination created one of our country’s most beloved pastimes.

In Battle for the Big Top, New York Times–bestselling author Les Standiford brings to life a remarkable era when three circus kings—James Bailey, P.T. Barnum, and John Ringling—all vied for control of the vastly profitable and influential American Circus. Ultimately, the rivalry of these three men resulted in the creation of an institution that would surpass all intentions and, for 147 years, hold a nation spellbound.
 
Filled with details of their ever-evolving showmanship, business acumen, and personal magnetism, this Ragtime-like narrative will delight and enchant circus-lovers and anyone fascinated by the American experience.

 

Upcoming Events

Free Virtual Event

The Mark Twain House & Museum and P.T. Barnum Museum

in conversation with Kathy Maher

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Free Virtual Event

National Archives and Records Administration

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In-person event

Copperfish Books

Book signing will follow the talk

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How the Word Is Passed

Clint Smith

The Atlantic writer drafts a history of slavery in this country unlike anything you’ve read before.” Entertainment Weekly

Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves.

It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola, a former plantation–turned–maximum-security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers.

A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.

Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.

Upcoming Events

Davidson College

Virtual Conversation with President Carol

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Brennan Center for Justice

Virtual Conversation

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Schomburg Center Literary Festival

Virtual Festival

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New America

Virtual Conversation with Adam Harris

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The Perfect Police State

Geoffrey Cain

 A riveting investigation into how a restive region of China became the site of a nightmare Orwellian social experiment—the definitive police state—and the global technology giants that made it possible
 

Blocked from facts and truth, under constant surveillance, surrounded by a hostile alien police force: Xinjiang’s Uyghur population has become a cursed, oppressed, outcast population. Most citizens cannot discern between enemy and friend. Social trust has been destroyed systematically. Friends betray each other, bosses snitch on employees, teachers expose their students, and children turn on their parents. Everyone is dependent on a government that nonetheless treats them with suspicion and contempt. Welcome to the Perfect Police State.
 
Using the haunting story of one young woman’s attempt to escape the vicious technological dystopia, his own reporting from Xinjiang, and extensive firsthand testimony from exiles, Geoffrey Cain reveals the extraordinary intrusiveness and power of the tech surveillance giants and the chilling implications for all our futures. 
 
 

Upcoming Events

Free Virtual Event

Politics & Prose

In conversation with Ishaan Tharoor

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Virtual Event

World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth

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Awakening

Rachel B. Vogelstein

Foreword by Tarana Burke. Awakening chronicles the remarkable global impact of the #MeToo movement.
 
Since 2017, millions have joined the global movement known as #MeToo, catalyzing an unprecedented wave of women’s activism powered by technology that reaches across borders, races, religions, and economic divides. Today, women in more than 100 countries are using the hashtag to fight the violence and discrimination they face—and winning. What started as an online campaign against sexual harassment has triggered the most widespread cultural reckoning on women’s rights in history, with global implications for women’s participation in the economy, politics, and across social and cultural life.  
  
Awakening is the first book to capture the global impact of this breakthrough movement. Bringing together political analysis and inspiring personal stories from women in seven countries—Brazil, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sweden, and Tunisia—Awakening takes readers to the front lines of a networked movement that’s fundamentally shifting how women organize for their own equality. 
 

Upcoming Events

Virtual Event

Politics & Prose

Link tk

Virtual Event

World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth

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