Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Ten top books about how people imagine politics

Eve Fairbanks writes about change: in cities, countries, landscapes, morals, values, and our ideas of ourselves. A former political writer for The New Republic, her essays and reportage have been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among other outlets. Born in Virginia, she now lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Inheritors: An Intimate Portrait of South Africa's Racial Reckoning is her debut.

At Lit Hub Fairbanks tagged ten favorite titles "about politics [that] dig deep into how people imagine politics—how we imagine what makes people happy and how much change we can tolerate to our self-image." One entry on the list:
Linda Kinstler, Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends

In the most deeply personal and recent book on this list, Kinstler, a writer and a student of architecture, travels to Latvia to trace the story of a paternal relative who worked in a unit responsible for Holocaust atrocities. In Riga, she observes Latvians’ contemporary efforts to decide which of their longtime national heroes must be dethroned for complicity in these historical crimes and which, in their eyes, can be pardoned. When, if ever, can people be forgiven for the past? And why do we need historical heroes, anyway? It’s set in the Baltics, but I can hardly think of one country where these questions aren’t front and center.
Read about another title on the list.

The Page 99 Test: Come to This Court and Cry.

--Marshal Zeringue