What We Are Reading Today: Steadfast Democrats

Short Url
Updated 27 February 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Steadfast Democrats

Authors: Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird 

Black Americans are by far the most unified racial group in American electoral politics, with 80 to 90 percent identifying as Democrats — a surprising figure given that nearly a third now also identify as ideologically conservative, up from less than 10 percent in the 1970s. Why has ideological change failed to push more black Americans into the Republican Party? Steadfast Democrats answers this question with a pathbreaking new theory that foregrounds the specificity of the black American experience and illuminates social pressure as the key element of black Americans’ unwavering support for the Democratic Party, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Ismail White and Chryl Laird argue that the roots of black political unity were established through the adversities of slavery and segregation, when black Americans forged uniquely strong social bonds for survival and resistance. 

White and Laird explain how these tight communities have continued to produce and enforce political norms—including Democratic Party identification in the post–Civil Rights era. The social experience of race for black Americans is thus fundamental to their political choices.


What We Are Reading Today: The Cat: A Natural and Cultural History by Sarah Brown

Updated 27 March 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Cat: A Natural and Cultural History by Sarah Brown

Of all the domesticated species, cats have enjoyed the most complex relationship with people — one that still leads to arguments about whether you can truly call the cat asleep by your fire “tame.” 

The Cat is a comprehensive, richly illustrated exploration of the natural and cultural history of this much-loved pet. 

Chapters on Evolution & Development, Anatomy & Biology, Society & Behavior, and Cats & Humans take different angles on matters feline, offering rich information and insights about kitten development, the hierarchy of cats, how cats think, communication between cats and people, historic and extinct breeds, the challenges facing cats today and how we can help, and much, much more. 

The book also features a visually stunning photographic directory of more than forty popular breeds, with essential information about each. Filled with surprising facts, The Cat will enchant anyone with an interest in, or a love for, these animals.