What We Are Reading Today: Women’s Work

Updated 12 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Women’s Work

  • Stack has reported on war and terrorism from 22 countries since 2001

Megan Stack’s Women’s Work is an interesting book as it combines the angst of new mothers with the added burden of raising children in alien cultures.

Stack has reported on war and terrorism from 22 countries since 2001.  She was most recently Moscow bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.

“Women’s Work is an unforgettable story of four women as well as an electrifying meditation on the evasions of marriage, motherhood, feminism, and privilege,” said a review published in goodreads.com.

“Her feelings toward the women who run her house and raise her children bring her to the writing of this fascinating book, part memoir, part journalistic investigation about the lives and families of the women who raise hers,” it added. “This is a must for every woman to read and will spark discussions in seminars and book groups.”

Memoirs about motherhood are exceedingly common, but Women’s Work dares to explore the labor arrangements that often make such books possible, Jennifer Szalai said in a review published in The New York Times.


What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

Updated 23 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Red Meat Republic by Joshua Specht

  • Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion

By the late 19th century, Americans rich and poor had come to expect high-quality fresh beef with almost every meal. 

Beef production in the US had gone from small-scale, localized operations to a highly centralized industry spanning the country, with cattle bred on ranches in the rural West, slaughtered in Chicago, and consumed in the nation’s rapidly growing cities. 

Red Meat Republic tells the remarkable story of the violent conflict over who would reap the benefits of this new industry and who would bear its heavy costs, says a review on the University Press website.

Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story — the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion, the meatpackers who created a radically new kind of industrialized slaughterhouse, and the stockyard workers who were subjected to the shocking and unsanitary conditions described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle. 

Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York.