What We Are Reading Today: Breathe by Imani Perry

Updated 26 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Breathe by Imani Perry

  • Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity

The book from Imani Perry “explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a black person in contemporary America and what it means to parent our children in a persistently unjust world,” according to critics.

“This deeply personal open letter lays out the myriad of emotions that Perry feels as the mother of two Black sons,” said a review in goodreads.com.

“Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable,” said the review.

In a review for The New York Times, Julie Lythcott-Haims said: “A professor of African-American studies at Princeton, Perry is a prolific writer whose work, including her recent award-winning biography of the playwright Lorraine Hansberry, contributes to a fuller understanding of black history and culture. But in Breathe, the scholar forsakes the safe harbor of academic objectivity for the wilds of personal vulnerability. Her exhale feels overdue, and deep.”


What We Are Reading Today: The Age of Hiroshima

Updated 19 January 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Age of Hiroshima

Authors: Michael D. Gordin and G. John Ikenberry

On Aug. 6, 1945, in the waning days of World War II, the US dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The city’s destruction stands as a powerful symbol of nuclear annihilation, but it has also shaped how we think about war and peace, the past and the present, and science and ethics. 

The Age of Hiroshima traces these complex legacies, exploring how the meanings of Hiroshima have reverberated across the decades and around the world, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Michael D. Gordin and G. John Ikenberry bring together leading scholars from disciplines ranging from international relations and political theory to cultural history and science and technology studies, who together provide new perspectives on Hiroshima as both a historical event and a cultural phenomenon. 

As an event, Hiroshima emerges in the flow of decisions and hard choices surrounding the bombing and its aftermath. As a phenomenon, it marked a revolution in science, politics, and the human imagination — the end of one age and the dawn of another.