What We Are Reading Today: Group by Christie Tate

What We Are Reading Today: Group by Christie Tate
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Updated 22 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Group by Christie Tate

What We Are Reading Today: Group by Christie Tate

Christie Tate’s Group is one of those rare memoirs that can be accurately described as honest and raw, and I don’t entirely mean that as a compliment. 

Tate describes her memoir, Group, as “a story about how somebody who’s lonely and totally isolated but looks good on paper could begin to form real attachments.”

“The refreshingly original debut memoir of a guarded, over-achieving, self-lacerating young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers — her psychotherapy group — and in turn finds human connection, and herself,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Group is a deliciously addictive read, and with Christie as our guide — skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful in spite of herself — we are given a front row seat to the daring, exhilarating, painful, and hilarious journey that is group therapy,” it added.

Tate “is a crassly funny narrator, and this book presents a no-holds-barred account of her experience with group therapy and coming to terms with traumatic memories and eating disorder recovery,” said the review.

“Group is raw, powerful, funny, tear-jerking, and honest,” it added.


What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

Updated 03 December 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

Separatism has been on the rise across the world since the end of the Cold War, dividing countries through political strife, ethnic conflict, and civil war, and redrawing the political map. Gangsters and Other Statesmen examines the role transnational mafias play in the success and failure of separatist movements, challenging conventional wisdom about the interrelation of organized crime with peacebuilding, nationalism, and state making.

Danilo Mandic conducted fieldwork in the disputed territories of Kosovo and South Ossetia, talking to mobsters, separatists, and policymakers in war zones and along major smuggling routes. In this timely and provocative book, he demonstrates how globalized mafias shape the politics of borders in torn states, shedding critical light on an autonomous nonstate actor that has been largely sidelined by considerations of geopolitics, state-centered agency, and ethnonationalism. Blending extensive archival sleuthing and original ethnographic data with insights from sociology and other disciplines, Mandic argues that organized crime can be a fateful determinant of state capacity, separatist success, and ethnic conflict.

Putting mafias at the center of global processes of separatism and territorial consolidation, Gangsters and Other Statesmen raises vital questions and urges reconsideration of a host of separatist cases in West Africa, the Middle East, and East Europe.