Global Issues Book Group
The Global Issues Book Group, reads and discusses books on the vital Political, Economic, Environmental and Social issues that challenge humankind in the 21st Century. The Global Issues Book Group is currently meeting virtually and if you are interested in joining, please send an email to BOOKCLUB@ELLIOTTBAYBOOK.COM.
Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
WINNER • 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY
Winner • 2022 James Beard Foundation Book Award [Writing]
The “stunning” (David W. Blight) untold history of how fast food became one of the greatest generators of black wealth in America.
Just as The Color of Law provided a vital understanding of redlining and racial segregation, Marcia Chatelain’s Franchise investigates the complex interrelationship between black communities and America’s largest, most popular fast food chain. Taking us from the first McDonald’s drive-in in San Bernardino to the franchise on Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, in the summer of 2014, Chatelain shows how fast food is a source of both power—economic and political—and despair for African Americans. As she contends, fast food is, more than ever before, a key battlefield in the fight for racial justice.
About the Author
Marcia Chatelain is a professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University, and is a leading public voice on the history of race, education, and food culture. The author of South Side Girls, Chatelain lives in Washington, DC.
[A] smart and capacious history. . . . Throughout this impressively judicious book, [Chatelain] is attuned to the circumstances that encouraged increasingly intricate ties between McDonald’s and black communities across the country. This isn’t just a story of exploitation or, conversely, empowerment; it’s a cautionary tale about relying on the private sector to provide what the public needs, and how promises of real economic development invariably come up short. . . . Franchise is a serious work of history. . . . [Chatelain's] sense of perspective gives this important book an empathetic core as well as analytical breadth, as she draws a crucial distinction between individuals actors, who often get subjected to so much scrutiny and second-guessing, and larger systems, which rarely get subjected to enough.
— Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "Times Critics Best Books of 2020"
An impeccably researched examination of McDonald’s and how the franchise was once intended as a path to economic freedom in Black communities. A fascinating, overlooked perspective on a US institution.
— Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine
Meeting Virtually on Tuesday, September 13th at 6:30 PM
Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am
Glamour, danger, liberation: in a Mad Men era of commercial flight, Pan Am World Airways attracted the kind of young woman who wanted out, and wanted up
Required to have a college degree, speak two languages, and possess the political savvy of a Foreign Service officer, a jet-age stewardess serving on iconic Pan Am between 1966 and 1975 also had to be between 5′3″ and 5′9", between 105 and 140 pounds, and under twenty-six years old at the time of hire. Cooke’s intimate storytelling weaves together the real-life stories of a memorable cast of characters, from small-town girl Lynne Totten, a science major who decided life in a lab was not for her, to Hazel Bowie, one of the relatively few Black stewardesses of the era, as they embraced the liberation of their new jet-set life.
Cooke brings to light the story of Pan Am stewardesses’ role in the Vietnam War, as the airline added runs from Saigon to Hong Kong for planeloads of weary young soldiers straight from the battlefields who were off for five days of R&R, and then flown back to war. Finally, with Operation Babylift—the dramatic evacuation of two thousand children during the fall of Saigon—the book’s special cast of stewardesses unites to play an extraordinary role on the world stage.
About the Author
JULIA COOKE is a journalist and travel writer whose features and personal essays have been published in Time, Smithsonian, Condé Nast Traveler, and Saveur. She is the author of The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba. The daughter of a former Pan Am executive, Cooke grew up in the Pan Am “family,” a still-strong network across the globe. She lives in Vermont.
“After a year of severe restrictions on travel…[Julia Cooke’s] book looking back at the height of the jet age offers more than one delicious flavor of escapism…a front-row view of history."—The Washington Post “In the 1960s and 70s, Pan Am stewardesses changed a sexualized job requiring weigh-ins and retirement at 26 into a forum for serious work. They became ambassadors, transported traumatized soldiers, rescued Vietnamese children in Operation Babylift. A fascinating history of a bygone era.”—People Magazine “This engrossing account, which reads like a novel, offers a combination of riveting personal stories and little-known history, and will draw in readers from the first page. A must-read.”—STARRED, Library Journal “An entertaining, insightful look into a gritty and glamorous era in air travel.”—STARRED Kirkus Reviews “Thoughtful, well-researched and utterly engaging, Come Fly the World is smart escapist journalism and a tribute to hundreds of women who were much more than just a crew of pretty faces….Journalist Julia Cooke paints a riveting, complex portrait of the adventurous lives of Pan Am stewardesses during aviation's golden age.”—Shelf Awareness “Female roles were transformed over the Pan Am decades, but stewardesses remained in a strange no-woman’s land—smiling, servile symbols of male fantasy but also working women traveling the globe in challenging jobs when most of their peers were at home with families. Come Fly the World opens an intimate porthole into the life they chose aboard Pan American.” —Air Mail “Journalist Cooke (The Other Side of Paradise) recounts in this dramatic history the surprising role Pan Am stewardesses played in the Vietnam War….Skillfully intertwining jet-age excitement with the tumultuous politics of the era, this is a unique and compassionate portrait of barrier-breaking women in the 1960s and ’70s.” —Publishers Weekly "At the dawn of the jet set era of boundless commercial flight, women could travel the world as stewardesses [and] engage in soft diplomacy and foreign affairs against the backdrop of the Vietnam War...For those who miss Mad Men, this is a must read." —New York Observer
Meeting Virtually on Tuesday, October 11th at 6:30 PM
Invisible Child: Poverty Survival and Hope in an American City
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A “vivid and devastating” (The New York Times) portrait of an indomitable girl—from acclaimed journalist Andrea Elliott
“From its first indelible pages to its rich and startling conclusion, Invisible Child had me, by turns, stricken, inspired, outraged, illuminated, in tears, and hungering for reimmersion in its Dickensian depths.”—Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies
ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Library Journal
In Invisible Child, Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani, a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. In this sweeping narrative, Elliott weaves the story of Dasani’s childhood with the history of her ancestors, tracing their passage from slavery to the Great Migration north. As Dasani comes of age, New York City’s homeless crisis has exploded, deepening the chasm between rich and poor. She must guide her siblings through a world riddled by hunger, violence, racism, drug addiction, and the threat of foster care. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter “to protect those who I love.” When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself?
A work of luminous and riveting prose, Elliott’s Invisible Child reads like a page-turning novel. It is an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family and the cost of inequality—told through the crucible of one remarkable girl.
Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize • Finalist for the Bernstein Award and the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award
About the Author
Andrea Elliott is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. Her reporting has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, a George Polk Award, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, an Overseas Press Club award, and other honors. She has served as an Emerson fellow at New America, a visiting journalist at the Russell Sage Foundation, and is the recipient of a Whiting Foundation grant. In 2015, she received Columbia University’s Medal for Excellence, given to one alumnus or alumna under the age of forty-five. Elliott is the first woman to win individual Pulitzer Prizes in both Journalism and Arts & Letters. She lives in New York City. This is her first book.
“A vivid and devastating story of American inequality.”—The New York Times
“A classic to rank with Orwell.”—The Sunday Times
“From its first indelible pages to its rich and startling conclusion, Invisible Child had me, by turns, stricken, inspired, outraged, illuminated, in tears, and hungering for reimmersion in its Dickensian depths. This book is so many things: a staggering feat of reporting, an act of profound civic love, an extraordinarily moving tale about the fierceness of family love, and above all, a future American classic.”—Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies
“A wonderful and important book.”—Tracy Kidder, author of Strength in What Remains and Mountains Beyond Mountains
“Andrea Elliott’s Invisible Child swept me away. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, Dasani’s journey kept me up nights reading. Elliott spins out a deeply moving story about Dasani and her family, whose struggles underscore the stresses of growing up poor and Black in an American city, and the utter failure of institutions to extend a helping hand. Invisible Child is a triumph.”—Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here
“Elliott’s book is a triumph of in-depth reporting and storytelling. It is a visceral blow-by-blow depiction of what ‘structural racism’ has meant in the lives of generations of one family. But above all else it is a celebration of a little girl—an unforgettable heroine whose frustration, elation, exhaustion, and intelligence will haunt your heart.”—Ariel Levy, author of The Rules Do Not Apply
Meeting Virtually on Tuesday, November 8th at 6:30 PM