This title may make you laugh, but the arguments at the heart of Kristin Ghodsee’s book are academically rigorous and extremely compelling. Ghodsee makes an effort to examine the lives of Soviet and Eastern bloc women in all their complexity—including the controversial elements. Ghodsee also does not exclude men in this book: she argues that what benefits women also benefits men, mainly in removing wealth as a necessary evil in romantic relationships. Speaking from her own experiences and citing data from comprehensive studies, Ghodsee’s book--if it doesn’t convince you entirely that society needs socialism--will at least strip away all the evils attached to it.
We all know the spy stories of old; Eric O’Neill tells a story with all the same intrigue but meant for the 21st-century. He details his experience taking down the FBI mole Robert Hanssen with utter honesty and humility, acknowledging when the truth is stranger than fiction and when he has moments of doubt in the mission. O’Neill emerges learning how to be a better spy and with a desire to spread his most important lesson: there are no hackers, only spies. His tale will thrill you, but it will also the illuminate the dangers of the cyber espionage happening right under noses.
Although all the poems in Oculus are beautiful and evocative, some of the most moving of these poems (and my personal favorites) feature the imagined narratives of famous Asian-American women. Sally Wen Mao takes advantage of poetry’s ability to suspend disbelief to create a wonderful series of poems that transcends time and space. For instance, she places Ana May Wong--the first Chinese-American female movie star--on the set of Breakfast at Tiffany’s or conversing with Bruce Lee, creating innovative poetry and exacting racial injustices by lending Wong a voice.