Tag Archives: Beacon Press

Hiding the Truth for Community’s Sake: The Danger of Small Town Dynamics

Amy_Jo_Burns-by-Jen Zilaby Amy Jo Burns, author of Cinderland: A Memoir (Beacon Press, September 2015)

From Steubenville to State College to Missoula, small towns often step into the spotlight where sex crimes are concerned. After the stark details get spun through the news cycle, the towns are left to themselves again, usually divided, impenitent, and often unable to determine what role the community itself played in perpetuating the violence or the criminalization of the victims. As a young woman involved in a small town scandal myself, I can testify to the communal damage that lasts long after journalists and reporters have moved on to the next big story. Continue reading

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To Be Young, Latina, and Bisexual

daisyhernandez-Jorge RivasBy Daisy Hernández, author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir (Beacon Press)

People often ask if it was hard for me, as a journalist, to write a memoir. It wasn’t. In many ways, the people I interviewed over the years for news stories—many of them immigrants, many of them poor—taught me to trust the power of personal stories. One of them was Alaaedien. He drove cabs in New York City, and one day, he picked up a man outside of Grand Central Station. The man was young, and he wanted Alaaedien to take him to upstate New York. The cab ride would cost almost a thousand dollars, Alaaedien explained. That was fine. The young man’s new girlfriend lived upstate. He would pay Alaaedien when they got there. Continue reading

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Fighting the Stigma of Sex Work: Burlesque, Beyonce, and sex-positive feminism

9780807061237By Melinda Chateauvert, author of Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk (Beacon Press, March 2015)

My mother kind of freaked out when I told her about the proposal for Sex Workers Unite! I never thought of her as a prude. When I was growing up, she rarely seemed embarrassed about sexuality matters, and her several non-traditional relationships definitely influenced my critique of the whole white picket fence family idea. But for her daughter to write about prostitutes’ rights threw her for a loop. Continue reading

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Prevailing Treatments for Addiction Just Don’t Work

9780807033159By Lance Dodes and Zachary Dodes, authors of The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry (Beacon Press, 2015)

The major current interventions for alcoholism and other addictions are based on some terribly flawed science, and have startlingly poor success rates. These are the key findings within our 2014 book, The Sober Truth.

My co-author and I reviewed every major scientific study examining outcomes for AA and 12-step-based rehabilitation programs, and found that the most likely success rate for these programs falls somewhere between 5% and 10%. This wasn’t our finding alone; an exhaustive scientific review by the prestigious Cochrane Collection which examined all AA studies over 40 years came to an even more damning conclusion, disclosing that “No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA” at all. Continue reading

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The Complex Reality of Juveniles in Adult Prisons


by David Chura, author of I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup(Beacon Press, 2011), Winner of the 2010 PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Reynaldo is surprised that he’s made it to another birthday. With so many of his friends killed by the streets, each new year startles him. But he’s not surprised to be locked up again. He’s spent every birthday since he was twelve with kids just like him—“punks,” “gangstas,” other children of disappointment. This time he’s been thrown into the harshest world of all, adult lockup.

Reynaldo is only one of the young people readers meet in I Don’t Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup. This behind-the-scenes look at kids in prison, an environment that the Verna Institute of Justice describes as “unsafe, unhealthy, unproductive, inhumane,” is a collection of sharply drawn portraits of minors serving time in an adult penitentiary.

The young men and women I met during my ten years of teaching high school in a New York county adult facility were some of the most Continue reading

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