Nonfiction on Black Nationalist Women, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mentoring Librarians | Xpress Reviews

Week ending January 5, 2018

Farmer, Ashley D. Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era. Univ. of North Carolina. 2017. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469634371. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781469634388. SOC SCI
Farmer (New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition) looks at women’s participation in Black Power movements and how women used art to define and shape them. She divides the activity into five phases spanning 1945 to 1979. During each phase, a new conception of the ideal Black Nationalist woman was defined and expressed through art and literature. Early on, the black domestic worker is considered the symbol of activism. Gradually, this idea morphed into a more political role that combined labor activism with campaigns against sexism. Rather than express ideal behavior through art during this period, several women chose to model it by running for office, becoming community organizers, and coordinating conferences. Then, the ideal Black Nationalist woman became more concerned with advocating for a unique black culture and relocating to Africa. Finally, Black Nationalism formed alliances with other oppressed groups to achieve total liberation. Farmer includes historical context for those unfamiliar with the particulars of the movements, which include the Black Panther Party, Pan-Africanism, and Kaiwada.
Verdict An in-depth scholarly analysis of Black Nationalist movements, feminism, and art. Recommended for a scholarly audience.—Rebekah Kati, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Galambos, Louis. Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World. Johns Hopkins. Feb. 2018. 296p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781421425047. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421425054. BIOG
Galambos (history, Johns Hopkins Univ.) brings his expertise as the editor of the five-volume Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower to this highly accessible and sprightly written biography. Eisenhower’s (1890–1969) career in the military and in politics made him one of the 20th century’s most notable leaders. While effectively recounting Eisenhower’s career, Galambos also provides insights into the general and president’s family background and how “Ike’s” early years in Abilene, KS, influenced his outlook on life along with his ability to thrive in various complex organizations. For nearly four decades, Eisenhower worked at or near the pinnacle of American military and political power. Without fanfare, the author helps readers understand how Eisenhower succeeded in a difficult job.
Verdict A well-written yet sophisticated analysis of a popular modern president that is recommended for all collections.—Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames

Librarian as Mentor: Grow, Discover and Inspire. Mission Bell. 2017. 232p. ed. by Eboni A. Johnson. index. ISBN 9780997175721. $49.95. PRO MEDIA
Johnson (reference & instruction librarian, Oberlin Coll.) recognizes the benefits of mentoring in her professional life and has compiled here 14 personal essays by librarians from various backgrounds and institutions who are at different points in their careers. This engaging but light work emphasizes individuals’ experiences rather than theoretical frameworks or guidelines on implementing mentorship programs. The book is arranged in four parts that explore the role of mentors, peer mentoring, career mentoring, and community mentoring. Each chapter opens with takeaways and closes with key lessons, making it easy for readers to select relevant sections. In one essay, Alexia Hudson-Ward (director of libraries, Oberlin Coll.) argues that mentoring is an information exchange between an experienced individual and a protégé, while mentorship is formal, with organizational success metrics. Charlotte Beers Plank, a recent MLIS grad and emerging technologies librarian at Ohio’s Hudson Library and Historical Society, stresses the importance of supervisors who encouraged her development.
Verdict A good starting point to kick off more in-depth exploration.—Judy Solberg, Sacramento, CA

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