Author Conversation: Laura Briggs and Ethan Blue
Ethan Blue and Laura Briggs
Ethan Blue of the University of Western Australia reviews Taking Children: A History of American Terror by Laura Briggs. In this book, Briggs “does many things in a short space, but one of them is to prompt the question What is an American family? The book pushes into the ways that each term—American; family—is fought through across time. One position she identifies is consistently based on the cis-heteropatriarchal nuclear family, deeply rooted in White racial nationalism. Others, explored in turn across thematic chapters, are more varied: sometimes anchored in egalitarian (but still US-focused) civic nationalism, but which also expand to multiple Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and ascriptive notions of kin that supersede the nation. The latter may not insist that theirs are the only ways to be a family, but they demand the right to exist, and to raise their children.”
Laura Briggs of the University of Massachusetts Amherst reviews The Deportation Express: A History of America Through Forced Removal by Ethan Blue. In this book, Blue “calls back into the memory of historians and other readers the trains that circled the country in the early 20th century, sending Europe-bound deportees at Ellis Island after a cross-country eastward trip (dropping some in Buffalo, on their way to Canada), and at Angel Island in California for those headed to Asia, with a spur that took them to the Mexican border, picking up new deportees as it went. This highly readable book tells the story of compelling, unforgettable characters as they board the train. …and of the development of industrial, racial capitalism and its violent extractive cost in human lives and bodies.”
Read the full author conversation at https://doi.org/10.1177/01979183221130732.