Now Read This: Books and Reports

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They’re All My Children: Foster Mothering in America
By Danielle F. Wozniak, NYU Press, $18
Anthropologist and former foster mom Wozniak interviewed dozens of Connecticut foster parents for this book, which alternates between wrenching personal accounts of mothering and a somewhat tedious academic analysis of the foster care system. The strength is the voices of the
interviewees: They emphasize they’re mothers, but the author shows they’re also exploited workers—underpaid and helpless before an impersonal foster care system that can wrest their children from them at any time.

Another World is Possible: Conversations in a Time of Terror
Edited by Jee Kim, et al., Subway & Elevated Press, $12
We hope John Ashcroft isn’t reading, but it’s safe to say that not every American had the same analysis of the September 11 terrorist attacks. This compilation of more than 100 writers–from well-known progressive stalwarts like John Conyers and Barbara Kingsolver to the rarely-heard voices of some of the September 11 victims’ relatives who opposed the U.S. response–touches upon everything from foreign policy to spiritual reflections. The collection is a perfect jumping-off point for passionate discussions on the attack. To that end, the publisher is offering a heavily discounted bulk rate for nonprofits.

Roadblock on the Way to Work: Driver’s License Suspension in New Jersey
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
njisj.kz@verizon.net or 973-624-9400
This report outlines how New Jersey deters its poor residents from obtaining better jobs and lives by overzealously suspending driver’s licenses for minor transgressions. Seizing licenses doesn’t just keep low-income drivers from getting to work, it also shuts them out of some jobs—like auto mechanic—where current licenses are required. Of the 867,000 licenses New Jersey yanked in 2000, only about 3 percent of drivers had committed serious crimes like DWI; the vast majority were suspended because they couldn’t pay a fine, fee or insurance payment.