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review:

Too Hot to Handle

Chris Auman

Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas


Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas
[Microcosm Publishing]

Produced by the artists and writers of the Justseeds Artists Cooperative, Firebrands is a compilation of seventy-eight short biographies accompanied by illustrations. Highlighting the lives and struggles of both well-known and lesser known activists, Firebrands is informative sure, but more than that, it's inspirational.

The profiles here focus on Americans (North, South and Central) who have either worked, fought or died for social change in their communities. From such obvious candidates as W.E.B. Dubois and John Brown to more recent icons like Tupac Shakur (a surprising choice at first glance but completely justified), Firebrands is more in line with Howard Zinn's People’s History of the United States than with your basic Texas high school textbook. Hopefully, this book will inspire all of us to learn more about these revolutionary individuals now that we've been given a glimpse, however brief, into their lives and accomplishments.

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