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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thursday, June 21 - Comedian Keith Lowell Jensen on 'Punching Nazis'

Time Tested Books
is proud to present
Keith Lowell Jensen
reading / signing / Q&A
Punching Nazis
And Other Good Ideas
Thursday, June 21st, 7:00pm

Keith Lowell Jensen thinks you should punch Nazis. In this collection of essays, stories, interviews, and rants, he tells us why.

Jensen grew up and into the Sacramento punk music scene in the late eighties and early nineties, where weirdos, LGBTQ folk, feminists, and allies strived to carve out safe community spaces. This scene also attracted a different kind of outsider--white supremacists and Nazi skinheads—making for a politically charged and complicated landscape. In Punching Nazis he reflects on his experiences with these racist fringe groups that infiltrated the progressive scene that gave rise to bands like Green Day. From unwittingly driving around in a lowrider with a gang called “The Suicidals,” to a night doing stand-up with a clown with an unwanted Swastika tattoo, Jensen brings his brand of subtle, sincere comedy to reflect on the complicated relationship that punk music has with racist skinheads and what we should do about it.

In recent times, Americans are surprised to find groups like the Klan, and more recently the "Racial Realists" and the "Alt-Right," are still prominent, and now as they grow increasingly emboldened, it’s intriguing and valuable to hear tales of those who, through the love of punk rock music, have a history of dealing with racist fringe groups.

KEITH LOWELL JENSEN has become known for his subtle, smart approach, and his meandering story telling. He has appeared on The History Channel, Spike TV, and The Starz Network, and has five hilarious comedy albums to his credit, with his latest, 'Bad Comedy For Bad People,' hitting the #1 spot on Amazon's comedy charts. In 2016 Jensen spent two weeks in Shanghai headlining the China International Comedy Festival.

This event is FREE and everyone is invited.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Max Elbaum presents new edition of 'Revolution in the Air' - May 20th

Time Tested Books
is proud to present
Max Elbaum
reading / signing / Q&A
Revolution in the Air:
Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che
Sunday, May 20th, 4:00pm

Co-sponsored by

“Truly a superb work of scholarship that raises all the right questions.” --Radical History

The sixties were a time when radical movements learned to embrace twentieth-century Marxism. Revolution in the Air is the definitive study of this turning point, and examines what the resistance of today can learn from the legacies of Lenin, Mao and Che.

It tells the story of the “new communist movement” which was the most racially integrated and fast-growing movement on the Left. Thousands of young activists, radicalized by the Vietnam War and Black Liberation, and spurred on by the Puerto Rican, Chicano and Asian-American movements, embraced a Third World oriented version of Marxism. These admirers of Mao, Che and Amilcar Cabral organized resistance to the Republican majorities of Nixon and Ford.

By the 1980s these groups had either collapsed or become tiny shards of the dream of a Maoist world revolution. Taking issue with the idea of a division between an early “good sixties” and a later “bad sixties,” Max Elbaum is particularly concerned to reclaim the lessons of the new communist movement for today’s activists who, like their sixties’ predecessors, are coming of age at a time when the Left lacks mass support and is fragmented along racial lines.

A New, Third Edition of Revolution in the Air rolled off the press April 10, 2018, with a Foreword by Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.
 “Max Elbaum has given us an incisive and critical history of the Other New Left – the radicals who brought class struggle and Third World liberation to the forefront, looked to the world for allies, and tried their best to work through the dynamics of race and class. If you still believe sixties radicalism was nothing more than youthful middle-class class confusion or parochial identity politics, then open these pages and dig.” --Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

MAX ELBAUM has been involved in peace and anti-racist movements since joining students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1960s. He is currently one of the editors of Organizing Upgrade. His writings have appeared in many publications including The Nation, Radical History Review, Z Magazine and the Encyclopedia of the American Left. Between 1995 (when Max started work on Revolution in the Air) and December 2017, Max has run 39 marathons with a personal best time of 3:26:53. Each fall he runs a Marathon for Peace to benefit antiwar and antimilitarist projects, most recently US Labor Against the War.

This event is FREE and everyone is invited.

Janelle Hanchett reading/signing "I'm Just Happy to Be Here" - May 9th

Time Tested Books
is proud to present
Janelle Hanchett
I'm Just Happy to Be Here:
A Memoir of Renegade Mothering
Wednesday, May 9th, 7:00pm

“Janelle Hanchett presents motherhood as we seldom see it: with irreverent humor, brazen honesty, deep love and loss. Her story is about finding peace right in the mess of motherhood, and that’s what makes it wonderful.”
Jill Smokler, NYT bestselling author and founder of ScaryMommy.com

I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering is not the addiction memoir we’ve come to expect, particularly from a mother. Descending into the depths of addiction after having children, and failing to stay sober even after they were removed from her care, Janelle Hanchett is a voice that rarely speaks. Though ultimately redemptive, her memoir - unflinching, ruthless, and wickedly funny – unapologetically confronts the sanctimony of motherhood and rejects the idea that a “mother’s love” is enough to save her from herself. Hanchett insists on finding peace in that central paradox: We are tasked with the “most important job in the world,” but unfortunately we’re only human.

Pregnant at twenty-one by a man she’d known for three months, Hanchett, the creator of the popular blog Renegade Mothering, made the potentially reckless decision to get married and embrace motherhood. She almost immediately found herself bored, directionless, and lonely, seeking too much relief in too many cocktails.

Over time, this questionable drinking habit spiraled into full-blown substance abuse, until life became bedtime stories and splitting hangovers, cubicles and multi-day drug binges. For ten years, Hanchett grappled with the unyielding progression of addiction, bouncing from rehab to hospitals to therapy and the occasional hippie cleansing ritual on her quest for sobriety, before mercifully finding it in a way she never expected.

Raw and unconventionally inspiring, I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE chronicles Hanchett’s journey from Mormon values to young motherhood to abysmal addiction to sobriety, but rejects the finality of neatly wrapped redemption. Even on the other side of addiction, Hanchett illuminates the restlessness of motherhood – its unfulfilling, mundane nature alongside its beauty.

I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE speaks to the “imperfect” mother; the one who isn’t simply overcome by joy after having a child, who longs for normalcy but cannot maintain it, and who might fly into a fit of rage if she receives one more piece of unsolicited parenting advice. With shameless transparency, Hanchett illustrates that not all women are natural-born mothers—some have to constantly work at it, and make peace with the fact that they will never get it quite right or fit perfectly into the mothering world. To her hundreds of thousands of readers, Hanchett has become the mother who “says what we’re all thinking but are too ashamed to admit.”

Now sober, still married to that man she’d only known for three months, and the mother of four, Hanchett reveals with brutal honesty and heart-rending prose the power of imperfection, love, family, and, ultimately, motherhood—no matter how you manage to do it.

Photo credit: Sarah Maren
JANELLE HANCHETT created the website "Renegade Mothering" in 2011 because she needed to know if the rest of the mothering world was crazy or she was. Writing after her kids went to bed and while she was supposed to be working, Janelle attracted an audience of millions of readers. She holds a BA in English from UC Davis and an MA in English literature from Sacramento State. She lives in northern California with her four children and husband, Mac, who thinks "getting dressed up" means shaving his forearm tattoo.

This event is FREE and everyone is invited.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

*CANCELLED* Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: 'Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment'

due to illness :(

(stay tuned for reschedule.)

Time Tested Books
is proud to present
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
reading & discussing
A Disarming History of the Second Amendment
  Friday, April 13th, 7:00pm

"If . . . anyone at all really wants to 'get to the root causes of gun violence in America,' they will need to start by coming to terms with even a fraction of what Loaded proposes."
 Los Angeles Review of Books

"Her analysis, erudite and unrelenting, exposes blind spots not just among conservatives, but, crucially, among liberals as well. . . . As a portrait of the deepest structures of American violence, Loaded is an indispensable book."
The New Republic

With President Trump suggesting that teachers arm themselves, with the NRA portrayed as a group of "patriots" helping to Make America Great Again, with high school students across the country demanding a solution to the crisis, everyone in America needs to engage in the discussion about our future with an informed, historical perspective on the role of guns in our society. America is at a critical turning point. What is the future for our children?

     Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, is a deeply researched—and deeply disturbing—history of guns and gun laws in the United States, from the original colonization of the country to the present. As historian and educator Dunbar-Ortiz explains, in order to understand the current obstacles to gun control, we must understand the history of U.S. guns, from their role in the "settling of America" and the early formation of the new nation, and continuing up to the present.

Photo credit: Barrie Karp
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She is the author of many previous books, including An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie, Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico, and Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War. She is the recipient of the Cultural Freedom Prize for Lifetime Achievement by the Lannan Foundation, and she lives in San Francisco, CA.

Praise for Loaded:

"Dunbar-Ortiz's argument will be disturbing and unfamiliar to most readers, but her evidence is significant and should not be ignored."Publishers Weekly

" . . . gun love is as American as apple pie—and that those guns have often been in the hands of a powerful white majority to subjugate minority natives, slaves, or others who might stand in the way of the broadest definition of Manifest Destiny."Kirkus Reviews

"Trigger warning! This is a superb and subtle book, not an intellectual safe space for confirming your preconceptions—whatever those might be—but rather a deeply necessary provocation."—Christian Parenti, author of Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis

"Loaded recognizes the central truth about our 'gun culture': that the privileged place of guns in American law and society is the by-product of the racial and class violence that has marked our history from its beginnings."—Richard Slotkin, author of Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America

"From an eminent scholar comes this timely and urgent intervention on U.S. gun culture. Loaded is a high-impact assault on the idea that Second Amendment rights were ever intended for all Americans. A timely antidote to our national amnesia about the white supremacist and settler colonialist roots of the Second Amendment."—Caroline Light, author of Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense

"Loaded unleashes a sweeping and unsettling history of gun laws in the United States, beginning with anti-Native militias and anti-Black slave patrols. From the roots of white men armed to forge the settler state, the Second Amendment evolved as a tool for protecting white, male property owners. It's a must read for anyone who wants to uncover the long fetch of contemporary Second Amendment battles."—Kelly Lytle Hernandez, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965

"Now, in Loaded, she widens her lens to propose that the addiction to violence characteristic of American domestic institutions also derives from the frontiersman's belief in solving problems by killing. Whether expressed in individual cruelty like the collection of scalps or group barbarism by settler colonialists calling themselves 'militias,' violence has become an ever-widening theme of life in the United States."—Staughton Lynd, author of Class Conflict, Slavery, and the United States Constitution

"For anyone who believes we need more than 'thoughts and prayers' to address our national gun crisis, Loaded is required reading. Beyond the Second Amendment, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz presents essential arguments missing from public debate. She forces readers to confront hard truths about the history of gun ownership, linking it to ongoing structures of settler colonialism, white supremacy, and racial capitalism. These are the open secrets of North American history. It is our anxious denial as much as our public policies that perpetrate violence. Only by coming to peace with our history can we ever be at peace with ourselves. This, for me, is the great lesson of Loaded."—Christina Heatherton, co-editor of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter

"Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz's Loaded argues U.S. history is quintessential gun history, and gun history is a history of racial terror and genocide. In other words, gun culture has never been about hunting. From crushing slave rebellions to Indigenous resistance, arming individual white settler men has always been the strategy for maintaining racial and class rule and for taking Indigenous land from the founding of the settler nation to the present. With clarity and urgency, Dunbar-Ortiz asks us not to think of our current moment as an exceptional era of mass-shootings. Instead, the very essence of the Second Amendment and the very project of U.S. 'settler democracy' has required immense violence that began with Indigenous genocide and has expanded to endless war-making across the globe. This is a must read for any student of U.S. history."—Nick Estes, author of the forthcoming book Our History is the Future: Mni Wiconi and Native Liberation

"With her usual unassailable rigor for detail and deep perspective, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has potentially changed the debate about gun control in the United States. She meticulously and convincingly argues that U.S. gun culture—and the domestic and global massacres that have flowed from it—must be linked to an understanding of the ideological, historical, and practical role of guns in seizing Native American lands, black enslavement, and global imperialism. This is an essential work for policy-makers, street activists, and educators who are concerned with Second Amendment debates, #blacklivematters campaigns, global peace, and community-based security."—Clarence Lusane, Chairman and Professor of Political Science at Howard University and author of The Black History of the White House

"Just what did the founding fathers intend the Second Amendment to do? Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's answer to that question will unsettle liberal gun control advocates and open-carry aficionados alike. She follows the bloodstains of today's mass shootings back to the slave patrols and Indian Wars. There are no easy answers here, just the tough reckoning with history needed to navigate ourselves away from a future filled with more tragedies."James Tracy, co-author of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times

"Gun violence, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz compellingly shows, is as U.S. American as apple pie. This important book peels back the painful and bloody layers of gun culture in the United States, and exposes their deep roots in the killing and dispossession of Native peoples, slavery and its aftermath, and U.S. empire-making. They are roots with which all who are concerned with matters of justice, basic decency, and the enduring tragedy of the U.S. love affair with guns must grapple."—Joseph Nevins, author of Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid

"Loaded is a masterful synthesis of the historical origins of violence and militarism in the US. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reminds us of what we've chosen to forget at our own peril: that from mass shootings to the routine deployment of violence against civilians by the US military, American violence flows from the normalization of racialized violence in our country's founding history."—Johanna Fern├índez, Assistant Professor of History at Baruch College of the City University, and author of the forthcoming book, When the World Was Their Stage: A History of the Young Lords Party, 1968–1976

"More than a history of the Second Amendment, this is a powerful history of the forging of white nationalism and empire through racist and naked violence. Explosively, it also shows how even liberal—and some leftist—pop culture icons have been complicit in the myth-making that has shrouded this potent historical truth."—Gerarld Horne, author of The Counter Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the USA

"Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has done an outstanding job of resituating the so-called gun debate into the context of race and settler colonialism. The result is that the discussion about individual gun ownership is no longer viewed as an abstract moral question and instead understood as standing at the very foundation of U.S. capitalism. My attention was captured from the first page."—Bill Fletcher, Jr., former president of TransAfrica Forum and syndicated writer

"Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz provides a brilliant decolonization of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. She describes how the 'savage wars' against Indigenous Peoples, slave patrols (which policing in the U.S. originates from), today's mass shootings, and the rise in white Nationalism are connected to the Second Amendment. This is a critically important work for all social science disciplines."—Michael Yellow Bird, professor and director of Tribal and Indigenous Peoples Studies at North Dakota State University

"This explosive, ground-breaking book dispels the confusion and shatters the sanctimony that surrounds the Second Amendment, revealing the colonial, racist core of the right to bear arms. You simply cannot understand the United States and its disastrous gun-mania without the brilliant Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz as a guide."—Astra Taylor, author of The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age

"There is no more interesting historian of the United States than Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. And with Loaded she has done it again, taking a topic about which so much has already been written, distilling it down, turning it inside out, and allowing us to see American history anew."—Walter Johnson, author of River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Mississippi Valley's Cotton Kingdom

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sands Hall on Scientology memoir 'Flunk. Start.' - March 20th

Time Tested Books
is proud to present
Sands Hall
reading & discussing
Flunk. Start.
Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology
Tuesday, March 20th, 7:00pm
“It is a triumph, a work of great honesty and insight. It is a necessary book for our time.” —Karen E. Bender, author of Refund, a finalist for the National Book Award

In Flunk. Start., Sands Hall chronicles her slow yet willing absorption into the Church of Scientology. Her time in the Church, the late 1970s, includes the secretive illness and death of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and the ascension of David Miscavige. Hall compellingly reveals what drew her into the religion—what she found intriguing and useful—and how she came to confront its darker sides.
      As a young woman from a literary family striving to discover her own way as an artist, Hall ricochets between the worlds of Shakespeare, avant-garde theater, and soap opera, until her brilliant elder brother, playwright Oakley Hall III, falls from a bridge and suffers permanent brain damage. In the secluded canyons of Hollywood, she finds herself increasingly drawn toward the certainty that Scientology appears to offer.
      In this candid and nuanced memoir, Hall recounts her spiritual and artistic journey with a visceral affection for language, delighting in the way words can create a shared world. However, as Hall begins to grasp how purposefully Hubbard has created the unique language of Scientology—in the process isolating and indoctrinating its practitioners—she confronts how language can also be used as a tool of authoritarianism.
      Hall is a captivating guide, and Flunk. Start. explores how she has found meaning and purpose within that decade that for so long she thought of as lost; how she has faced the “flunk” represented by those years, and has embraced a way to “start” anew.

SANDS HALL is the author of the novel, Catching Heaven, a Willa Award Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction, and a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; and of a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. She teaches at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, the Community of Writers, Squaw Valley, and is a Teaching Professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Hall lives in Nevada City.

This event is FREE and everyone is invited.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Poetry with Eileen G'Sell & JoAnna Novak - March 14th

 Time Tested Books
 is thrilled to present 

  Eileen G'Sell: Life After Rugby  
 JoAnna Novak: Noirmania
               Wednesday, March 14th, 7:00pm


Eileen G’Sell received an MA from the University of Rochester and an MFA in creative writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Features Editor of pop culture at The Rumpus, her cultural criticism and poetry can be found in Salon, VICE, BostonReview, Hyperallergic, DIAGRAM, ConduitNinth Letter, and the Denver Quarterly, among other publications. Her chapbooks are available from Dancing Girl and BOAAT Press, and her first full length poetry collection, Life After Rugby, is available from Gold Wake Books early 2018. She currently teaches rhetoric and poetry at Washington University, and creative writing for the Prison Education Project at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. She lives in St. Louis and New York.

JoAnna Novak is the author of the novel I Must Have You and the book-length poem Noirmania. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon, BOMB, Guernica, and other publications. She is a founding editor of Tammy, a literary journal and chapbook press.

This event is FREE and all are welcome!

Joe Rodota reading/signing new book 'The Watergate' - March 8th

Time Tested Books
is proud to present
Joseph Rodota
Reading & Discussing
The Watergate:
Inside America's Most Infamous Address
Thursday, March 8th, at 7:00pm

A new book by Sacramento author Joseph Rodota reveals the secrets behind the mid-century masterpiece that became synonymous with scandal. The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address is an absorbing and meticulously researched history with a remarkable cast of characters, from Monica Lewinsky and Senator Bob Dole to Martha Mitchell and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Please join us for a talk by the author and learn more about the Californians who helped saved the Watergate. Books will be available for purchase.
                                                                         Photo by Steven Ainsworth

The Watergate is one of the most infamous structures in America.  As references to Nixon and impeachment flood the news cycle, the nation is reminded anew of the events that rocked this most exclusive Washington, D.C. address.  But the Watergate complex is so much more than the scandal that shares its name.  For over 50 years, this legendary structure has been an integral part of the Beltway’s daily business. Joseph Rodota unveils its full history for the first time in THE WATERGATE: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address.

This absorbing and meticulously-researched history features a remarkable cast of politicians, journalists, socialites and spies.  Rodota introduces us to these movers and shakers--from Monica Lewinsky and Senator Bob Dole to Martha Mitchell and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg--and presents an entirely new way of looking at the Watergate, one that unpacks its full political, social, and cultural influence. Rodota digs into everything from the building’s fraught design and construction process, the ins and outs of the scandal, and the numerous people of intrigue and import that have called the Watergate their home base. The book is full of Watergate facts and stories that have never before been revealed, including:

*The conflicts over the innovative design for the Watergate -- and why it almost wasn’t built; 

*The role of the Vatican in building the Watergate, and how a scandal in Rome affected the Watergate’s fortunes;

*How the Watergate almost escaped being the site of the 1972 break-in;

*How a Hungarian-born financier and a French chef sought to rescue the Watergate’s reputation; and

*A surprising link between the coal miners of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain and President Ronald Reagan that involves the Watergate.

THE WATERGATE offers an insider’s history of our nation’s capital, through the lens of one of its most famous and consequential buildings.

Joseph Rodota is a writer and consultant who divides his time between California and Washington, DC. He is the author of CHESSMAN, a play about the final days of Caryl Chessman, the “Red Light Bandit,” as seen through the eyes of Governor Pat Brown and his family. Rodota has worked at the highest levels of federal, state, and local politics for more than 30 years. He served as a writer and communications manager in the Reagan White House and as a top campaign and government aide to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In October 2008, as part of a team of bipartisan political consultants who managed the campaign against Proposition 8, Rodota ran the rapid-response “war room.” He has written columns under his own byline for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and other publications. He is a graduate in history, with honors and distinction, from Stanford University. He is a member of the board of directors of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation in Santa Monica, California, and a former trustee of the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, California.

This event is FREE and everyone is invited.