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What's Going On Paperback – December 29, 1998


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What's Going On + Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America + The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Former Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall won critical acclaim for his autobiographical Makes Me Wanna Holler, the story of his troubled youth, his criminal career as a young man, his three-year prison sentence for armed robbery, and his struggles to put his life together after his release. In this collection of essays, McCall addresses social issues and problems, filtering his comments through the lens of his own experience. Thus his commentary in "Gangstas, Guns, and Shoot 'Em Ups," recalls his youthful infatuation with The Godfather, and criticizes the dead-end fantasies of gangster rap. In "Men: We Just Don't Get It," he recalls the times he sexually assaulted women and looks at his own daughter with love and fear. He hopes she'll find someone who loves her, but is afraid she'll meet men who don't treat women with love and respect. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

McCall, who has been to prison, journalism school, the Washington Post, and the best sellers lists (Makes Me Wanna Holler, LJ 1/94), is back with essays ranging from the dangers of rap to the politics of gun control.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (December 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375701508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375701504
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It will not only prove that your wrong but it might even change that way you look at life.
Hugues
I am convinced that many white folks really do want things to to get better for African Americans.
A. Laird
If you loved McCall's other book "Makes Me Wanna Holler" you gonna love this one.
"akwasijulius"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. Laird on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Makes Me Wanna Holler shocked me a couple of years ago. I still feel haunted by it, but the shock is over and now I can enjoy McCall's writing without feeling sick. He is a great writer, he is angry, and he "tells it how he sees it." Although, I have a feeling that McCall would be angry even in a perfect world; but I still think every white person should read his books. I have learned a lot about my African American friends and neighbors from his writing. Unfortunately, after reading What's Going On I realized that it is only African American's who can pull themselves out of this mess. I think I would be accused of being a racist no matter what I would try and do. Hopefully some good African American leaders will emerge as soon as Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton give up their thrones. I am convinced that many white folks really do want things to to get better for African Americans. We just don't know what to do!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "akwasijulius" on February 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
The title of this review is taken from a quote on McCall from Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I must admit I do like powerful writers who do tell it as it is, and do not mince with their words. "A sad truth is better than a merry lie". So when the review on this book, said it is a collection of McCall's perceptions on issues (mostly racial) that divide and polarise people I knew I was going to like it. And I did like it. The book is categorised into four main topics. 1: Mixed Massages 2: The American Dream 3: White Fear 4: Redemption These are based on his opinions and experiences. They range from "mastering the mental game" based on watching a bunch of brothers lose a b-ball game, to his opinions about airing out black folks dirty laundry, gangster rap, and to the "Vibe" which really shows that babies don't discriminate until they taught to. If you loved McCall's other book "Makes Me Wanna Holler" you gonna love this one. He doing what he does best, dishing it as it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By folsomman@redshift.com on April 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I very much liked his previous book and I liked this one, too, except that it is a very short book puffed up (with big margins, big print, widely spaced lines) to look bigger than it is. I bought it on a recommendation but felt cheated when I got it home and opened it up.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Hawkins on August 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nathan McCall is now 2 for 2. After the classic "Makes me Wanna Holler," he gives us this insightful read. Some might think he harps on racial issues too much, but even in 2002, these issues are still relevant to so many. His chapter on gangster rap is right on the money, and I would even add, as an educator, that rap music has become a bad influence on all races (suburban whites buy more hardcore rap than anyone else). His chapter on Muhammad Ali is one of the most poignant pieces I have ever read, and left me in tears. So often while reading this, you find yourself nodding your head, agreeing with what he's saying. We're lucky to have his perceptive books, and I like many am wondering when his next one is coming (it's been 5 years!). Hopefully soon Mr. McCall.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "rappin_female" on September 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be excellent.The way Mr.McCall delves into the core of things is a rare treat.After reading his other book MAKES ME WANNA HOLLER i know i was hooked on the particular writing brilliance of Mr.McCall. Although i am a female i have found his work geared toward both sexes although holler was more of a male book.I learned alot about black men after reading holler. Now if had to pick a favorite chapter from WHAT'S GOING ON if would have to be GANGSTAS, GUNS, AND SHOOT'EM-UPS cause he digged into the whole aspect of the gabgsta rap mentality. he writes abot the east coast,west coast beef.and for many of us who are true rap fans we know that during that beef we lost two of the biggest rappers.I also liked how in the chapter on THE FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY he goes on and discusses how washingtom wasn't really all that. and how their has been a cover-up for years. white people dont want to admit the "father"was tipping in the slave quather's.it's just another case of the chickens coming home to roost.And last i would like to mention the chapter ON REDEMPTION.This chapter was a tear jerker he was talking about his homeboy SHANE dying and how at the funeral no one really had a decent thing to say about him.The most enduring part is how the mother of SHANE victim's found her REDEMPTION not by gloating at the funeral but by forgiving. And isn't that what it really is all about? So i conclusion Mr McCall shine on and i will be awaiting your next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tourmaline on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Nathan McCall does not hesitate to tell the truth, which is something that many of today's writers fail to do. Considering that McCall is speaking from personal experiences, it makes the points raised in the book much more valid. For those that have been asleep or even those that have not, this book is a definite wake up call. To understand the current situation that blacks are in, one has to start with the foundation and get a clear analysis of the good and bad, which is something that McCall helps the reader do in this book. Not only is the author bringing forth points that we already know are true, he is linking them with commonplace experiences which makes his observations even more effective. The only qualm that I have about this book is the length. I got so caught up in reading it that I had finished before I realized it. Don't wait, read this one as soon as possible.
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