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ARC Review: The Divorce Colony

The Divorce Colony: How Women Revolutionized Marriage and Found Freedom on the American Frontier by April White April White’s The Divorce Colony is set during the Gilded Age, in the America of the late 1800s. It revolves around the lax divorce rules then to be found in South Dakota.  Today, getting divorced is almost easier than getting married. But in the Gilded Age, divorces were not so easy to obtain. Divorce was viewed as a moral concern for the state, and was denounced from the pulpit for threatening the sanctity of marriage. Even President Theodore Roosevelt spoke out against it.  Laws around divorce tended to be most lax on the frontiers of the United States. By the 1880s the territory of Dakota gained the dubious honor of posting the largest rise in divorces in the country. At the turn of the century one city - Sioux Falls, South Dakota - gained a reputation for having the laxest divorce laws of all, and required only a three month residency in order to take advantage of them

Review: The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy

The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anna Clark's reportorial account of the Flint Water Crisis is a reminder that some of the biggest problems we face in America - systemic racism, self-serving politicians, ineffectual government agencies less interested in serving the public need then in performing CYA - are not just confined to Washington D.C. Her emphasis on the importance of community organizing in overcoming these pressures to force the crisis into the light so it could be resolved is very timely. A short(ish) book and a quick read, and one well worth your time.