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Mother Jones November/December 2017

Mother Jones is a nonprofit news organization with a bi-monthly magazine that delivers bold and original reporting on the urgent issues of our day, from politics and climate change to education and the food we eat. We investigate stories that are in the public’s interest. From revelatory scoops to deep-dive investigations, Mother Jones journalism is award-winning storytelling that informs and inspires 10 million monthly readers.

United States
Foundation For National Progress
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6 Issues


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mother jones

Mother Jones senior reporter ARI BERMAN watched the 2016 election results come in at a Wisconsin hotel bar, fielding frantic phone calls from family and friends while drinking with local political operatives. Berman, a reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and the author of Give Us the Ballot, a history of voting rights, has traveled to the state four times over the past year and a half to report on voter suppression (“Rigged,” page 24).To increase her natural melatonin levels, SAMANTHA MICHAELS has tried eating cherries, wearing orange-lens safety glasses, and strapping on a red-light headlamp (“Insomniac’s Little Helper,” page 70). Her sleep issues go back years—even before she entered a war zone with rebel army leaders as a reporter in Burma. She now covers gender and criminal justice (“Clean…

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how to deflate a demagogue

Putting together an investigative magazine is a weird process. We read a lot. We pace. We talk. We go down Google rabbit holes. We stare at piles of documents way too late into the night. We order bad pizza. Eventually, we send a pile of pixels offto the printer, where in a few hours, stadium-size machines turn out copies that get shipped to 50 states and 83 countries. At which point it’s up to you to judge: Does it make sense? Does it fit together? Does it add to your understanding of the world, your ability to do your part at a time when democracy seems both more fragile and more vibrant?Here’s how we hoped this particular issue would be of use to you: As we close out the first…

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there was a time, about 60 years ago, when many of principal Randy Grierson’s students wouldn’t have been allowed to step foot in the building that now houses Cleveland Central High School. But on a morning in August, there they were, a gaggle of goofy teens joking and chattering in the halls, back to school after a long, hot Mississippi summer. Grierson greeted them with a stare, followed by a grin forming on his square-jawed face. Some people had expected trouble—maybe fistfights, maybe parents pulling their kids out of school, who knows? Even Grierson, optimistic by nature, had concerns. “Is everybody okay?” he said, stepping into a classroom filled with a mix of black and white students. “Is everybody’s schedule—is everything good on their schedule?”“No!” a few students shouted almost…

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clean slate club

(MICHAEL GEORGE HADDAD)MARCELLA WHITE was 15 when her father, a police officer, was shot dead while responding to a break-in. After his death, she moved from Utah to California, where she tangled with the law. None of her offenses were violent, and in total she spent less than a month behind bars. But nearly four decades later, at the age of 69, White has paid an unexpected price for her mistakes. Last year, her applications for senior housing in the San Francisco Bay Area were rejected because of her felony record. When she inspected her rap sheet, she was startled—she couldn’t even remember some of the offenses of her youth. “It was like I was sleepwalking,” she says of her old self. “I wept for the person I used to…

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“we just feel like we don’t belong here anymore”

“I’m not going to feel bad about my color, about my race,” says Tomas.Since Donald Trump’s election, there has been ample coverage of rural white America—the rise of white nationalism, the white crowds in Charlottesville, Virginia, who violently defended a Confederate monument, the embattled white working class that makes up Trump’s core constituency. From the media reports, you’d think rural places were devoid of people of color. But that isn’t true—it’s just that their stories have largely been ignored.I grew up in a poor farming town called Bells in Crockett County, West Tennessee. The county is 74 percent white—I am also white—14 percent black, and 10 percent Hispanic. Most of the people I went to school with are still there. The main highway that winds through the county is framed…

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a note from our publisher

Dear Reader,You’re flipping through Mother Jones right now, and that tells me you value independent, impactful journalism. And I’d bet those same values apply to the purchases you plan to make as the holiday season starts to pick up.From bottles of sustainable wine, to books and pins that make a statement—as well as opportunities to donate in honor of a loved one—our Annual Gift Giving Guide is full of thoughtful gifts that our advertisers picked out just for Mother Jones readers like you. You can feel good about where your money goes when you shop with our featured partners, and I hope you’ll check out their offerings on the pages that follow.Sincerely, ■…