Politics Gift Guide

Curios for Current-Events Connoisseurs

Go Tell It on the Auction

The Nation's Online Auction

Politics Gift Guide

Looking for a special token for that American literature aficionado in your family? How about a vintage copy of The American Mercury, edited by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan? Or maybe a piece of activist art by Ricardo Levins Morales (see left) featuring the words of legendary Brazilian Bishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara. These represent just a selection of the items available at The Nation's third annual online auction, where you can bid on progressive gifts and simultaneously support progressive journalism. Items include political cartoons, autographed books, vacation stays, posters, pamphlets, and more. New items are added daily, but the auction ends Dec. 5. Check it out at www.biddingforgood.com. – Michael King

Over the River and Through the Woods

Historical maps from the General Land Office, $20
Plans for Shoal Creek area, from 34th to 38th Street, 1890
Plans for Shoal Creek area, from 34th to 38th Street, 1890

Fans of Austin arcana should steer their browsers to the Texas General Land Office, where some 38,000 maps are housed online. And high quality reproductions are available for purchase for a veritable pittance of $20. We're particularly partial to the 1939 "Roster Austin Chamber of Commerce" map of the city (Map/Document #452), although it's tough to beat the 1839 map laying out Edwin Waller's original downtown grid (M/D #4500). To see the collection, visit www.glo.texas.gov and enter "maps collection" in the search box. – Wells Dunbar

Let There Be Peace on Earth

Politics Gift Guide

Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, and Erin Torneo
St. Martin's Press, $25.95

This stunning memoir by rape victim Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and the man she falsely accused of the crime, Ronald Cotton, unfolds as a tale of two lives tragically intertwined. But surprisingly, this tale – told in equal parts by the two victims, accuser and accused – has a happy ending that too few miscarriages of justice can boast: After more than a decade behind bars, Cotton was proven innocent by DNA testing. Yet more surprising, he and Thompson-Cannino are now friends. The tragedy that befell Cotton and Thompson-Cannino is not entirely unique. According to the Innocence Project, there have been 261 post-conviction DNA exonerations nationwide; Texas has the dubious honor of leading the pack, with 42 DNA exonerations to date. Mistaken eyewitness identification has been implicated in more than 75% of those exonerations (make that 80% within the state of Texas). For those who believe that these kinds of things happen to "other people" – or that perhaps the occasional mistake is just a reality we have to accept – this memoir serves as a reminder that not only do mistakes have far-reaching implications, they in fact threaten the foundation of our entire system of criminal justice. Picking Cotton is a fast, compelling read and a meaningful gift for anyone interested in the real price of justice. – Jordan Smith

All the Way Home You'll Be Warm

Politics Gift Guide

Looking Up at the Bottom Line: The Struggle for the Living Wage!

by Richard R. Troxell
Plain View Press, 308 pp., $22.95 (paper)

This tome by local House the Home­less founder Richard Troxell not only illuminates his organization's work – and the author's personal struggle with homelessness – but also serves as an alternative history of the city, recounting Troxell's struggle over the years to address homelessness and advocate for a living wage. All proceeds go toward HTH's efforts. Available at local retailers and online at Amazon. – W.D.

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More gift guide
Austin's Holiday Art Bazaars Are Still Bringing Good Cheer
Austin's Holiday Art Bazaars Are Still Bringing Good Cheer
Who wouldn't love a creative gift by an area artist or artisan? Here's where you can find them.

Robert Faires, Dec. 4, 2020

Gifts to Make You Look Away From Your Screens
Gifts to Make You Look Away From Your Screens
Plenty of films to read about this holiday season

The Screens Staff, Dec. 6, 2019


The Nation, Texas General Land Office, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton, Picking Cotton, Innocence Project, Richard Troxell, House the Homeless, gift guide

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