The event was a kickoff show for the new book, 'State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream' by Tucson author, historian and performance artist Jeff Biggers.
State Out of the Union is Jeff Biggers' account from the Arizona front lines on how the state's historical conflicts over immigration, Ethnic Studies and state's rights have become a national bellwether. Biggers says that Arizona is not only home to some of the most virulent anti-immigration legislation in the country—it is also the birthplace of a new movement of young Latino activists and allies who have challenged the self-proclaimed architect of SB 1070 in a historic recall election, and are also mobilizing to defend Mexican American Studies, civil rights and the state's education system from censorship.
More info on State Out of the Union: is available at StateOutOfTheUnion.com.
Thanks to James Eberhart and Jamison Waddell for recording these excerpts.
About Jeff Biggers:
Jeff Biggers (born in 1963) is an American author, journalist, playwright, master storyteller and performance artist. He is the author of four books, and co-editor of a fourth. His latest book, "State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream," has just been released. Biggers grew up in Tucson after moving here in 1970 from Illinois with his family.
As the grandson of a coal miner from southern Illinois, Jeff Biggers has been a vocal critic of mountaintop removal in Appalachia and reckless strip mining across the nation, as well as poorly enforced black lung and mining workplace safety laws, and the fallacy of "clean coal" slogans. Reckoning at Eagle Creek examines the loss of his family's 200-year-old homestead to strip mining, and the historical parallel impact of coal mining on communities and their environment.
Over the past two years, Biggers has also extensively covered politics, immigration and cultural issues in Arizona and the US-Mexico borderlands for Salon.com, The Nation and The Huffington Post. His article in Salon.com, "Who's Afraid of the Tempest," broke the story on Tucson's removal of Mexican American Studies books from banned courses.