The honest and intelligent exploration of American identity in Stakes Is High couldn’t be more timely. Mychal Denzel Smith shines light on the American Dream and the idea that working hard and holding purpose can lead to success and stability. He shows the schisms in that dream, focusing on Black lives in history and the institutional oppression and racism that are such a part of America’s mythical promises and of Trump and the current political climate. Smith helps us see where change is possible in this important read. — S.M.C.