New Arrivals in Politics & Current Events

The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns

D. Sunshine Hillygus

The use of wedge issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and immigration has become standard political strategy in contemporary presidential campaigns. Why do candidates use such divisive appeals? Who in the electorate is persuaded by these controversial issues? And what are the consequences for American democracy? In this provocative and engaging analysis of presidential campaigns, Sunshine Hillygus and Todd Shields identify the types of citizens responsive to campaign information, the reasons they are responsive, and the tactics candidates use to sway these pivotal voters. The Persuadable Voter shows how emerging information technologies have changed the way candidates communicate, who they target, and what issues they talk about. As Hillygus and Shields explore the complex relationships between candidates, voters, and technology, they reveal potentially troubling results for political equality and democratic governance.

The Persuadable Voter examines recent and historical campaigns using a wealth of data from national surveys, experimental research, campaign advertising, archival work, and interviews with campaign practitioners. With its rigorous multimethod approach and broad theoretical perspective, the book offers a timely and thorough understanding of voter decision making, candidate strategy, and the dynamics of presidential campaigns.

Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted

Eric M. Patashnik

Reforms at Risk is the first book to closely examine what happens to sweeping and seemingly successful policy reforms after they are passed. Most books focus on the politics of reform adoption, yet as Eric Patashnik shows here, the political struggle does not end when major reforms become enacted. Why do certain highly praised policy reforms endure while others are quietly reversed or eroded away?

Patashnik peers into some of the most critical arenas of domestic-policy reform--including taxes, agricultural subsidies, airline deregulation, emissions trading, welfare state reform, and reform of government procurement--to identify the factors that enable reform measures to survive. He argues that the reforms that stick destroy an existing policy subsystem and reconfigure the political dynamic. Patashnik demonstrates that sustainable reforms create positive policy feedbacks, transform institutions, and often unleash the ''creative destructiveness'' of market forces.

Reforms at Risk debunks the argument that reforms inevitably fail because Congress is prey to special interests, and the book provides a more realistic portrait of the possibilities and limits of positive change in American government. It is essential reading for scholars and practitioners of U.S. politics and public policy, offering practical lessons for anyone who wants to ensure that hard-fought reform victories survive.

Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA

Daniel Carpenter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the most powerful regulatory agency in the world. How did the FDA become so influential? And how exactly does it wield its extraordinary power? Reputation and Power traces the history of FDA regulation of pharmaceuticals, revealing how the agency's organizational reputation has been the primary source of its power, yet also one of its ultimate constraints.

Daniel Carpenter describes how the FDA cultivated a reputation for competence and vigilance throughout the last century, and how this organizational image has enabled the agency to regulate an industry as powerful as American pharmaceuticals while resisting efforts to curb its own authority. Carpenter explains how the FDA's reputation and power have played out among committees in Congress, and with drug companies, advocacy groups, the media, research hospitals and universities, and governments in Europe and India. He shows how FDA regulatory power has influenced the way that business, medicine, and science are conducted in the United States and worldwide. Along the way, Carpenter offers new insights into the therapeutic revolution of the 1940s and 1950s; the 1980s AIDS crisis; the advent of oral contraceptives and cancer chemotherapy; the rise of antiregulatory conservatism; and the FDA's waning influence in drug regulation today.

Reputation and Power demonstrates how reputation shapes the power and behavior of government agencies, and sheds new light on how that power is used and contested.

Sing the Rage: Listening to Anger after Mass Violence

Sonali Chakravarti
What is the relationship between anger and justice, especially when so much of our moral education has taught us to value the impartial spectator, the cold distance of reason? In Sing the Rage, Sonali Chakravarti wrestles with this question through a careful look at the emotionally charged South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which from 1996 to 1998 saw, day after day, individuals taking the stand to speak—to cry, scream, and wail—about the atrocities of apartheid. Uncomfortable and surprising, these public emotional displays, she argues, proved to be of immense value, vital to the success of transitional justice and future political possibilities.

Chakravarti takes up the issue from Adam Smith and Hannah Arendt, who famously understood both the dangers of anger in politics and the costs of its exclusion. Building on their perspectives, she argues that the expression and reception of anger reveal truths otherwise unavailable to us about the emerging political order, the obstacles to full civic participation, and indeed the limits—the frontiers—of political life altogether. Most important, anger and the development of skills needed to truly listen to it foster trust among citizens and recognition of shared dignity and worth. An urgent work of political philosophy in an era of continued revolution, Sing the Rage offers a clear understanding of one of our most volatile—and important—political responses.

Asia in Washington: Exploring the Penumbra of Transnational Power

Kent E. Calder

For several centuries, international relations has been primarily the purview of nation-states. Key powers have included at various times Great Britain, France, Japan, China, Russia (then the U.S.S.R., and then Russia again), and the nation most influential in international relations for the past several decades has been the United States. But in a world growing smaller, with a globalizing system increasing in complexity by the day, the nation-state paradigm is not as dominant as it once was.

In Asia in Washington, longtime Asia analyst Kent Calder examines the concept of "global city" in the context of international affairs. The term typically has been used in an economic context, referring to centers of international finance and commerce such as New York, Tokyo, and London. But Calder extends the concept to political centers as well—particularly in this case, Washington, D.C.

Improved communications, enhanced transportation, greater economic integration and activity have created a new economic village, and global political cities are arising within the new structure—distinguished not by their CEOs or stock markets but by their influence over policy decisions, and their amassing of strategic intelligence on topics from national policy trends to geopolitical risk.

Calder describes the rise of Washington, D.C., as perhaps the preeminent global political city—seat of the world's most powerful government, center of NGO and multilateral policy activity, the locale of institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and home to numerous think tanks and universities.

Within Washington, the role of Asia is especially relevant for several reasons. It represents the core of the non-Western industrialized world and the most challenge to Western dominance. It also raises the delicate issue of how race matters in international global governance—a factor crucially important during a time of globalization. And since Asia developed later than the West, its changing role in Washington raises major issues regarding how rising powers assimilate themselves into global governance structure. How do Asian nations establish, increase, and leverage their Washington presence, and what is the impact on Washington itself and the decisions made there? Kent Calder explains it all in Asia in Washington.

Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution

John Stevens
For the first time ever, a retired Supreme Court Justice offers a manifesto on how the Constitution needs to change.

By the time of his retirement in June 2010, John Paul Stevens had become the second longest serving Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Now he draws upon his more than three decades on the Court, during which he was involved with many of the defining decisions of the modern era, to offer a book like none other. SIX AMENDMENTS is an absolutely unprecedented call to arms, detailing six specific ways in which the Constitution should be amended in order to protect our democracy and the safety and wellbeing of American citizens.

Written with the same precision and elegance that made Stevens's own Court opinions legendary for their clarity as well as logic, SIX AMENDMENTS is a remarkable work, both because of its unprecedented nature and, in an age of partisan ferocity, its inarguable common sense.

Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse

Paul Staniland

The organizational cohesion of insurgent groups is central to explaining patterns of violence, the effectiveness of counterinsurgency, and civil war outcomes. Cohesive insurgent groups produce more effective war-fighting forces and are more credible negotiators; organizational cohesion shapes both the duration of wars and their ultimate resolution. In Networks of Rebellion, Paul Staniland explains why insurgent leaders differ so radically in their ability to build strong organizations and why the cohesion of armed groups changes over time during conflicts. He outlines a new way of thinking about the sources and structure of insurgent groups, distinguishing among integrated, vanguard, parochial, and fragmented groups.

Staniland compares insurgent groups, their differing social bases, and how the nature of the coalitions and networks within which these armed groups were built has determined their discipline and internal control. He examines insurgent groups in Afghanistan, 1975 to the present day, Kashmir (1988–2003), Sri Lanka from the 1970s to the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009, and several communist uprisings in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. The initial organization of an insurgent group depends on the position of its leaders in prewar political networks. These social bases shape what leaders can and cannot do when they build a new insurgent group. Counterinsurgency, insurgent strategy, and international intervention can cause organizational change. During war, insurgent groups are embedded in social ties that determine they how they organize, fight, and negotiate; as these ties shift, organizational structure changes as well.

Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer

Sylvia Longmire
When confronted with the challenges of border security and illegal immigration, government officials are fond of saying that our borders have never been as safe and secure as they are now. But ranchers in the borderlands of Arizona and Texas fear for their lands, their cattle, their homes, and sometimes their lives due to the human  and drug smuggling traffic that regularly crosses their property. Who is right? What does a secure border actually look like? More importantly,  is a secure border a realistic goal for the United States? Border Insecurity examines all the aspects of the challenge—and thriving industry—of trying to keep terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants from entering the United  States across our land borders. It looks at on-the-ground  issues and controversies like the border fence, the usefulness of technology, shifts in the connection between illegal immigration and drug smuggling, and the potential for terrorists and drug cartels to work together. Border Insecurity also delves into how the border debate itself is part of why the government has failed to improve information sharing and why this is necessary to establish a clear and comprehensive border security strategy.

Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

Jo Becker
“An engaging narrative... a thorough, perceptive read... the book stands testament to good political writing and a wealth of information made alive through prose.” --Publishers Weekly (STARRED)

A tour de force of groundbreaking reportage by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring is the definitive account of five remarkable years in American civil rights history: when the United States experienced a tectonic shift on the issue of marriage equality. Beginning with the historical legal challenge of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Becker expands the scope to encompass all aspects of this momentous struggle, offering a gripping behind-the-scenes narrative told with the lightning pace of the greatest legal thrillers.

For nearly five years, Becker was given free rein in the legal and political war rooms where the strategy of marriage equality was plotted. She takes us inside the remarkable campaign that rebranded a movement; into the Oval Office where the president and his advisors debated how to respond to a fast-changing political landscape; into the chambers of the federal judges who decided that today’s bans on same-sex marriage were no more constitutional than the previous century’s bans on interracial marriage; and into the mindsets of the Supreme Court judges who decided the California case and will likely soon decide the issue for the country at large. From the state-by state efforts to win marriage equality at the ballot box to the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down a law that banned legally married gay and lesbian couples from receiving federal benefits, Becker weaves together the political and legal forces that reshaped a nation.

Forcing the Spring begins with California’s controversial ballot initiative Proposition 8, which banned gay men and lesbians from marrying the person they loved. This electoral defeat galvanized an improbable alliance of opponents to the ban, with political operatives and Hollywood royalty enlisting attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies—the opposing counsels in the Supreme Court’s Bush v. Gore case—to join together in a unique bipartisan challenge to the political status quo. Despite stiff initial opposition from the gay rights establishment, the case against Proposition 8 would ultimately force the issue of marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court, transforming same-sex marriage from a partisan issue into a modern crisis of civil rights. Based on singular access to the internal workings of this momentous trial—and enlivened by original interviews with the participants on both sides of the case, many speaking for the first time—Forcing the Spring is at once an emotion-packed tale of love and determination as well as an eye-opening examination of an evidentiary record that federal courts across the nation are now relying on to strike down bans similar to California’s.

Shuttling between the twin American power centers of Hollywood and Washington—and based on access to all the key players in the Justice Department and the White House—Becker offers insider coverage on the true story of how President Obama “evolved” to embrace marriage equality, his surprising role in the Supreme Court battle, and the unexpected way the controversial issue played in the 2012 elections.

What starts out as a tale of an epic legal battle grows into the story of the evolution of a country, a testament and old-fashioned storytelling to move public opinion. Becker shows how the country reexamined its opinions on same-sex marriage, an issue that raced along with a snowballing velocity which astounded veteran political operatives, as public opinion on same-sex marriage flipped and elected officials repositioned themselves to adjust to a dramatically changed environment. Forcing the Spring is the ringside account of this unprecedented change, the fastest shift in public opinion ever seen in modern American politics.

Clear-eyed and even-handed, Forcing the Spring is political and legal journalism at its finest, offering an unvarnished perspective on the extraordinary transformation of America and an inside look into the fight to win the rights of marriage and full citizenship for all.

Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon

Melani Cammett

In Lebanon, religious parties such as Hezbollah play a critical role in providing health care, food, poverty relief, and other social welfare services alongside or in the absence of government efforts. Some parties distribute goods and services broadly, even to members of other parties or other faiths, while others allocate services more narrowly to their own base. In Compassionate Communalism, Melani Cammett analyzes the political logics of sectarianism through the lens of social welfare. On the basis of years of research into the varying welfare distribution strategies of Christian, Shia Muslim, and Sunni Muslim political parties in Lebanon, Cammett shows how and why sectarian groups deploy welfare benefits for such varied goals as attracting marginal voters, solidifying intraconfessional support, mobilizing mass support, and supporting militia fighters.

Cammett then extends her arguments with novel evidence from the Sadrist movement in post-Saddam Iraq and the Bharatiya Janata Party in contemporary India, other places where religious and ethnic organizations provide welfare as part of their efforts to build political support. Nonstate welfare performs a critical function in the absence of capable state institutions, Cammett finds, but it comes at a price: creating or deepening social divisions, sustaining rival visions of the polity, or introducing new levels of social inequality.

Compassionate Communalism is informed by Cammett’s use of many methods of data collection and analysis, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis of the location of hospitals and of religious communities; a large national survey of Lebanese citizens regarding access to social welfare; standardized open-ended interviews with representatives from political parties, religious charities, NGOs, and government ministries, as well as local academics and journalists; large-scale proxy interviewing of welfare beneficiaries conducted by trained Lebanese graduate students matched with coreligionist respondents; archival research; and field visits to schools, hospitals, clinics, and other social assistance programs as well as political party offices throughout the country.

Mobilizing against Inequality: Unions, Immigrant Workers, and the Crisis of Capitalism

Lee H. Adler

Among the many challenges that global liberalization has posed for trade unions, the growth of precarious immigrant workforces lacking any collective representation stands out as both a major threat to solidarity and an organizing opportunity. Believing that collective action is critical in the struggle to lift the low wages and working conditions of immigrant workers, the contributors to Mobilizing against Inequality set out to study union strategies toward immigrant workers in four countries: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and United States. Their research revealed both formidable challenges and inspiring examples of immigrant mobilization that often took shape as innovative social countermovements.

Using case studies from a carwash organizing campaign in the United States, a sans papiers movement in France, Justice for Cleaners in the United Kingdom, andintegration approaches by the Metalworkers Union in Germany, among others, the authors look at the strategies of unions toward immigrants from a comparative perspective. Although organizers face a different set of obstacles in each country, this book points to common strategies that offer promise for a more dynamic model of unionism is the global North. The editors have also created a companion website for the book, which features literature reviews, full case studies, updates, and links to related publications. Visit it at www.mobilizing-against-inequality.info.

Contributors: Lee H. Adler, Cornell University; Gabriella Alberti, Leeds University; Daniel B. Cornfield, Vanderbilt University; Michael Fichter, Global Labour University, Berlin; Janice Fine, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Jane Holgate, Leeds University; Denisse Roca-Servat, Pontifical Bolivarian University, Colombia; Maite Tapia, Michigan State University; Lowell Turner, Cornell University.

The Politics of Non-state Welfare

Melani Cammett

Across the world, welfare states are under challenge (or were never developed extensively in the first place) while non-state actors increasingly provide public goods and basic welfare. In many parts of the Middle East and South Asia, sectarian organizations and political parties supply basic services to ordinary people more extensively and effectively than governments. In sub-Saharan Africa, families struggle to pay hospital fees, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) launch welfare programs as states cut subsidies and social programs. Likewise, in parts of Latin America, international and domestic NGOs and, increasingly, private firms are key suppliers of social welfare in both urban and rural communities. Even in the United States, where the welfare state is far more developed, secular NGOs and faith-based organizations are critical components of social safety nets. Despite official entitlements to public welfare, citizens in Russia face increasing out-of-pocket expenses as they are effectively compelled to seek social services through the private market.

In The Politics of Non-state Social Welfare, a multidisciplinary group of contributors use survey data analysis, spatial analysis, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic and archival research to explore the fundamental transformation of the relationship between states and citizens. The book highlights the political consequences of the non-state provision of social welfare, including the ramifications for equitable and sustainable access to social services, accountability for citizens, and state capacity. The authors do not assume that non-state providers will surpass the performance of weak, inefficient, or sometimes corrupt states but instead offer a systematic analysis of a wide spectrum of non-state actors in a variety of contexts around the world, including sectarian political parties, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, family networks, informal brokers, and private firms.

Contributors: Scott Allard, University of Chicago; Jennifer N. Brass, Indiana University; Melani Cammett, Brown University; Linda Cook, Brown University; Ian Gough, London School of Economics; Michael Jennings, School of Oriental and African Studies; Anirudh Krishna, Duke University; Pauline Jones Luong, University of Michigan; Lauren M. MacLean, Indiana University; Alejandra Mizala, University of Chile; Alison Post, University of California, Berkeley; Ben Ross Schneider, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A Guide to Ethics and Public Policy: Finding Our Way

D. Don Welch

Developed by D. Don Welch during his 28 years of teaching ethics and public policy, the rationale behind A Guide to Ethics and Public Policy is to present a comprehensive guide for making policy judgments. Rather than present specific cases that raise moral issues or discuss the role a few concepts play in the moral analysis of policy, this book instead provides a broad framework for the moral evaluation of public policies and policy proposals. This framework is organized around guiding five principles: benefit, effectiveness, fairness, fidelity, and legitimacy. These principles identify the factors that should be taken into account and the issues that should be addressed as citizens address the question of what the United States government should be able to do. Organized by concept, with illustrations and examples frequently interspersed, the book covers both theory and specific issues.

A Guide to Ethics and Public Policy

outlines a comprehensive ethical framework, provides content to the meaning of the five principles that comprise that framework through the use of illustrations and examples, and offers guidance about how to navigate one’s way through the conflicts and dilemmas that inevitably result from a serious effort to analyze policies.

The Power of Cities in International Relations

Simon Curtis

Cities have become increasingly important to global politics, but have largely occupied a peripheral place in the academic study of International Relations (IR). This is a notable oversight for the discipline, although one which may be explained by IR’s traditional state centrism, the subjugation of the city to the demands of the territorial state in the modern period, and a lack of conceptual and analytical frameworks that can allow scholars to include the impact of cities within their work.

Presenting case-specific scholarship from leading experts in the field, each contribution guides the reader through the changing nature of cities in the international system and their increasing prominence in global governance outcomes. The book features case studies on the financial power of cities, city action in the security domain, collaboration of cities in coping with environmental problems, transnational urban regions, and mayors as international actors to illustrate if the relationship between the city and the state has changed in profound ways, and how cities are empowered by structural changes in world politics.

The multidisciplinary and global focus in The Power of Cities in International Relations sheds much needed light on the significance of the reemergence of cities from the long shadow of the nation-state. Only by examining the mechanisms that have empowered cities in the last few decades can we understand their new functions and capabilities in global politics.

The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending

Rebecca U. Thorpe
How is it that the United States—a country founded on a distrust of standing armies and strong centralized power—came to have the most powerful military in history? Long after World War II and the end of the Cold War, in times of rising national debt and reduced need for high levels of military readiness, why does Congress still continue to support massive defense budgets?
In The American Warfare State, Rebecca U. Thorpe argues that there are profound relationships among the size and persistence of the American military complex, the growth in presidential power to launch military actions, and the decline of congressional willingness to check this power. The public costs of military mobilization and war, including the need for conscription and higher tax rates, served as political constraints on warfare for most of American history. But the vast defense industry that emerged from World War II also created new political interests that the framers of the Constitution did not anticipate. Many rural and semirural areas became economically reliant on defense-sector jobs and capital, which gave the legislators representing them powerful incentives to press for ongoing defense spending regardless of national security circumstances or goals. At the same time, the costs of war are now borne overwhelmingly by a minority of soldiers who volunteer to fight, future generations of taxpayers, and foreign populations in whose lands wars often take place.
Drawing on an impressive cache of data, Thorpe reveals how this new incentive structure has profoundly reshaped the balance of wartime powers between Congress and the president, resulting in a defense industry perennially poised for war and an executive branch that enjoys unprecedented discretion to take military action.

The EU, Migration and the Politics of Administrative Detention

Michela Ceccorulli

Migration is now regarded as a security issue, both in public debate and government policies. In turn, the phenomenon of detention as a governance practice has emerged, and the developing presence of camps in Europe for migrants has given rise to a tangle of new and complex issues.

This book examines the phenomenon of irregular immigration, and provides a comprehensive picture of the practices and the implications of detention of migrants within and the European Union. It analyses ‘detention’ as a tool of governance and in doing so explores several key themes:

  • the security threat for Europe
  • the security governance processes enacted to handle irregular immigration
  • the forms of detention in different geographical contexts
  • the effectiveness of the EU’s approach to the issue.

The EU, Migration and the Politics of Administrative Detention

will be of interest to students and scholars of the EU’s external relations, migration, human rights, European politics and security studies.

Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Road Not Yet Taken

Giulia Daniele

Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict explores the most prominent instances of women’s political activism in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel, focussing primarily on the last decade. By taking account of the heterogeneous narrative identities existing in such a context, the author questions the effectiveness of the contributions of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish women activists towards a feasible renewal of the ‘peace process’, founded on mutual recognition and reconciliation.

Based on feminist literature and field research, this book re-problematises the controversial liaison between ethno-national narratives, feminist backgrounds and women’s activism in Palestine/Israel. In detail, the most relevant salience of this study is the provision of an additional contribution to the recent debate on the process of making Palestinian and Israeli women activists more visible, and the importance of this process as one of the most meaningful ways to open up areas of enquiry around major prospects for the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tackling topical issues relating to alternative resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book will be a valuable resource for both academics and activists with an interest in Middle East Politics, Gender Studies, and Conflict Resolution.

This Noble Land: My Vision for America

James A. Michener
In such modern classics as Chesapeake, Centennial, Hawaii, Alaska, and Texas, James A. Michener proved time and again that his understanding of and love for his country was unparalleled. This Noble Land is Michener’s most personal statement about America, an examination of the issues that threaten to fragment and undermine the nation—racial conflict, the widening gulf between rich and poor, the decline of education, the inadequacies of our health care system—as well as a thought-provoking prescription for sustaining our “outstanding success.” First published shortly before Michener’s death, This Noble Land stands as a wake-up call for a troubled era, infused with the wisdom and passion of a lifetime.
 
Praise for This Noble Land
 
“A book-length essay on the often worrying, often inspiring course of America in the nine decades of Michener’s life.”The Washington Post
 
“Michener is more interested in fixing the problems than in fixing the blame.”The Dallas Morning News
 
“Michener’s are the beach books that, unlike most other beach books, leave you smarter than you were when you started reading. Each delivers the product of all that research, doled out to the reader at just the right rate. You know right away who the bad guys are—the petty ones, the stingy ones. The heroes are generous and energetic and smart and, above all, unprejudiced. The real-life villains in This Noble Land are the people Michener perceives as ‘petty, mean and vengeful.’”St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Stirring . . . an admirable effort to define what has made our country great and how to preserve what is best about it.”Kirkus Reviews


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Trait Theory

Ellen Garcia
Trait theory was developed from the concept of trait which simply describes the characteristic behavior of individuals thus their personality. Trait encompasses all aspects of how individuals perceive, believes and feels about things. This is what distinguishes individuals from one another. Trait theories are therefore concerned with understanding the differences in people’s personality and establish the causes of these perceived differences. Although different theories have been developed by different people, they all base on the following assumptions: people genetically inherit traits from their biological parents; some traits are predominantly suited for leadership; and people who make good leaders have the correct if not sufficient combination of traits (Digman, 1990). It is through these assumptions that this theory has formed a good basis for selection of leaders thus a very important discipline in management. This essay therefore seeks to discuss ‘five factor’ trait theory highlighting some of the advantages and disadvantages of using such a theory to select leaders in the workforce. Unlike the traditional psychological researches, contemporary psychological researchers in personality have managed to come up with a more comprehensive and empirical model for analyzing personality traits known as ‘the five factor’ or the ‘big five’ theory (Digman, 1990). The ‘five factor’ theory is a five factor model with broad categories of personality traits, each category having its distinct behavioral characteristics associated with them. Though the theory is new, the five factor model has proved to be one of the most practical and applicable model in studying human personality and has thus been accorded critical attention (Digman 1990)

On The Path To Genocide: Armenia and Rwanda Re-examined

Deborah Mayersen

Why did the Armenian genocide erupt in Turkey in 1915, only seven years after the Armenian minority achieved civil equality for the first time in the history of the Ottoman Empire?  How can we explain the Rwandan genocide occurring in 1994, after decades of relative peace and even cooperation between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority? Addressing, for the first time, the question of how the risk of genocide develops over time, this book helps us to better understand why genocide occurs when it does. It provides a comprehensive historical analysis of the factors that led to the 1915 Armenian genocide and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, using fresh sources and perspectives that yield new insights into the history of the Armenian and Rwandan peoples. Finally, it also presents new research into constraints that inhibit genocide, and how they can be utilized to attempt the prevention of genocide in the future. 

US Foreign Policy in Latin America Under the Obama Administration

Tim Pfefferle
This essay analyzes the conduct of US foreign policy towards Latin America under President Obama from three perspectives. First, the ideologic dimensions will be covered through an analysis of Cuba policy under the Obama administration. Secondly, security policy will be analyzed with an investigation of relations with Mexico and Colombia. Lastly, the essay will cover the Obama administration's position vis-a-vis neoliberal economic policies in Latin America.

Exploiting Africa: The Influence of Maoist China in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania

Donovan Chau
The purpose of this book is to provide an historical examination of China’s activities in Africa, an important yet overlooked aspect of the broader subject of China in Africa today. There is a tendency of observers of China in Africa to always look forward; however, there is a need to look backward. Modern China’s historical presence in Africa must be scrutinized in order to understand the context of its current and future actions on the continent.

As the book will illustrate, China in the past meddled in the affairs of Africa, in places like Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania. It did so for self-interest, for the benefit of the Communist Party of China, specifically its leaders’ strategic objective, which was to demonstrate influence in the world, that is, power in international politics. Though its material resources were scant in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, China nevertheless used them, in addition to devoting time and attention to Africa. It was a Meddling Dragon.

China was not required to devote time, attention, and resources to Africa. But it did, in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania, especially. China skillfully used its limited diplomatic, intelligence, and economic means to gain traction on the continent. It sought influence through a combination of means – through shaping perceptions, developing personal relationships, and providing tangible assistance.

There was a rhyme and reason to China’s early approach to the continent. And that rhyme and reason remains much the same today. Viewed in the broader historical and strategic contexts, China’s current presence in Africa demonstrates continuity with the past rather than a renewed focus. This book contributes vitally to the discourse on Sino-African history and adds to the contemporary strategic understanding and debate about China in Africa.

The Chinese arrived on the African continent without fanfare, yet maintained an active and influential presence, a presence which ultimately was more pragmatic than revolutionary. Though often couched in ideological rhetoric, China’s behavior in Africa in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s demonstrated goals and actions of an aspiring great power in the world. Contemporary China receives much more attention in Africa, as it does everywhere else around the world. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand the nature and character of China’s historical actions on the African continent in order to properly grasp its future policies. Rather than merely looking forward, one must look backward to comprehend the true nature of China in Africa.

Transparent Government: What It Means and How You Can Make It Happen

Donald Gordon
Provides a blueprint for more effective government and greater citizen participation.

"Transparency" has become the new mantra of politicians and pundits alike. But what does it mean in practice? In this informative, clearly written book community activist Donald Gordon defines the essential features of a transparent government and makes a convincing case that it is critical for a healthy and maturing democracy and the basic liberties we all take for granted.

Gordon first presents a clear definition of transparency in government and why we should pursue it, followed by a review of the history of transparency in American politics. He then makes the case for how transparency serves as the foundation for active civic engagement. 

The heart of the book is Gordon's "Transparency Index." The author examines best practices in measuring transparency and then isolates the critical factors that can be used to assess any type of government and its commitment to transparency. In addition, a scoring system is presented that allows for comparison of government entities.

For anyone who wishes that government were more effective and responsive, this book shows how these goals can be achieved.

Uncle Sam Can't Count: A History of Failed Government Investments, from Beaver Pelts to Green Energy

Burton W. Folsom Jr., Jr.

In their fascinating history of government misadventure, Burton and Anita Folsom show why the Obama administration's urge to pick winners and losers in the private sector is doomed to fail.

From the days of George Washington through World War II to today, government investments have failed dismally. They not only drain the Treasury of cash but also impede economic growth, and they hurt the very companies they try to support.

Why does federal aid seem to have a reverse Midas touch? Simply put, federal officials don't have the same abilities or incentives as entrepreneurs. In addition, federal control always produces political control of some kind. What is best for politicians is not often what works in the marketplace. Politicians want to win votes, and they can do so by giving targeted CEOs benefits while dispersing costs to others.

Uncle Sam Can't Count is filled with examples of government failures and free market triumphs, including

  • John Jacob Astor, who owned a fur company that defeated a government-funded rival—supported by George Washington himself—by actively cooperating in trade with the Native Americans instead of trying to tell them what they wanted.
  • The Wright brothers, who, with two thousand dollars of their own money, successfully flew the first manned flight, while the government threw money at Samuel Langley, whose two failed attempts at flight both landed in the Potomac River.
  • George Mitchell, who spent seventeen years developing fracking, after the high taxes on oil drilling were repealed, while the government subsidized ethanol.

Uncle Sam Can't Count is a hard-hitting critique of a government completely incapable of either picking winners or learning from its many mistakes, which demonstrates why business should be left to private entrepreneurs.

Top Selling in Politics & Current Events

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

Matt Taibbi
A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis
 
Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery:
 
Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles.
Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail.
 
In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side.
 
In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights.
 
Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.

Praise for The Divide
 
“These are the stories that will keep you up at night. . . . The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Brilliant and enraging.”The Awl

Praise for Matt Taibbi’s Griftopia
 
“A stinging new history of the financial crisis that heralds a return of Menckenesque, dirt-under-the-fingernails American journalism.”GQ
 
“A relentlessly disturbing, penetrating exploration of the root causes of the trauma that upended economic security in millions of American homes . . . a full-scale indictment of Wall Street and Washington.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Matt Taibbi is [Hunter S.] Thompson’s heir. . . . [Griftopia] is the most lucid, justifiably angry description of what happened and what continues to happen to our nation’s economy.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
 
“Taibbi chronicles the corruption of the political process with indignation and dark humor.”—Time


From the Hardcover edition.

Imagine: Living in a Socialist U.S.A.

Frances Goldin

"What are the possibilities inherent in Socialism? What is it? What can it mean to humanity ’s future? What would it look like in America? These are the questions raised in this exquisitely timely book. We must profoundly change the way we live, or we will not survive. A Socialism that we make ourselves could be the answer."—Alice Walker

The polar ice caps are melting, hurricanes and droughts ravish the planet, and Earth’s population is threatened by catastrophic climate change. Millions of American jobs have been sent overseas and aren’t coming back. Young African American men make up the majority of America’s prison population. Half of the American population is poor or near poor, living precariously on the brink, while the top one percent owns as much as the bottom eighty. Government police-state spying on its citizens is pervasive. Consequently, as former President Jimmy Carter has said, "we have no functioning democracy."

Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA is at once an indictment of American capitalism as the root cause of our spreading dystopia and a cri di coeur for what life could be like in the United States if we had economic as well as a real political democracy. It features thirty-one concise and accessible essays by revolutionary thinkers and activists on various aspects of a new society and, crucially, on how to get from where we are now to where we want to be, living in a society that is truly fair and just.

Contributors Include

Paul Street • Joel Kovel • Ron Reosti • Rick Wolff • Michael Steven Smith • Mumia Abu-Jamal • Angela Davis • Ajamu Baraka • Harriet Fraad • Tess Fraad-Wolff • Renate Bridenthal • Blanche Wiesen Cook • Leslie Cagan • Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz • Steven Wishnia •Juan Gonzalez • Frances Fox Piven • Arun Gupta • Tom Angotti • Dave Lindorff • William Ayers • Mat Callahan • Clifford D. Conner • Fred Jerome • Michael Moore • Michael Ratner • Kazembe Balagun • Michael Zweig • Dianne Feeley • Paul Le Blanc • Martín Espada • Terry Bisson

The Real Crash (Fully Revised and Updated): America's Coming Bankruptcy---How to Save Yourself and Your Country

Peter Schiff

You might be thinking everything’s okay: the stock market is on the rise, jobs are growing, the worst of it is over.

You’d be wrong.

In The Real Crash, New York Times bestselling author Peter D. Schiff argues that America is enjoying a government-inflated bubble, one that reality will explode . . . with disastrous consequences for the economy and for each of us. Schiff demonstrates how the infusion of billions of dollars of stimulus money has only dug a deeper hole: the United States government simply spends too much and does not collect enough money to pay its debts, and in the end, Americans from all walks of life will face a crushing consequence.

We’re in hock to China, we can’t afford the homes we own, and the entire premise of our currency—backed by the full faith and credit of the United States—is false. Our system is broken, Schiff says, and there are only two paths forward.  The one we’re on now leads to a currency and sovereign debt crisis that will utterly destroy our economy and impoverish the vast majority of our citizens.  

However, if we change course, the road ahead will be a bit rockier at first, but the final destination will be far more appealing.  If we want to avoid complete collapse, we must drastically reduce government spending—eliminate entire agencies, end costly foreign military escapades and focus only on national defense—and stop student loan or mortgage interest deductions, as well as drug wars and bank-and-business bailouts. We must also do what no politician or pundit has proposed: America should declare bankruptcy, restructure its debts, and reform our system from the ground up.

Persuasively argued and provocative, The Real Crash explains how we got into this mess, how we might get out of it, and what happens if we don’t. And, with wisdom born from having predicted the Crash of 2008, Peter Schiff explains how to protect yourself, your family, your money, and your country against what he predicts.

The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

Mark Mazzetti
A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war

The most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of the world where large armies can’t go. The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war: a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe. America has pursued its enemies with killer drones and special operations troops; trained privateers for assassination missions and used them to set up clandestine spying networks; and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies.

This new approach to war has been embraced by Washington as a lower risk, lower cost alternative to the messy wars of occupation and has been championed as a clean and surgical way of conflict. But the knife has created enemies just as it has killed them. It has fomented resentments among allies, fueled instability, and created new weapons unbound by the normal rules of accountability during wartime.

Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow war, from a CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played to the chain-smoking Pentagon official running an off-the-books spy operation, from a Virginia socialite whom the Pentagon hired to gather intelligence about militants in Somalia to a CIA contractor imprisoned in Lahore after going off the leash.

At the heart of the book is the story of two proud and rival entities, the CIA and the American military, elbowing each other for supremacy. Sometimes, as with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, their efforts have been perfectly coordinated. Other times, including the failed operations disclosed here for the first time, they have not. For better or worse, their struggles will define American national security in the years to come.


Mein Kampf

Adolf Hitler

The angry ranting of an obscure, small-party politician, the first volume of Mein Kampf was virtually ignored when it was originally published in 1925. Likewise the second volume, which appeared in 1926. The book details Hitler\'s childhood, the \"betrayal\" of Germany in World War I, the desire for revenge against France, the need for lebensraum for the German people, and the means by which the National Socialist party can gain power. It also includes Hitler\'s racist agenda and his glorification of the \"Aryan\" race. The few outside the Nazi party who read it dismissed it as nonsense, not believing that anyone couldor wouldcarry out its radical, terrorist programs. As Hitler and the Nazis gained power, first party members and then the general public were pressured to buy the book. By the time Hitler became chancellor of the Third Reich in 1933, the book stood atop the German bestseller lists. Had the book been taken seriously when it was first published, perhaps the 20th century would have been very different.

Beyond the anger, hatred, bigotry, and self-aggrandizing, Mein Kampf is saddled with tortured prose, meandering narrative, and tangled metaphors (one person was described as \"a thorn in the eyes of venal officials\"). That said, it is an incredibly important book. It is foolish to think that the Holocaust could not happen again, especially if World War II and its horrors are forgotten. As an Amazon reader has pointed out, "If you want to learn about why the Holocaust happened, you can\'t avoid reading the words of the man who was most responsible for it happening." Mein Kampf, therefore, must be read as a reminder that evil can all too easily grow.

Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

Charles Krauthammer
 From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
 
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades daz­zled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
 
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krautham­mer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioeth­ics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have pro­foundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused re­flections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Win­ston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
 
With a special, highly autobiographical in­troduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

Jeremy Rifkin

In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

 

Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces.

 

Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods.

 

The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and “exchange value” in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by “sharable value” on the Collaborative Commons.

 

Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man

Luke Harding

IT BEGAN WITH A TANTALIZING, ANONYMOUS EMAIL: “I AM A SENIOR MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.”
 
What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, brought about by one extraordinary man. Edward Snowden was a 29-year-old computer genius working for the National Security Agency when he shocked the world by exposing the near-universal mass surveillance programs of the United States government. His whistleblowing has shaken the leaders of nations worldwide, and generated a passionate public debate on the dangers of global monitoring and the threat to individual privacy.
 
In a tour de force of investigative journalism that reads like a spy novel, award-winning Guardian reporter Luke Harding tells Snowden’s astonishing story—from the day he left his glamorous girlfriend in Honolulu carrying a hard drive full of secrets, to the weeks of his secret-spilling in Hong Kong, to his battle for asylum and his exile in Moscow. For the first time, Harding brings together the many sources and strands of the story—touching on everything from concerns about domestic spying to the complicity of the tech sector—while also placing us in the room with Edward Snowden himself. The result is a gripping insider narrative—and a necessary and timely account of what is at stake for all of us in the new digital age.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Liberty Amendments

Mark R. Levin
Mark R. Levin has made the case, in numerous bestselling books that the principles undergirding our society and governmental system are unraveling. In The Liberty Amendments, he turns to the founding fathers and the constitution itself for guidance in restoring the American republic.

The delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention and the delegates to each state’s ratification convention foresaw a time when the Federal government might breach the Constitution’s limits and begin oppressing the people. Agencies such as the IRS and EPA and programs such as Obamacare demonstrate that the Framers’ fear was prescient. Therefore, the Framers provided two methods for amending the Constitution. The second was intended for our current circumstances—empowering the states to bypass Congress and call a convention for the purpose of amending the Constitution. Levin argues that we, the people, can avoid a perilous outcome by seeking recourse, using the method called for in the Constitution itself.

The Framers adopted ten constitutional amendments, called the Bill of Rights, that would preserve individual rights and state authority. Levin lays forth eleven specific prescriptions for restoring our founding principles, ones that are consistent with the Framers’ design. His proposals—such as term limits for members of Congress and Supreme Court justices and limits on federal taxing and spending—are pure common sense, ideas shared by many. They draw on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers—including James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and numerous lesser-known but crucially important men—in their content and in the method for applying them to the current state of the nation.

Now is the time for the American people to take the first step toward reclaiming what belongs to them. The task is daunting, but it is imperative if we are to be truly free.

Cengage Advantage Books: American Government and Politics Today, Brief Edition, 2012-2013: Edition 7

Steffen Schmidt
New features, up-to-date political news and analysis and a great low price make AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS TODAY: BRIEF EDITION, 2012-2013 a top seller. The text shows students how easily and effectively students can participate in the political process. Praised for its balanced coverage, the book examines all the key concepts of American government, while providing exciting student-oriented features that focus on active citizenship.
Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

Strategy: A History

Lawrence Freedman
Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives. The range of Freedman's narrative is extraordinary, moving from the surprisingly advanced strategy practiced in primate groups, to the opposing strategies of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad, the strategic advice of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, the great military innovations of Baron Henri de Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz, the grounding of revolutionary strategy in class struggles by Marx, the insights into corporate strategy found in Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan, and the contributions of the leading social scientists working on strategy today. The core issue at the heart of strategy, the author notes, is whether it is possible to manipulate and shape our environment rather than simply become the victim of forces beyond one's control. Time and again, Freedman demonstrates that the inherent unpredictability of this environment-subject to chance events, the efforts of opponents, the missteps of friends-provides strategy with its challenge and its drama. Armies or corporations or nations rarely move from one predictable state of affairs to another, but instead feel their way through a series of states, each one not quite what was anticipated, requiring a reappraisal of the original strategy, including its ultimate objective. Thus the picture of strategy that emerges in this book is one that is fluid and flexible, governed by the starting point, not the end point. A brilliant overview of the most prominent strategic theories in history, from David's use of deception against Goliath, to the modern use of game theory in economics, this masterful volume sums up a lifetime of reflection on strategy.

Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific

Robert D. Kaplan
From Robert D. Kaplan, named one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine, comes a penetrating look at the volatile region that will dominate the future of geopolitical conflict.
 
Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries’ worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a simmering pot of potential conflict. The underreported military buildup in the area where the Western Pacific meets the Indian Ocean means that it will likely be a hinge point for global war and peace for the foreseeable future.
 
In Asia’s Cauldron, Robert D. Kaplan offers up a vivid snapshot of the nations surrounding the South China Sea, the conflicts brewing in the region at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and their implications for global peace and stability. One of the world’s most perceptive foreign policy experts, Kaplan interprets America’s interests in Asia in the context of an increasingly assertive China. He explains how the region’s unique geography fosters the growth of navies but also impedes aggression. And he draws a striking parallel between China’s quest for hegemony in the South China Sea and the United States’ imperial adventure in the Caribbean more than a century ago.
 
To understand the future of conflict in East Asia, Kaplan argues, one must understand the goals and motivations of its leaders and its people. Part travelogue, part geopolitical primer, Asia’s Cauldron takes us on a journey through the region’s boom cities and ramshackle slums: from Vietnam, where the superfueled capitalism of the erstwhile colonial capital, Saigon, inspires the geostrategic pretensions of the official seat of government in Hanoi, to Malaysia, where a unique mix of authoritarian Islam and Western-style consumerism creates quite possibly the ultimate postmodern society; and from Singapore, whose “benevolent autocracy” helped foster an economic miracle, to the Philippines, where a different brand of authoritarianism under Ferdinand Marcos led not to economic growth but to decades of corruption and crime.
 
At a time when every day’s news seems to contain some new story—large or small—that directly relates to conflicts over the South China Sea, Asia’s Cauldron is an indispensable guide to a corner of the globe that will affect all of our lives for years to come.

Advance praise for Asia’s Cauldron
 
Asia’s Cauldron is a perfect summation of the present turbulent moment in history, when the World War II security structure is beginning a rapid transformation. Kaplan engages the striking possibilities of where the current confrontation between China and Japan could lead, and underscores the point that this is a lot more significant than a simple border dispute.”—Paul Bracken, Yale University, author of The Second Nuclear Age
 
“Master global strategist Robert D. Kaplan turns his gaze to the bubbling heat of the South China Sea in his latest tour de force. Asia’s Cauldron deconstructs the extreme volatility of this enormous, dangerous, and vital maritime space.”Admiral James Stavridis, United States Navy (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2009–2013


From the Hardcover edition.

Half the Sky

Nicholas D. Kristof
#1 National Bestseller

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.

Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Barack Obama
In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.”

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.

A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”


From the Hardcover edition.

Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World

Andrew Breitbart
Known for his network of conservative websites that draws millions of readers everyday, Andrew Breitbart has one main goal: to make sure the "liberally biased" major news outlets in this country cover all aspects of a story fairly. Breitbart is convinced that too many national stories are slanted by the news media in an unfair way.

In RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, Breitbart talks about the key issues that Americans face, how he has aligned himself with the Tea Party, and how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on. Along the way, he details his early years, working with Matt Drudge, the Huffington Post, and so on, and how Breitbart developed his unique style of launching key websites to help get the word out to conservatives all over.

A rollicking and controversial read, Breitbart will certainly raise your blood pressure, one way or another.

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

Steve Coll
An “extraordinary” and “monumental” exposé of Big Oil from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll (The Washington Post)

In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil—the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States—Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe—featuring kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin—and the narrative is driven by larger-than-life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005. A penetrating, news-breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.


Russians: The People behind the Power

Gregory Feifer
From former NPR Moscow correspondent Gregory Feifer comes an incisive portrait that draws on vivid personal stories to portray the forces that have shaped the Russian character for centuries-and continue to do so today.

RUSSIANS explores the seeming paradoxes of life in Russia by unraveling the nature of its people: what is it in their history, their desires, and their conception of themselves that makes them baffling to the West? Using the insights of his decade as a journalist in Russia, Feifer corrects pervasive misconceptions by showing that much of what appears inexplicable about the country is logical when seen from the inside. He gets to the heart of why the world's leading energy producer continues to exasperate many in the international community. And he makes clear why President Vladimir Putin remains popular even as the gap widens between the super-rich and the great majority of poor.

Traversing the world's largest country from the violent North Caucasus to Arctic Siberia, Feifer conducted hundreds of intimate conversations about everything from sex and vodka to Russia's complex relationship with the world. From fabulously wealthy oligarchs to the destitute elderly babushki who beg in Moscow's streets, he tells the story of a society bursting with vitality under a leadership rooted in tradition and often on the edge of collapse despite its authoritarian power.

Feifer also draws on formative experiences in Russia's past and illustrative workings of its culture to shed much-needed light on the purposely hidden functioning of its society before, during, and after communism. Woven throughout is an intimate, first-person account of his family history, from his Russian mother's coming of age among Moscow's bohemian artistic elite to his American father's harrowing vodka-fueled run-ins with the KGB.

What emerges is a rare portrait of a unique land of extremes whose forbidding geography, merciless climate, and crushing corruption has nevertheless produced some of the world's greatest art and some of its most remarkable scientific advances. RUSSIANS is an expertly observed, gripping profile of a people who will continue challenging the West for the foreseeable future.

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

David Archibald
Baby boomers enjoyed the most benign period in human history: fifty years of relative peace, cheap energy, plentiful grain supply, and a warming climate due to the highest solar activity for 8,000 years. The party is over—prepare for the twilight of abundance.

What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America

Cal Thomas
Solutions ... not theories. Political progress ... not political posturing. Instead of the constant jockeying for political advantage, in What Works, author and columnist Cal Thomas focuses on what promotes the general welfare, regardless of which party or ideology gets the credit. Thomas probes and provides answers to questions like, Why must we constantly fight the same battles over and over? Why don’t we consult the past and use common sense in order to see that what others discovered long ago still works today? And why does present-day Washington too often look like the film Groundhog Day, with our elected officials waking up each day only to repeat identical talking points from previous days, months, and years? Without letting politics, or ignorance, get in the way, Thomas urges readers to pay attention so that politicians can no longer pick their pockets---literally or intellectually. What Works is about solutions, not theories. It’s about pressuring political leadership to forget about the next election and start focusing on the needs of the people who work hard to provide for themselves, send their tax dollars to Washington, and want to see the country achieve something of value ... like it has always done.

Communist Manifesto: The revolutionary text that changed the course of history

Karl Marx

This book is essential for anyone seeking to understand the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Comprehending the motives and actions of many of its leading figures is impossible unless one has read this key text. 'The Communist Manifesto' left its mark upon the souls of leaders and rebels alike and shaped the deeds of whole nations for the greater part of 100 years. It could also be said to have led indirectly to the violent death of hundreds of millions of people.

Law and Society in Transition: Toward Responsive Law

Phillippe Nonet

Year by year, law seems to penetrate ever larger realms of social, political, and economic life, generating both praise and blame. Nonet and Selznick's Law and Society in Transition explains in accessible language the primary forms of law as a social, political, and normative phenomenon. They illustrate with great clarity the fundamental difference between repressive law, riddled with raw conflict and the accommodation of special interests, and responsive law, the reasoned effort to realize an ideal of polity.

To make jurisprudence relevant, legal, political, and social theory must be reintegrated. As a step in this direction, Nonet and Selznick attempt to recast jurisprudential issues in a social science perspective. They construct a valuable framework for analyzing and assessing the worth of alternative modes of legal ordering. The volume's most enduring contribution is the authors' typology-repressive, autonomous, and responsive law. This typology of law is original and especially useful because it incorporates both political and jurisprudential aspects of law and speaks directly to contemporary struggles over the proper place of law in democratic governance.

In his new introduction, Robert A. Kagan recasts this classic text for the contemporary world. He sees a world of responsive law in which legal institutions-courts, regulatory agencies, alternative dispute resolution bodies, police departments-are periodically studied and redesigned to improve their ability to fulfill public expectations. Schools, business corporations, and governmental bureaucracies are more fully pervaded by legal values. Law and Society in Transition describes ways in which law changes and develops. It is an inspiring vision of a politically responsive form of governance, of special interest to those in sociology, law, philosophy, and politics.

Welfare Policymaking in the States: The Devil in Devolution

Pamela Winston
Now that responsibility for welfare policy has devolved from Washington to the states, Pamela Winston examines how the welfare policymaking process has changed. Under the welfare reform act of 1996, welfare was the first and most basic safety net program to be sent back to state control. Will the shift help or further diminish programs for low-income people, especially the millions of children who comprise the majority of the poor in the United States? In this book, Winston probes the nature of state welfare politics under devolution and contrasts it with welfare politics on the national level. Starting with James Madison's argument that the range of perspectives and interests found in state policymaking will be considerably narrower than in Washington, she analyzes the influence of interest groups and other key actors in the legislative process at both the state and national levels. She compares the legislative process during the 104th Congress (1995-96) with that in three states-- Maryland, Texas, and North Dakota-and finds that the debates in the states saw a more limited range of participants, with fewer of them representing poor people, and fewer competing ideas. The welfare reform bill of 1996 comes up for renewal in 2002. At stake in the U.S. experiment in welfare reform are principles of equal opportunity, fairness, and self-determination as well as long-term concerns for political and social stability. This investigation of the implications of the changing pattern of welfare politics will interest scholars and teachers of social policy, federalism, state politics, and public policy generally, and general readers interested in social policy, state politics, social justice, and American politics.

The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities

Mancur Olson
The years since World War II have seen rapid shifts in the relative positions of different countries and regions. Leading political economist Mancur Olson offers a new and compelling theory to explain these shifts in fortune and then tests his theory against evidence from many periods of history and many parts of the world."[T]his elegant, readable book. . . sets out to explain why economies succumb to the 'British disease,' the kind of stagnation and demoralization that is now sweeping Europe and North America. . . . A convincing book that could make a big difference in the way we think about modern economic problems."--Peter Passell, The New York Times Book Review"Schumpeter and Keynes would have hailed the insights Olson gives into the sicknesses of the modern mixed economy."--Paul A. Samuelson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology"One of the really important books in social science of the past half-century."--Scott Gordon, The Canadian Journal of Economics"The thesis of this brilliant book is that the longer a society enjoys political stability, the more likely it is to develop powerful special-interest lobbies that in turn make it less efficient economically."--Charles Peters, The Washington Monthly"Remarkable. The fundamental ideas are simple, yet they provide insight into a wide array of social and historical issues. . . . The Rise and Decline of Nations promises to be a subject of productive interdisciplinary argument for years to come."--Robert O. Keohane, Journal of Economic Literature"I urgently recommend it to all economists and to a great many non-economists."--Gordon Tullock, Public Choice"Olson's theory is illuminating and there is no doubt that The Rise and Decline of Nations will exert much influence on ideas and politics for many decades to come."--Pierre Lemieux, ReasonCo-winner of the 1983 American Political Science Association's Gladys M. Kammerer Award for the best book on U.S. national policy

System Under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics

Donald F Kettl
In System under Stress, The Challenge to 21st Century Democracy, Third Edition, Donald F. Kettl looks at the latest stress to hit the system--the financial crisis of 2008. In his brief, gripping narrative, Kettl assesses how well the U.S. political system responds under extraordinary pressure--from 9/11, to Hurricane Katrina, to the Great Recession-- and asks if the government is ready to face that next challenge. A well-known scholar, commentator, and writer in the areas of federalism and governance, Kettl asks the hard questions, makes a credible and persuasive argument, and crafts a readable case study that is fascinating and thought-provoking.