Initially dismissed by US President Barack Obama, along with other fledgling terrorist groups, as a “jayvee squad” compared to al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in both countries and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law.
In ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, American journalist Michael Weiss and Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan explain how these violent extremists evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who behead Western hostages in slickly produced videos and have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain. Beginning with the early days of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of ISIS’s first incarnation as “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” Weiss and Hassan explain who the key players are—from their elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the former Saddam Baathists in their ranks—where they come from, how the movement has attracted both local and global support, and where their financing comes from.
Political and military maneuvering by the United States, Iraq, Iran, and Syria have all fueled ISIS’s astonishing and explosive expansion. Drawing on original interviews with former US military officials and current ISIS fighters, the authors also reveal the internecine struggles within the movement itself, as well as ISIS’s bloody hatred of Shiite Muslims, which is generating another sectarian war in the region. Just like the one the US thought it had stopped in 2011 in Iraq. Past is prologue and America’s legacy in the Middle East is sowing a new generation of terror.
Published anonymously in 1776, this landmark political pamphlet spread across the colonies more rapidly than any document of its kind ever had before. Its words were read aloud in town squares, its pages affixed to tavern walls. Both a clear-eyed, plainly stated case for separation from Great Britain and a stirring call to action, Common Sense sparked the imagination of a fledgling nation and played a decisive role in the march toward revolution. Thomas Paine’s masterpiece is crucial reading for any student of American history.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
The governed must know their government.
Understanding how our government functions and the political forces that influence it is vital for all Americans. As a comprehensive overview and history of the subject, this book is designed to help anyone interested in learning about our government and the origins of its complex inner workings, our political system, and key elements that have affected our growth as a nation, all while serving as the best supplementary reading a student can get.
- Author is an experienced Advanced Placement teacher
- Students looking to take AP exams are a ready audience, along with citizenship applicants and CNN junkies
- Large renewable market
- Suitable as supplemental reading for coursework
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
“Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”—The New York Times Book Review
“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
“Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants. . . . The Divide is an important book. Its documentation is powerful and shocking.”—The Washington Post
“Captivating . . . The Divide enshrines its author’s position as one of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.”—The Independent (UK)
“Taibbi [is] perhaps the greatest reporter on Wall Street’s crimes in the modern era.”—Salon
From the Hardcover edition.
"This is a handbook for direct action. It's not the only- there are thousands: every gardener's guide is a direct action handbook, as is every cookbook. Any action that side-steps regulations, representatives, and authorities to accomplish goals is direct action. In a society in which political power, economic capital, and social control are centralized in teh hands of an elite, certain forms of direct action are discouraged, to say the least; this book is about those in particular, for anyone who wants to take control of her life and accept responsibility for her part in determining the fat of humanity.
"For the civilian born in captivity and raised on spectatorship and submission, direct action changes everything. The morning she arises to put a plan into motion, she awakens under a different sun- if she has been able to sleep at all, that is- and in a different body, attuned to every detail of the world around her and possessed of the power to change it. She finds her companions endowed with tremendous courage and resourcefulness, equal to monumental challenges and worthy of passionate love. Together, they enter a foreign land where outcomes are uncertain but anything is possible and every minute counts...".
“The hand-in-glove relationship of the U.S. media with the White House is mercilessly exposed in this determined and disheartening study that repeatedly reveals how the press has toed the official line at those moments when its independence was most needed.”—George Pendle, Financial Times
“Bennett, Lawrence, and Livingston are indisputably right about the news media’s dereliction in covering the administration’s campaign to take the nation to war against Iraq.”—Don Wycliff, Chicago Tribune “[This] analysis of the weaknesses of Washington journalism deserves close attention.”—Russell Baker, New York Review of Books
From the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything—a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come.
Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world:
• Ever-increasing economic globalization has led to the emergence of what he labels “Earth Inc.”—an integrated holistic entity with a new and different relationship to capital, labor, consumer markets, and national governments than in the past.
• The worldwide digital communications, Internet, and computer revolutions have led to the emergence of “the Global Mind,” which links the thoughts and feelings of billions of people and connects intelligent machines, robots, ubiquitous sensors, and databases.
• The balance of global political, economic, and military power is shifting more profoundly than at any time in the last five hundred years—from a U.S.-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power, from nation-states to private actors, and from political systems to markets.
• A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species.
• Genomic, biotechnology, neuroscience, and life sciences revolutions are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science—and are putting control of evolution in human hands.
• There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide.
From his earliest days in public life, Al Gore has been warning us of the promise and peril of emergent truths—no matter how “inconvenient” they may seem to be. As absorbing as it is visionary, The Future is a map of the world to come, from a man who has looked ahead before and been proven all too right.
Praise for The Future
“Magisterial . . . The passion is unmistakable. So is the knowledge. Practically every page offers an illumination.”—Bloomberg
“In The Future . . . Gore takes on a subject whose scale matches that of his achievements and ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Historically grounded . . . Gore’s strengths lie in his passion for the subject and in his ability to take the long view by putting current events and trends in historical context.”—Publishers Weekly
“Provocative, smart, densely argued . . . a tour de force of Big Picture thinking.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A luminously intelligent analysis that is packed with arresting ideas and facts.”—The Guardian
The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder
Near the end of the Second World War, the United States made a bold strategic gambit that rewired the international system. Empires were abolished and replaced by a global arrangement enforced by the U.S. Navy. With all the world's oceans safe for the first time in history, markets and resources were made available for everyone. Enemies became partners.
We think of this system as normal-it is not. We live in an artificial world on borrowed time.
In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate markets and capital supplies; and how, against all odds, it is the ever-ravenous American economy that-alone among the developed nations-is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are doing nothing less than overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order.
For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep an increasingly dangerous energy market. Only the United States boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Most important, geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime.
Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.com.
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
THEIR NAMES ARE FAMILIAR.
THEIR STORIES ARE NOT.
Everyone has heard of a “Ponzi scheme,” but do you know what Charles Ponzi actually did to make his name synonymous with fraud? Credit for inventing radio usually goes to Marconi or David Sarnoff and RCA—but if you’ve never heard of Edwin Armstrong or Lee de Forest, you know only half the story.
You’ve probably been to a Disney theme park, but did you know that the park Walt believed would change the world was actually EPCOT? He died before his vision for it could ever be realized. History is about so much more than dates and dead guys; it’s the greatest story ever told. Now, in this powerful follow-up to his national bestseller Miracles and Massacres, Glenn Beck brings ten more true and untold stories to life.
The people who made America were not always what they seemed. There were entrepreneurs and visionaries whose selflessness propelled us forward, but there were also charlatans and fraudsters whose selfishness nearly derailed us. Dreamers and Deceivers brings both of these groups to life with stories written to put you right in the middle of the action. You know that Woodrow Wilson was a progressive who dramatically changed America, but did you know that he was also involved in one of the most shocking national deceptions of all time? You know I Love Lucy, but the true story of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball is much better than anything they produced for television. You’ve heard of Upton Sinclair, the socialist author who gained famed with The Jungle, but it was a book he wrote two decades later that proved the depths he was willing to go to maintain his reputation.
From the spy Alger Hiss, to the visionary Steve Jobs, to the code-breaker Alan Turing—once you know the full stories behind the half-truths you’ve been force fed…once you meet the unsung heroes and obscured villains edited from our schoolbooks…once you begin to see these amazing people from our past as people rather than just names—your perspective on today’s important issues may forever change. Find out why this series has become America’s new go-to history book.
At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the U.S. that year. Four months after the battle, a Pentagon review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place.
In THE OUTPOST, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families, and to a place and war that has remained profoundly distant to most Americans. A runaway bestseller, it makes a savage war real, and American courage manifest.
Few analysts of U.S. involvement in Vietnam would agree with the provocative conclusion of this book. The thesis of most postmortems is that the United States lost the war because of the failure of its foreign policy decisionmaking system. According to Gelb and Betts, however, the foreign policy failed, but the decisionmaking system worked. They attribute this paradox to the efficiency of the system in sustaining an increasingly heavy commitment based on the shared conviction of six administrations that the United States must prevent the loss of Vietnam to communism. However questionable the conviction, and thus the commitment, may have been, the authors stress that the latter "was made and kept for twenty-five years. That is what the system the shared values, the political and bureaucratic pressures was designed to do, and it did it."The comprehensive analysis that supports this contention reflects the widest use thus fare of available sources, including recently declassified portions of negotiations documents and files in presidential libraries. The frequently quoted statement of the principals themselves contradict the commonly held view that U.S. leaders were unaware of the consequences of their decisions and deluded by false expectations of easy victory. With few exceptions, the record reveals that these leaders were both realistic and pessimistic about the chances for success in Vietnam. Whey they persisted nonetheless is explained in this thorough account of their decisionmaking from 1946 to 1968, and how their mistakes might be avoided by policymakers in the future is considered in the final chapter.
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.
Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS's rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today, we face a threat that is more violent, powerful and financially stronger than ever before. In this book, Journalist Benjamin Hall will provide insights by answering the basic questions we still don't have the answers to; Who are they? Where did they come from? How are they so successful, so quickly? How can they be stopped?
By embedding himself behind enemy lines, Hall provides a riveting narrative based on firsthand experience and personal interviews. He goes beyond the vicious jihadis, to reveal a generation of chaos, and uncover a volatile region engulfed in turmoil. Hall reveals why ISIS is a problem that will define the Middle East - and the West - for decades to come.
According to Michael Savage, OUR NATION IS IN REAL TROUBLE and the seeds of a second conflagration have been sown. Not between the states - but between true patriots who believe in our nation's founding principles and those he believes are working every day to undermine them and change the very nature of the country.
Michael Savage is convinced we face more than just political differences. He believes the split between right and left is possibly irreparable - unless we understand what's really happening and how we must act to stop it. This fervent warning offers the Savage truth - a call to action in the voting booth - in order to defend the freedoms our Constitution so brilliantly established.
It is the only time this phrase appears in the Bill of Rights. So why aren’t more people listening?
History has proven that guns are essential to self-defense and liberty—but tragedy is a powerful force and has led many to believe that guns are the enemy, that the Second Amendment is outdated, and that more restrictions or outright bans on firearms will somehow solve everything.
They are wrong.
In CONTROL, Glenn Beck presents a passionate, fact-based case for guns that reveals why gun control isn’t really about controlling guns at all; it’s about controlling us. In doing so, he takes on and debunks the common myths and outright lies that are often used to vilify guns and demean their owners:
The Second Amendment is ABOUT MUSKETS . . . GUN CONTROL WORKS in other countries . . . 40 percent of all guns are sold without BACKGROUND CHECKS . . . More GUNS MEAN more MURDER . . . Mass shootings are becoming more common . . . These awful MASSACRES ARE UNIQUE TO AMERICA . . . No CIVILIAN needs a “weapon of war” like the AR-15 . . . ARMED GUARDS in schools do nothing, just look at Columbine . . . Stop FEARMONGERING, no one is talking about TAKING YOUR GUNS AWAY.
Backed by hundreds of sources, this handbook gives everyone who cares about the Second Amendment the indisputable facts they need to reclaim the debate, defeat the fear, and take back their natural rights.
This is not your father's war
This is Iraq, where a soldier's first duty is reinforcing his Humvee with sheet metal and sand bags. Or, in the absence of plumbing, burning barrels of human waste. Where any dead dog on the side of the road might be concealing an insurgent's bomb and anyone could be the enemy.
At age 17, Jason Christopher Hartley joined the Army National Guard. Thirteen years later, he is called to active duty, to serve in Iraq. Sent to a town called Ad Dujayl, made notorious by Saddam Hussein's 1982 massacre, Hartley is thrust into the center of America's war against terrorism. This is his story.
"If you are distrustful of the media and want to know exactly what's going on in Iraq, you'll have to pray for divine enlightenment, because only god knows what the hell is going on over here. However, if you want to know how it feels to be a soldier in Iraq, to hear something honest and raw, that I can help you with."
Sometimes profane, often poignant, and always nakedly candid, Just Another Soldier takes the reader past the images seen on CNN and the nightly news, into the day to day reality of life on the ground as an infantryman, attached to the 1st Division, in the first war of the 21st century. From the adrenaline rush of storming a suspected insurgent's house, to the sheer boredom of down time on the base, to the horror of dead civilians, Hartley examines his role as a man, as a soldier and as an American on foreign soil. His quest to discover the balance between his compassionate side and his baser instincts, results in a searing portrait of today's Army and a remarkable personal narrative written in a fresh and exciting new voice. Just Another Soldier is more than a war story; it delivers an intimate look at a generation of young men and women on the front lines of American policy.
Whether you're for or against the war in Iraq, this is essential reading.
Publication of The Souls of Black Folk was a dramatic event that helped to polarize black leaders into two groups: the more conservative followers of Washington and the more radical supporters of aggressive protest. Its influence cannot be overstated. It is essential reading for everyone interested in African-American history and the struggle for civil rights in America.
How many people in America today are truly well-versed in the history of the Second Amendment, and why it was included in the Bill of Rights?
In HANDS OFF MY GUN, Dana Loesch explains why the Founding Fathers included the right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights, and argues that "gun control" regulations throughout history have been used to keep minority populations under control. She also contends that current arguments in favor of gun control are primarily based on emotions and fear.
This narrative is a must-read for every Second Amendment supporter. Dana Loesch is a determined and fierce advocate for those rights and shouts out: hands off my gun!
Whether it's the Internal Revenue Service or the local police department, every person's life is affected by how public organizations handle information. New technologies are inundating us with data-agencies collect, store, analyze and disseminate information. How organizations manage this information is crucial to their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability.
It is becoming more difficult for public organizations to formulate clear messages. Political pressure from elected officials and public scrutiny make the task of managing communication even more daunting. By helping students see how communication networks must be treated within larger psychological, cultural, and mechanical contexts, Graber presents ways to construct effective channels so information is transmitted to the appropriate audiences, linking policy decisions and feedback from citizens. Blending the best of theory and practice, The Power of Communication helps both students and practitioners turn a flood tide of information into an asset, rather than a menace, to good government.
Governing Europe's Marine Environment: Europeanization of Regional Seas or Regionalization of EU Policies?
This study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. The New York Times called it, in an article published nearly ten years after the book's appearance, "the seminal statement of principles underlying political psychology."
The perspective established by Jervis remains an important counterpoint to structural explanations of international politics, and from it has developed a large literature on the psychology of leaders and the problems of decision making under conditions of incomplete information, stress, and cognitive bias.
Jervis begins by describing the process of perception (for example, how decision makers learn from history) and then explores common forms of misperception (such as overestimating one's influence). Finally, he tests his ideas through a number of important events in international relations from nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history.
In a contemporary application of Jervis's ideas, some argue that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 in part because he misread the signals of American leaders with regard to the independence of Kuwait. Also, leaders of the United States and Iraq in the run-up to the most recent Gulf War might have been operating under cognitive biases that made them value certain kinds of information more than others, whether or not the information was true. Jervis proved that, once a leader believed something, that perception would influence the way the leader perceived all other relevant information.
"The war on terrorism is the first political growth industry of the new Millennium." So begins Jim Bovard's newest and, in some ways, most provocative book as he casts yet another jaundiced eye on Washington and the motives behind protecting "the homeland" and prosecuting a wildly unpopular war with Iraq. For James Bovard, as always, it all comes down to a trampling of personal liberty and an end to privacy as we know it. From airport security follies that protect no one to increased surveillance of individuals and skyrocketing numbers of detainees, the war on terrorism is taking a toll on individual liberty and no one tells the whole grisly story better than Bovard.
For more than four decades, polarized politics in America has been driven by a vicious scandal machine comprised of partisan politicians, extremists on the left and right, and a sensationalist media energized by bringing public officials down. In this sorely needed book Lanny Davis, who has been in the belly of the beast as Special Counsel to the Clinton White House, explains--starting with historical scandals like Alexander Hamilton's extramarital affairs and moving on to the unsurpassable Watergate and beyond--how we reached this sorry state. Davis tells us how this poisonous atmosphere is damaging not just politics but American society as a whole. Davis also offers hope by revealing how a coalition of centrist politicians focusing on core policies that appeal to the frustrated electorate marooned in the middle can pull us back from the brink.
Is Islam A Religion of Peace?
In what is sure to be her most controversial book to date, Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes a powerful case that a religious Reformation is the only way to end the terrorism, sectarian warfare, and repression of women and minorities that each year claim thousands of lives throughout the Muslim world. With bracing candor, the brilliant, charismatic, and uncompromising author of the bestselling Infidel and Nomad argues that it is foolish to insist, as our leaders habitually do, that the violent acts of Islamic extremists can be divorced from the religious doctrine that inspires them. Instead we must confront the fact that they are driven by a political ideology embedded in Islam itself.
Today, Hirsi Ali argues, the world's 1.6 billion Muslims can be divided into a minority of extremists, a majority of observant but peaceable Muslims, and a few dissidents who risk their lives by questioning their own religion. But there is only one Islam, and as Hirsi Ali shows, there is no denying that some of its key teachings—not least the duty to wage holy war—inspire violence not just in the Muslim world but in the West as well.
For centuries it has seemed that Islam is immune to historical change. But Hirsi Ali is surprisingly optimistic. She has come to believe that a Muslim "Reformation"—a revision of Islamic doctrine aimed at reconciling the religion with modernity—is at hand, and may even already have begun.
Partly in response to the barbaric atrocities of Islamic State and Boko Haram, Muslims around the world have at last begun to speak out for religious reform. Meanwhile, events in the West, such as the shocking Charlie Hebdo massacre, have forced Western liberals to recognize that political Islam poses a mortal threat to free speech. Yet neither Muslim reformers nor Western liberals have so far been able to articulate a coherent program for a Muslim Reformation.
This is where Heretic comes in. Boldly challenging centuries of theological orthodoxy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali proposes five key amendments to Islamic doctrine that Muslims must make if they are to bring their religion out of the seventh century and into the twenty-first. She also calls upon the Western world to end its appeasement of radical Islamists—and to drop the bogus argument that those who stand up to them are guilty of "Islamophobia." It is the Muslim reformers who need our backing, she argues, not the opponents of free speech.
Interweaving her own experiences, historical analogies, and powerful examples from contemporary Muslim societies and cultures, Heretic is not so much a call to arms as a passionate plea for peaceful change and a new era of global tolerance. As jihadists kill thousands, from Nigeria to Syria to Pakistan, this book offers an answer to what is fast becoming the world's number one problem.
In January 1970 Alice M. Rivlin spoke to an audience at the University of California-Berkeley. The topic was developing a more rational approach to decisionmaking in government. If digital video, YouTube, and TED Talks had been inventions of the 1960s, Rivlin's talk would have been a viral hit. As it was, the resulting book, Systematic Thinking for Social Action, spent years on the Brookings Press bestseller list. Is is a very personal and conversational volume about the dawn of new ways of thinking about government.
As deputy assistant secretary for program coordination, and later as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1966 to 1969, Rivlin was an early advocate of systems analysis, which had been introduced by Robert McNamara at the Department of Defense as PPBS (planning-programming-budgeting-system).
While Rivlin brushes aside the jargon, she digs into the substance of systematic analysis and a 'quiet revolution in government. In an evaluation of the evaluators, she issues mixed grades, pointing out where analysts had been helpful in finding solutions and where—because of inadequate data or methods—they had been no help at all.
Systematic Thinking for Social Action offers important insights for anyone interested in working to find the smartest ways to allocate scarce funds to promote the maximum well-being of all citizens.
When on December 17, 2014, the United States announced the normalization of relations with Cuba, it signalled an end to the hostilities that have defined relations between these two countries since the 1960s.
With strong diplomatic ties to both the United States and Cuba, Canada played a key role in the negotiations by hosting a number of secret meetings between the two nations over the course of eighteen months. And by virtue of its financial investments and strong tourist trade with the island nation, Canada stands to continue to play a key role in Cuba’s future.
Ideologically and economically isolated, Cuba struggles to provide basic needs for its people and is condemned for its human rights violations. Although the Castros’ commitment to Communism and their hold on the island’s government remains strong, only time will tell what the future holds for the island of Cuba . . . and its relationship with Canada
America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent 30 years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next 40 years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. Similarly, the recent, nearly successful legal attack on Obamacare was in the spirit of early twentieth century decisions like Lochner v. New York and Hammer v. Dagenhart that treated the American people's right to govern themselves with great skepticism. Recently, cases like Citizens United allowed rivers of money to flood our democracy; and Shelby County tore out the heart of American voting rights law. These cases are hardly anomalies; they fit a pattern of justices placing powerful interests above the welfare of the general public.
In the Warren Era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution's promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But this era, Millhiser contends, was an historic accident. Indeed, if it wasn't for a several unpredictable events—such as a former Ku Klux Klansman's decision to become a passionate supporter of racial justice, or a fatal heart attack that killed the Chief Justice of the United States—Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way
In this book, Millhiser argues the Supreme Court does not deserve the respect it commands. To the contrary, it routinely bent the arc of American history away from justice.
Why do democracies keep lurching from success to failure? The current financial crisis is just the latest example of how things continue to go wrong, just when it looked like they were going right. In this wide-ranging, original, and compelling book, David Runciman tells the story of modern democracy through the history of moments of crisis, from the First World War to the economic crash of 2008.
A global history with a special focus on the United States, The Confidence Trap examines how democracy survived threats ranging from the Great Depression to the Cuban missile crisis, and from Watergate to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It also looks at the confusion and uncertainty created by unexpected victories, from the defeat of German autocracy in 1918 to the defeat of communism in 1989. Throughout, the book pays close attention to the politicians and thinkers who grappled with these crises: from Woodrow Wilson, Nehru, and Adenauer to Fukuyama and Obama.
In The Confidence Trap, David Runciman shows that democracies are good at recovering from emergencies but bad at avoiding them. The lesson democracies tend to learn from their mistakes is that they can survive them—and that no crisis is as bad as it seems. Breeding complacency rather than wisdom, crises lead to the dangerous belief that democracies can muddle through anything—a confidence trap that may lead to a crisis that is just too big to escape, if it hasn't already. The most serious challenges confronting democracy today are debt, the war on terror, the rise of China, and climate change. If democracy is to survive them, it must figure out a way to break the confidence trap.
An essential responsibility of the U.S. Congress is holding the president accountable for the conduct of foreign policy. In this in-depth look at formal oversight hearings by the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, Linda Fowler evaluates how the legislature’s most visible and important watchdogs performed from the mid-twentieth century to the present. She finds a noticeable reduction in public and secret hearings since the mid-1990s and establishes that American foreign policy frequently violated basic conditions for democratic accountability. Committee scrutiny of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, she notes, fell below levels of oversight in prior major conflicts.
Fowler attributes the drop in watchdog activity to growing disinterest among senators in committee work, biases among members who join the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, and motives that shield presidents, particularly Republicans, from public inquiry. Her detailed case studies of the Truman Doctrine, Vietnam War, Panama Canal Treaty, humanitarian mission in Somalia, and Iraq War illustrate the importance of oversight in generating the information citizens need to judge the president’s national security policies. She argues for a reassessment of congressional war powers and proposes reforms to encourage Senate watchdogs to improve public deliberation about decisions of war and peace.
Watchdogs on the Hill investigates America’s national security oversight and its critical place in the review of congressional and presidential powers in foreign policy.
All American presidents, past and present, have cared deeply about power--acquiring, protecting, and expanding it. While individual presidents obviously have other concerns, such as shaping policy or building a legacy, the primacy of power considerations--exacerbated by expectations of the presidency and the inadequacy of explicit powers in the Constitution--sets presidents apart from other political actors. Thinking about the Presidency explores presidents' preoccupation with power. Distinguished presidential scholar William Howell looks at the key aspects of executive power--political and constitutional origins, philosophical underpinnings, manifestations in contemporary political life, implications for political reform, and looming influences over the standards to which we hold those individuals elected to America's highest office.
Howell shows that an appetite for power may not inform the original motivations of those who seek to become president. Rather, this need is built into the office of the presidency itself--and quickly takes hold of whoever bears the title of Chief Executive. In order to understand the modern presidency, and the degrees to which a president succeeds or fails, the acquisition, protection, and expansion of power in a president's political life must be recognized--in policy tools and legislative strategies, the posture taken before the American public, and the disregard shown to those who would counsel modesty and deference within the White House.
Thinking about the Presidency assesses how the search for and defense of presidential powers informs nearly every decision made by the leader of the nation. In a new preface, Howell reflects on presidential power during the presidency of Barack Obama.
The Limits of Partnership is a riveting narrative about U.S.-Russian relations from the Soviet collapse through the Ukraine crisis and the difficult challenges ahead. It reflects the unique perspective of an insider who is also recognized as a leading expert on this troubled relationship. American presidents have repeatedly attempted to forge a strong and productive partnership only to be held hostage to the deep mistrust born of the Cold War. For the United States, Russia remains a priority because of its nuclear weapons arsenal, its strategic location bordering Europe and Asia, and its ability to support--or thwart--American interests. Why has it been so difficult to move the relationship forward? What are the prospects for doing so in the future? Is the effort doomed to fail again and again? What are the risks of a new Cold War?
Angela Stent served as an adviser on Russia under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and maintains dialogues with key policymakers in both countries. Here, she argues that the same contentious issues--terrorism, missile defense, Iran, nuclear proliferation, Afghanistan, the former Soviet space, the greater Middle East--have been in every president's inbox, Democrat and Republican alike, since the collapse of the USSR. Stent vividly describes how Clinton and Bush sought inroads with Russia and staked much on their personal ties to Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin--only to leave office with relations at a low point--and how Barack Obama managed to restore ties only to see them undermined by a Putin regime resentful of American dominance and determined to restore Russia's great power status.
The Limits of Partnership calls for a fundamental reassessment of the principles and practices that drive U.S.-Russian relations, and offers a path forward to meet the urgent challenges facing both countries.
This edition includes a new chapter in which Stent provides her insights about dramatic recent developments in U.S.-Russian relations, particularly the annexation of Crimea, war in Ukraine, and the end of the Obama Reset.
White Backlash provides an authoritative assessment of how immigration is reshaping the politics of the nation. Using an array of data and analysis, Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal show that fears about immigration fundamentally influence white Americans’ core political identities, policy preferences, and electoral choices, and that these concerns are at the heart of a large-scale defection of whites from the Democratic to the Republican Party.
Abrajano and Hajnal demonstrate that this political backlash has disquieting implications for the future of race relations in America. White Americans’ concerns about Latinos and immigration have led to support for policies that are less generous and more punitive and that conflict with the preferences of much of the immigrant population. America’s growing racial and ethnic diversity is leading to a greater racial divide in politics. As whites move to the right of the political spectrum, racial and ethnic minorities generally support the left. Racial divisions in partisanship and voting, as the authors indicate, now outweigh divisions by class, age, gender, and other demographic measures.
White Backlash raises critical questions and concerns about how political beliefs and future elections will change the fate of America’s immigrants and minorities, and their relationship with the rest of the nation.
Americans are disgusted with watching politicians screaming and yelling at one another on television. But does all the noise really make a difference? Drawing on numerous studies, Diana Mutz provides the first comprehensive look at the consequences of in-your-face politics. Her book contradicts the conventional wisdom by documenting both the benefits and the drawbacks of in-your-face media.
“In-your-face” politics refers to both the level of incivility and the up-close and personal way that we experience political conflict on television. Just as actual physical closeness intensifies people’s emotional reactions to others, the appearance of closeness on a video screen has similar effects. We tend to keep our distance from those with whom we disagree. Modern media, however, puts those we dislike in our faces in a way that intensifies our negative reactions. Mutz finds that incivility is particularly detrimental to facilitating respect for oppositional political viewpoints and to citizens’ levels of trust in politicians and the political process. On the positive side, incivility and close-up camera perspectives contribute to making politics more physiologically arousing and entertaining to viewers. This encourages more attention to political programs, stimulates recall of the content, and encourages people to relay content to others.
In the end, In-Your-Face Politics demonstrates why political incivility is not easily dismissed as a disservice to democracy—it may even be a necessity in an age with so much competition for citizens’ attention.
Leading developing countries are becoming increasingly active in engaging with the management of the world economy, and are inclined to pursue middle power diplomacy in order to shape negotiations and diffuse crises in contemporary global governance.
India and South Africa are two prime cases of developing countries which have deployed different bargaining approaches in their attempt to enhance their influence and international status. In the World Trade Organisation (WTO), they have strived to place development at the centre of negotiations and re-balance commitments between North and South. After years of negotiations, India succeeded in overcoming the limitations of middle power diplomacy and acting as a major player whose consent is essential for concluding negotiations. In contrast, South Africa remained a secondary player in the WTO, partially maintaining its role as leader of the global South but unable to directly influence the progress of the Doha Development Agenda.
This book provides a revealing insight into how developing countries can promote change in international institutions, and will appeal to scholars of Diplomacy, Global Governance, Development and International Politics.