Breakthroughs in genetics present us with a promise and a predicament. The promise is that we will soon be able to treat and prevent a host of debilitating diseases. The predicament is that our newfound genetic knowledge may enable us to manipulate our nature--to enhance our genetic traits and those of our children. Although most people find at least some forms of genetic engineering disquieting, it is not easy to articulate why. What is wrong with re-engineering our nature?
"The Case against Perfection" explores these and other moral quandaries connected with the quest to perfect ourselves and our children. Michael Sandel argues that the pursuit of perfection is flawed for reasons that go beyond safety and fairness. The drive to enhance human nature through genetic technologies is objectionable because it represents a bid for mastery and dominion that fails to appreciate the gifted character of human powers and achievements. Carrying us beyond familiar terms of political discourse, this book contends that the genetic revolution will change the way philosophers discuss ethics and will force spiritual questions back onto the political agenda.
In order to grapple with the ethics of enhancement, we need to confront questions largely lost from view in the modern world. Since these questions verge on theology, modern philosophers and political theorists tend to shrink from them. But our new powers of biotechnology make these questions unavoidable. Addressing them is the task of this book, by one of America's preeminent moral and political thinkers.
Published as four short books in the famous Real Story series—What Uncle Sam Really Wants; The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many; Secrets, Lies and Democracy; and The Common Good—they’ve collectively sold almost 600,000 copies.
And they continue to sell year after year after year because Chomsky’s ideas become, if anything, more relevant as time goes by. For example, twenty years ago he pointed out that “in 1970, about 90% of international capital was used for trade and long-term investment—more or less productive things—and 10% for speculation. By 1990, those figures had reversed.” As we know, speculation continued to increase exponentially. We’re paying the price now for not heeding him them.
Democracy has been the American religion since before the Revolution—from New England town halls to the multicultural democracy of Atlantic pirate ships. But can our current political system, one that seems responsive only to the wealthiest among us and leaves most Americans feeling disengaged, voiceless, and disenfranchised, really be called democratic? And if the tools of our democracy are not working to solve the rising crises we face, how can we—average citizens—make change happen?
David Graeber, one of the most influential scholars and activists of his generation, takes readers on a journey through the idea of democracy, provocatively reorienting our understanding of pivotal historical moments, and extracts their lessons for today—from the birth of Athenian democracy and the founding of the United States of America to the global revolutions of the twentieth century and the rise of a new generation of activists. Underlying it all is a bracing argument that in the face of increasingly concentrated wealth and power in this country, a reenergized, reconceived democracy—one based on consensus, equality, and broad participation—can yet provide us with the just, free, and fair society we want.
The Democracy Project tells the story of the resilience of the democratic spirit and the adaptability of the democratic idea. It offers a fresh take on vital history and an impassioned argument that radical democracy is, more than ever, our best hope.
Praise for David Graeber’s Debt
“A sprawling, erudite, provocative work.”—Drake Bennett, Bloomberg Businessweek
“Written in a brash, engaging style, the book is also a philosophical inquiry into the nature of debt—where it came from and how it evolved.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Fresh . . . fascinating . . . thought-provoking [and] exceedingly timely.”—Financial Times
“The book is more readable and entertaining than I can indicate. . . . Graeber is a scholarly researcher, an activist and a public intellectual. His field is the whole history of social and economic transactions.”—Peter Carey, The Observer
“One of the year’s most influential books. Graeber situates the emergence of credit within the rise of class society, the destruction of societies based on ‘webs of mutual commitment’ and the constantly implied threat of physical violence that lies behind all social relations based on money.”—Paul Mason, The Guardian
“Part anthropological history and part provocative political argument, it’s a useful corrective to what passes for contemporary conversation about debt and the economy.”—Jesse Singal, The Boston Globe
“Terrific . . . In the best anthropological tradition, he helps us reset our everyday ideas by exploring history and other civilizations, then boomeranging back to render our own world strange, and more open to change.”—Raj Patel, The Globe and Mail
In this timely book, Robert B. Reich argues that nothing good happens in Washington unless citizens are energized and organized to make sure Washington acts in the public good. The first step is to see the big picture. Beyond Outrage connects the dots, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many Americans against one another. He also explains why the proposals of the “regressive right” are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead.
Here’s a plan for action for everyone who cares about the future of America.
A timely update to the phenomenal national bestseller.
Soon after its quiet release during the height of the Red Scare in 1958, The Naked Communist exploded in popularity, selling almost two million copies to date and finding its way into the libraries of the CIA, the FBI, the White House, and homes all across the United States. From the tragic falls of China, Korea, Russia, and the UN, to the fascinating histories of Alger Hiss, Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, and General MacArthur, The Naked Communist lays out the entire graphic story of communism, its past, present, and future.
After searching unsuccessfully for a concise literature on the communist threat, W. Cleon Skousen saw the urgent need for a comprehensive book that could guide the American conversation. So he distilled his FBI experience, decades of research, and more than one hundred communist books and treatises into one clarifying, readable volume that became a touchstone of American values and earned praise from the likes of President Ronald Reagan, Glenn Beck, and Ben Carson. Lauded by one reviewer as “the most powerful book on communism since J. Edgar Hoover’s Masters of Deceit,” this text draws a detailed picture of the communist as he sees himself: stripped of propaganda and pretense. Readers gain a unique insight into the inner workings of communism—its appeal, its history, its basic and unchanging concepts, even its secret timetable of conquest.
Among the many questions The Naked Communist answers are:
* Who gave the United States’ nuclear secrets to the Russians?
* How did the FBI fight communism after it was forced underground in 1918?
* Why did the West lose 600 million allies after World War II?
* What really happened in Korea?
* What is communism’s great secret weapon?
* What lies ahead?
* What can I do to stop communism?
* How can we fight communism without a major war?
Now updated for 2017, this edition includes a chapter on the forty-five Communist Goals, detailing how forty-four of those goals have been achieved in the U.S. already, as well as a chapter on the making of The Naked Communist, shedding light on how this book has sold almost two million copies. As relevant now as it was sixty years ago, Skousen’s groundbreaking work provides a renewed understanding of one of the greatest threats facing America today.
Praise for W. Cleon Skousen:
“No one is better qualified to discuss the threat to this nation from communism. You will be alarmed, you will be informed, and you’ll be glad you heard him.”—President Ronald Reagan
“I have never given any volume such an unqualified endorsement.”—CBS national broadcaster Paul Harvey
“I went back and I read The Naked Communist, and at the end of that, Skousen predicted [that] someday soon you won’t be able to find the truth in schools or in libraries or anywhere else because it won’t be in print anymore. So you must collect those books. It’s an idea I read from Cleon Skousen from his book in the 1950s, The Naked Communist, where he talked about [how] someday the history of this country’s going to be lost because it’s going to be hijacked by intellectuals and communists and everything else. And I think we’re there.”—Glenn Beck, host of the nationally syndicated Glenn Beck Radio Program
“The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive plan. It is unbelievable how fast it has been achieved.”—Dr. Ben Carson (The Sean Hannity Show; May 23, 2014)
“I feel certain that your efforts on this important subject will receive widespread attention and consideration.”—J. Edgar Hoover, first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
“We believe in a moral code. Communism denies innate right or wrong. As W. Cleon Skousen has said in his timely book, The Naked Communist: The communist ‘has convinced himself that nothing is evil which answers the call of expediency.’ This is a most damnable doctrine. People who truly accept such a philosophy have neither conscience nor honor. Force, trickery, lies, broken promises are wholly justified.”—Ezra Taft Benson, United States Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower
For today's readers, de Tocqueville's concern about the effect of majority rule on the rights of individuals remains deeply meaningful. His shrewd observations about the "almost royal prerogatives" of the president and the need for virtue in elected officials are particularly prophetic. His profound insights into the great rewards and responsibilities of democratic government are words every American needs to read, contemplate, and remember.
From America's call for a free press to its embrace of the capitalist system Democracy in America enlightens, entertains, and endures as a brilliant study of our national government and character. De Toqueville's concern about the effect of majority rule on the rights of individuals remains deeply meaningful. His insights into the great rewards and responsibilities of democratic government are words every American needs to read, contemplate, and remember.
From the Paperback edition.
In her most provocative book to date, Ann Coulter argues that liberals exhibit all the psychological characteristics of a mob, for instance:
Liberal Groupthink: “The same mob mentality that leads otherwise law-abiding people to hurl rocks at cops also leads otherwise intelligent people to refuse to believe anything they haven’t heard on NPR.”
Liberal Schemes: “No matter how mad the plan is—Fraternité, the ‘New Soviet Man,’ the Master Race, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Building a New Society, ObamaCare—a mob will believe it.”
Liberal Enemies: “Instead of ‘counterrevolutionaries,’ liberals’ opponents are called ‘haters,’ ‘those who seek to divide us,’ ‘tea baggers,’ and ‘right-wing hate groups.’ Meanwhile, conservatives call liberals ‘liberals’—and that makes them testy.”
Liberal Justice: “In the world of the liberal, as in the world of Robespierre, there are no crimes, only criminals.”
Liberal Violence: “If Charles Manson’s followers hadn’t killed Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, Clinton would have pardoned him, too, and he’d probably be teaching at Northwestern University.”
Citing the father of mob psychology, Gustave Le Bon, Coulter catalogs the Left’s mob behaviors: the creation of messiahs, the fear of scientific innovation, the mythmaking, the preference for images over words, the lack of morals, and the casual embrace of contradictory ideas.
Coulter traces the history of the liberal mob to the French Revolution and Robespierre’s revolutionaries (delineating a clear distinction from America’s founding fathers), who simply proclaimed that they were exercising the “general will” before slaughtering their fellow citizens “for the good of mankind.”
Similarly, as Coulter demonstrates, liberal mobs, from student radicals to white-trash racists to anti-war and pro-ObamaCare fanatics today, have consistently used violence to implement their idea of the “general will.”
This is not the American tradition; it is the tradition of Stalin, of Hitler, of the guillotine—and the tradition of the American Left.
As the heirs of the French Revolution, Democrats have a history that consists of pandering to mobs, time and again, while Republicans, heirs to the American Revolution, have regularly stood for peaceable order.
Hoping to muddy this horrifying truth, liberals slanderously accuse conservatives of their own crimes—assassination plots, conspiracy theorizing, political violence, embrace of the Ku Klux Klan. Coulter shows that the truth is the opposite: Political violence—mob violence—is always a Democratic affair.
Surveying two centuries of mob movements, Coulter demonstrates that the mob is always destructive. And yet, she argues, beginning with the civil rights movement in the sixties, Americans have lost their natural, inherited aversion to mobs. Indeed, most Americans have no idea what they are even dealing with.
Only by recognizing the mobs and their demonic nature can America begin to defend itself.
From the Hardcover edition.
Maintaining rapid as well as environmentally sustainable growth remains an important and achievable goal for India. In An Uncertain Glory, two of India's leading economists argue that the country's main problems lie in the lack of attention paid to the essential needs of the people, especially of the poor, and often of women. There have been major failures both to foster participatory growth and to make good use of the public resources generated by economic growth to enhance people's living conditions. There is also a continued inadequacy of social services such as schooling and medical care as well as of physical services such as safe water, electricity, drainage, transportation, and sanitation. In the long run, even the feasibility of high economic growth is threatened by the underdevelopment of social and physical infrastructure and the neglect of human capabilities, in contrast with the Asian approach of simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and human development, as pioneered by Japan, South Korea, and China.
In a democratic system, which India has great reason to value, addressing these failures requires not only significant policy rethinking by the government, but also a clearer public understanding of the abysmal extent of social and economic deprivations in the country. The deep inequalities in Indian society tend to constrict public discussion, confining it largely to the lives and concerns of the relatively affluent. Drèze and Sen present a powerful analysis of these deprivations and inequalities as well as the possibility of change through democratic practice.
Senator Rand Paul, leading national politician and 2016 Presidential candidate, presents his vision for America.
From his electrifying thirteen-hour filibuster against administration-orchestrated drone strikes against U.S. citizens, to leading the discourse on criminal justice, Senator Rand Paul has taken Washington by storm. His outreach to this country's minority communities alone- championing reforms of mandatory minimum sentencing, school choice, and the creation of enterprise zones for economically depressed areas- distinguishes him as a politician and Republican the likes of which are rarely seen.
What lies ahead is Senator Paul's plan for America, where lower taxes and smaller government empower a muscular and expansive middle class; an America that doesn't engage in nation-building or fight wars where the best outcome is stalemate; an America that believes in constitutionally protected liberty and the separation of powers.
Independent United States Senator Bernie Sanders—with a thirty-five-year career in public service, first as Burlington, Vermont’s mayor, then as Vermont’s sole representative to Congress, and currently as a United States senator—is now campaigning to become president of the United States. His goal is to build a movement to take back our country from the rich and powerful, and return it to its rightful owners—we, the American people.
Sanders’ common sense, populist message is resonating with Democrats, Republicans, independents, as well as ordinary working- and middle-class Americans from all walks of life, including millennials, seniors, veterans, immigrants, environmentalists, union workers, and more.
In this short, accessible book, author Jonathan Tasini draws heavily from Sanders’ ample public record of speeches, statements, and interviews, and couples his working-class spirit with specific legislation he has championed on a number of core proposals that comprise a broader people’s agenda for America, including:A national, single-payer health care system; Free public higher education; Taking on wealth and income inequality; Preserving Social Security; Caring for our veterans; Ensuring civil rights for all; Combatting climate change; Reforming Wall Street, and much more.
The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America is a must-read for anyone who shares a vision for a forward-looking, sustainable, and more just United States of America, and is eager to change the course of history.
In his newest book, Hedges argues that the conscious inertia of the left is destroying the progressive movement. Inaction and empty moral posturing leads not to change, but to an orgy of self-adulation and self-pity.
Hedges argues that the gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although the right may well inherit power. Instead, the threat comes from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.
Tocqueville speculates on the future of democracy in the United States, discussing possible threats to democracy and possible dangers of democracy. These include his belief that democracy has a tendency to degenerate into "soft despotism" as well as the risk of developing a tyranny of the majority. He observes that the strong role religion played in the United States was due to its separation from the government, a separation all parties found agreeable. He contrasts this to France where there was what he perceived to be an unhealthy antagonism between democrats and the religious, which he relates to the connection between church and state.
Insightful analysis of political society was supplemented in the second volume by description of civil society as a sphere of private and civilian affairs.
Ebook EPUB version - flexible layout with scalable text.
The bilingual (English-Spanish) AXIOMS FOR ORGANIZERS captures a lifetime of Ross Sr.’s work with disenfranchised and oppressed people and their struggle to win respect and dignity.
As former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes in his glowing introduction to AXIOMS,
"From the migrant farm worker camps of California’s Central Valley to the streets of Los Angeles, from union halls to the halls of state legislatures, Ross taught people of all backgrounds the art and science of standing up for their rights in the face of racism, bigotry and greed. He stirred the imagination and helped communities break down barriers and achieve the seemingly impossible. In the 1950s, Ross worked to build chapters of the Community Service Organization (CSO) throughout California, and it was during this time that he identified and mentored a young farm worker in San Jose named Cesar Chavez."
Cesar Chavez once said of his mentor: "Fred did such a good job of explaining how poor people could build power, I could taste it."
As Dolores Huerta recalled, "Fred Ross, Sr. changed my life. He inspired and taught me how to organize. He had so much faith in the power of ordinary people to make history."
In AXIOMS FOR ORGANIZERS, Ross Sr. culls the lessons drawn from five decades of organizing experience under thematic headings followed by short nuggets of organizing gold. Chapters range from “Characteristics of a Good Organizer,” to “Fundamentals,” “Pitfalls,” “Hope, Motivation and Action,” and “Organizing in the Internet Age,” (the last chapter, a contribution by his son, legendary organizer Fred Ross, Jr.) In Fred Ross Sr. style, axioms are succinct and compelling.
The duty of the organizer is to provide people with the opportunity to work for what they believe in.
If you think you can do it for people, you’ve stopped understanding what it means to be an organizer.
To inspire hope, you must have hope.
To win the hearts and minds of people, forget the dry facts and statistics; tell them the stories that won you to the cause.
When you are tempted to make a statement, ask a question.
The first of its kind ebook, each chapter is laced together with archival photos and artwork portraying the array of social justice fights Ross Sr. helped lead. Black and white stills of Ross at work are combined with Roger Leyonmark’s lithograph, “American Nightmare,” memorializing the internment of Japanese Americans with whom Ross worked to secure housing and jobs and Rafael Lopez’s U.S. postal stamp design commemorating the 1947, precedent setting Mendez v. Westminster court decision, the forerunner to Brown v. the Board of Education.
House Minority Leader and former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi declared, “Fred Ross, Sr. left a legacy of good works that has given many the courage of their convictions, the powers of their ideals, and the strength to do heroic deeds on behalf of the common person.”
United Farm Worker Organizer Jessica Govea Thorbourne summarized Ross Sr.’s impact this way: "Fred taught us how to turn our grief into action and hope. We learned to ‘tell our story,’ create a plan of action and to track our progress.”
CA Governor Jerry Brown recently announced his selection of Fred Ross, Sr. into the California Hall of Fame in the Fall of 2014.
This collection of Fred Ross Sr.’s axioms offers invaluable insight to his thinking and method. It is a roadmap for students of history and organizers seeking to continue the good fight and a must read for students, teachers and community, labor, immigrant and human rights organizers committed to social justice.
Known across the country for his appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Professor Richard Beeman is one of the nation's foremost experts on the United States Constitution. In this book, he has produced what every American should have: a compact, fully annotated copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and amendments, all in their entirety. A marvel of accessibility and erudition, the guide also features a history of the making of the Constitution with excerpts from The Federalist Papers and a look at crucial Supreme Court cases that reminds us that the meaning of many of the specific provisions of the Constitution has changed over time.
"Excellent . . . valuable and judicious." -Jill Lepore, The New Yorker
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.
Over three decades, the world was transformed. In 1974, nearly three-quarters of all countries were dictatorships; today, more than half are democracies. Yet recent efforts to promote democracy have stumbled, and many democratic governments are faltering.
In this bold and sweeping vision for advancing freedom around the world, social scientist Larry Diamond examines how and why democracy progresses. He demonstrates that the desire for democracy runs deep, even in very poor countries, and that seemingly entrenched regimes like Iran and China could become democracies within a generation. He also dissects the causes of the "democratic recession" in critical states, including the crime-infested oligarchy in Russia and the strong-armed populism of Venezuela.
Diamond cautions that arrogance and inconsistency have undermined America's aspirations to promote democracy. To spur a renewed democratic boom, he urges vigorous support of good governance—the rule of law, security, protection of individual rights, and shared economic prosperity—and free civic organizations. Only then will the spirit of democracy be secured.
The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene against "failed states" around the globe. In this much anticipated sequel to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, charging the United States with being a "failed state," and thus a danger to its own people and the world.
"Failed states" Chomsky writes, are those "that do not protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction, that regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, and that suffer from a ‘democratic deficit,' having democratic forms but with limited substance." Exploring recent U.S. foreign and domestic policies, Chomsky assesses Washington's escalation of the nuclear risk; the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; and America's self-exemption from international law. He also examines an American electoral system that frustrates genuine political alternatives, thus impeding any meaningful democracy.
Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis, and its policies and practices have recklessly placed the world on the brink of disaster. Systematically dismantling America's claim to being the world's arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky's most focused—and urgent—critique to date.
The book Politico calls “Moneyball for politics” shows how cutting-edge social science and analytics are reshaping the modern political campaign.
Renegade thinkers are crashing the gates of a venerable American institution, shoving aside its so-called wise men and replacing them with a radical new data-driven order. We’ve seen it in sports, and now in The Victory Lab, journalist Sasha Issenberg tells the hidden story of the analytical revolution upending the way political campaigns are run in the 21st century.
The Victory Lab follows the academics and maverick operatives rocking the war room and re-engineering a high-stakes industry previously run on little more than gut instinct and outdated assumptions. Armed with research from behavioural psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do. Issenberg tracks these fascinating techniques—which include cutting edge persuasion experiments, innovative ways to mobilize voters, heavily researched electioneering methods—and shows how our most important figures, such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are putting them to use with surprising skill and alacrity.
Provocative, clear-eyed and energetically reported, The Victory Lab offers iconoclastic insights into political marketing, human decision-making, and the increasing power of analytics.
Since its original landmark publication in 1980, A People's History of the United States has been chronicling American history from the bottom up, throwing out the official version of history taught in schools—with its emphasis on great men in high places—to focus on the street, the home, and the, workplace.
Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of—and in the words of—America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. As historian Howard Zinn shows, many of our country's greatest battles—the fights for a fair wage, an eight-hour workday, child-labor laws, health and safety standards, universal suffrage, women's rights, racial equality—were carried out at the grassroots level, against bloody resistance.
Covering Christopher Columbus's arrival through President Clinton's first term, A People's History of the United States, which was nominated for the American Book Award in 1981, features insightful analysis of the most important events in our history.
“The book's greatest strength lies in its depiction of the post-quake chaos… In the book's more analytical sections the author's diagnosis of the difficulties of reconstruction is sharp.” —Economist
“A gripping, profoundly moving book, an urgent dispatch from the front by one of our finest warriors for social justice.” —Adam Hochschild
“His honest assessment of what the people trying to help Haiti did well—and where they failed—is important for anyone who cares about the country or international aid in general.” —Miami Herald
Chomsky considers how the media might be democratized (as part of the general problem of developing more democratic institutions) in order to offer citizens broader and more meaningful participation in social and political life.
At a time of deep concern with the state of America’s economy and government, it seems that all the media can give us is talking (or screaming) heads who revel in partisan brinkmanship. Then there’s Dylan Ratigan—an award-winning journalist respected and admired across the political spectrum. In Greedy Bastards, he rips the lid off of our deeply crooked system—and offers a way out.
Employing the nuanced reporting and critical analysis that have earned him so much respect, Ratigan describes the five “vampires” that are sucking the nation dry, including an educational system that values mediocrity above all else; a healthcare system that is among the priciest and least-effective infrastructures in the industrialized world; a political system in which lobbyists write legislation; a “master-slave” relationship with our Chinese bankers; and an addiction to foreign oil that has sapped our willingness to innovate. In offering solutions to these formidable and entrenched obstacles, he does nothing less than lay the groundwork for a political movement dedicated to tackling the rot at the heart of the country.
In its desperation, America needs more than just endless stock tips and Wall Street navel-gazing. It needs passionate debate and smart policy—and a hero to take on the establishment. Dylan Ratigan is that hero, and this is the book that will rally people behind him.
* A New York Times bestseller
* Updated and revised with a new introduction for the 2006 midterm elections
* A Featured Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club
In Democracy Matters, West returns to the analysis of the arrested development of democracy-both in America and in the crisis-ridden Middle East. In a strikingly original diagnosis, he argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country's inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive. Even as we are shocked by Islamic fundamentalism, our own brand of fundamentalism, which West dubs Constantinian Christianity, has joined forces with imperialist corporate and political elites in an unholy alliance, and four decades after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., insidious racism still inflicts debilitating psychic pain on so many of our citizens.
But there is a deep democratic tradition in America of impassioned commitment to the fight against imperialist corruptions-the last great expression of which was the civil rights movement led by Dr. King-and West brings forth the powerful voices of that great democratizing tradition in a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature. His impassioned and provocative argument for the revitalization of America's democracy will reshape the terms of the raging national debate about America's role in today's troubled world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Chomsky’s many bestselling works—including Manufacturing Consent, Hegemony or Survival, Understanding Power, and Failed States—have served as essential touchstones for dissidents, activists, scholars, and concerned citizens on subjects ranging from the media to human rights to intellectual freedom. In particular, Chomsky’s scathing critiques of the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Central America, and the Middle East have furnished a widely accepted intellectual inspiration for antiwar movements over nearly four decades.
The Essential Chomsky assembles the core of his most important writings, including excerpts from his most influential texts over the past forty years. Here is an unprecedented, comprehensive overview of Chomsky’s thought.
A democracy falters when most of its citizens are uninformed or misinformed, when misinformation affects political decisions and actions, or when political actors foment misinformation—the state of affairs the United States faces today, as this timely book makes painfully clear. In Do Facts Matter? Jennifer L. Hochschild and Katherine Levine Einstein start with Thomas Jefferson’s ideal citizen, who knows and uses correct information to make policy or political choices. What, then, the authors ask, are the consequences if citizens are informed but do not act on their knowledge? More serious, what if they do act, but on incorrect information?
Analyzing the use, nonuse, and misuse of facts in various cases—such as the call to impeach Bill Clinton, the response to global warming, Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court, the case for invading Iraq, beliefs about Barack Obama’s birthplace and religion, and the Affordable Care Act—Hochschild and Einstein argue persuasively that errors of commission (that is, acting on falsehoods) are even more troublesome than errors of omission. While citizens’ inability or unwillingness to use the facts they know in their political decision making may be frustrating, their acquisition and use of incorrect “knowledge” pose a far greater threat to a democratic political system.
Do Facts Matter? looks beyond individual citizens to the role that political elites play in informing, misinforming, and encouraging or discouraging the use of accurate or mistaken information or beliefs. Hochschild and Einstein show that if a well-informed electorate remains a crucial component of a successful democracy, the deliberate concealment of political facts poses its greatest threat.
Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world.
Published anonymously in 1776, six months before the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was a radical and impassioned call for America to free itself from British rule and set up an independent republican government. Savagely attacking hereditary kingship and aristocratic institutions, Paine urged a new beginning for his adopted country in which personal freedom and social equality would be upheld and economic and cultural progress encouraged. His pamphlet was the first to speak directly to a mass audience—it went through fifty-six editions within a year of publication—and its assertive and often caustic style both embodied the democratic spirit he advocated, and converted thousands of citizens to the cause of American independence.
Palmer focuses primarily on the fourteen-year period of struggles for independence in the Anglophone Caribbean. From 1956, when Williams became the chief minister of Trinidad and Tobago, to 1970, when the Black Power-inspired February Revolution brought his administration face to face with a younger generation intellectually indebted to his revolutionary thought, Williams was at the center of most of the conflicts and challenges that defined the region. He was most aggressive in advocating the creation of a West Indies federation to help the region assert itself in international political and economic arenas. Looking at the ideas of Williams as well as those of his Caribbean and African peers, Palmer demonstrates how the development of the modern Caribbean was inextricably intertwined with the evolution of a regional anticolonial consciousness.
Oppenheimer and Edwards argue that democracy works because regular elections, no matter how flawed, produce a variety of unintuitive, positive consequences. The brilliance of democracy, write Oppenheimer and Edwards, does not lie in the people's ability to pick superior leaders. It lies in the many ways that it subtly encourages the flawed people and their flawed leaders to work toward building a better society.
This complete summary of "Republic, Lost" by Lawrence Lessig, an American attorney and political activist, presents his argument that American democracy is threatened by political corruption through money and the seizure of government control and influence by powerful interested parties. He believes that it is time for the American people to notice and take action, as this situation impedes democracy.
Added-value of this summary:
• Save time
• Understand how control, money and power influence American government
• Expand your knowledge of American politics and society
To learn more, read "Republic, Lost" and discover how we can overcome the democratic crisis by fighting against corruption in all areas of government.
Blending vivid reporting from the 2012 campaign trail and deep perspective from decades covering American and international media and politics, political journalist John Nichols and media critic Robert W. McChesney explain how US elections are becoming controlled, predictable enterprises that are managed by a new class of consultants who wield millions of dollars and define our politics as never before. As the money gets bigger—especially after the Citizens United ruling—and journalism, a core check and balance on the government, declines, American citizens are in danger of becoming less informed and more open to manipulation. With groundbreaking behind-the-scenes reporting and staggering new research on “the money power,” Dollarocracy shows that this new power does not just endanger electoral politics; it is a challenge to the DNA of American democracy itself.
Roht-Arriaza discusses the difficulties in bringing violators of human rights to justice at home, and considers the role of transitional justice in transnational prosecutions and investigations in the national courts of countries other than those where the crimes took place. She traces the roots of the landmark Pinochet case and follows its development and those of related cases, through Spain, the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe, and then through Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. She situates these transnational cases within the context of an emergent International Criminal Court, as well as the effectiveness of international law and of the lawyers, judges, and activists working together across continents to make a new legal paradigm a reality. Interviews and observations help to contextualize and dramatize these compelling cases.
These cases have tremendous ramifications for the prospect of universal jurisdiction and will continue to resonate for years to come. Roht-Arriaza's deft navigation of these complicated legal proceedings elucidates the paradigm shift underlying this prosecution as well as the traction gained by advocacy networks promoting universal jurisdiction in recent decades.
The book is divided into two parts. Part One concerns the period from the Spanish Conquest of 1521 to the Revolution of 1910. The authors depict the main features of the estate system that existed both before and after the Spanish Conquest, the nature of stratification on the haciendas that dominated the countryside for roughly four centuries, and the importance of race and ethnicity in both the estate system and the class structures that accompanied and followed it. Part Two portrays the class structure of the post-revolutionary period (1920 onward), emphasizing the demise of the landed aristocracy, the formation of new upper and middle classes, the explosive growth of the urban lower classes, and the final phase of the Indian-mestizo transition in the countryside.
In this groundbreaking book, Rice builds a new model of Classic lowland Maya (AD 179-948) political organization and political geography. Using the method of direct historical analogy, she integrates ethnohistoric and ethnographic knowledge of the Colonial-period and modern Maya with archaeological, epigraphic, and iconographic data from the ancient Maya. On this basis of cultural continuity, she constructs a convincing case that the fundamental ordering principles of Classic Maya geopolitical organization were the calendar (specifically a 256-year cycle of time known as the may) and the concept of quadripartition, or the division of the cosmos into four cardinal directions. Rice also examines this new model of geopolitical organization in the Preclassic and Postclassic periods and demonstrates that it offers fresh insights into the nature of rulership, ballgame ritual, and warfare among the Classic lowland Maya.
Popular both among Cubans on the island and in the diaspora, Varela is legendary for the intense political honesty of lyrics. He is one of the most important musicians in the Cuban scene today. In My Havana, writers living in Canada, Cuba, the United States, and Great Britain use Varela’s life and music to explore the history and cultural politics of contemporary Cuba. The book also contains an extended interview with Varela and English translations of the lyrics to all his recorded songs, most of which are appearing in print for the very first time.
This was just one of the turns in a largely unscripted and sometimes unwanted political career. In exile during the harshest period of the junta that ruled Brazil for twenty years, Cardoso started his political life with a tentative run for the Federal Senate in 1978. Within fifteen years, and despite himself, this former sociologist was running the country.
And what a country! Brazil, it is often said, is on the edge of modernity, striding with one foot in mid-air towards the future, the other still rooted deep in a traditional past. It is a land of sophisticated music and brutal gold-digging, of the next global superpower and the last old-time coffee plantations. It is gloriously ungovernable, irrepressibly attractive, and home to the family, friends and extraordinary life of Fernando Henrique Cardoso. This is his story and his love song to his country.
The contributors provide background analysis and thorough diagnosis of Peru's economic problems. They explain how inconsistent populist policies and the ensuing economic crisis have caused the standard of living to deteriorate dramatically, paving the way for significant expansion of social violence, political instability, and isolation from the international financial community.
Peru's Path to Recovery offers an adjustment program that is sound but also is complemented by a social support program to assist the poor - those who have suffered the most from previous disadjustment. This combination makes the program both equitable and politically sustainable. With the inauguration of Alberto Fujimori, Peru has the opportunity to embrace a new economic strategy to stabilize the economy, curtail the extreme poverty, and reduce the massive unemployment and underemployment. Such a course will not be easy: patterns of government, business, and social behavior will have to change. But through such changes Peru can hope to become a stable, thriving country once more.
Ricardo Ainslie went to Juárez to try to understand what was taking place behind the headlines of cartel executions and other acts of horrific brutality. In The Fight to Save Juárez, he takes us into the heart of Mexico's bloodiest city through the lives of four people who experienced the drug war from very different perspectives—Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, a mid-level cartel player's mistress, a human rights activist, and a photojournalist. Ainslie also interviewed top Mexican government strategists, including members of Calderón's security cabinet, as well as individuals within U.S. law enforcement. The dual perspective of life on the ground in the drug war and the "big picture" views of officials who are responsible for the war's strategy, creates a powerful, intimate portrait of an embattled city, its people, and the efforts to rescue Juárez from the abyss.
With a five-year presidency, Préval now has the opportunity to reconstruct and remold the Haitian state, to raise Haitian living standards, and to create a new political culture of democracy and tolerance. The future of his country, and the success of Haiti's last best chance to break its chains of poverty, desperation, and deprivation, depend on the choices that he and his colleagues make in the months ahead.
The context of those choices is stark. Haiti remains the poorest and least industrialized nation in the Western Hemisphere. The Préval government thus has much to do. This book provides an agenda for Préval and his successors, one that examines both Haiti's political culture--its historical legacy and what that means for future reconstruction--and many of its most critical political, economic, and social challenges.
In addition to Rotberg, the contributors include: Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Anthony V. Cantanese, DePauw University; Robert Fatton, Jr., University of Virginia; Clive Gray, Harvard Institute for International Development; Michel S. Laguerre, University of California, Berkeley; Mats Lundahl, Stockholm School of Economics; Robert Maguire, Inter-American Foundation, Jennifer McCoy, Georgia State University; William G. O'Neill, former Director of the Legal Department of the OAS/UN International Civilian Mission in Haiti; Robert A. Pastor, Carter Center; Marc Prou, University of Massachusetts, Boston; Donald E. Schultz, U.S. Army War College; and Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Johns Hopkins University.
A Brookings Institution and World Peace Foundation copublication
Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. With their combined knowledge and experiences, the authors are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? What is the relationship between privacy and security, and how much will we have to give up to be part of the new digital age?
In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses.
With the confidence and clarity of visionaries, Schmidt and Cohen illustrate just how much we have to look forward to—and beware of—as the greatest information and technology revolution in human history continues to evolve. On individual, community and state levels, across every geographical and socioeconomic spectrum, they reveal the dramatic developments—good and bad—that will transform both our everyday lives and our understanding of self and society, as technology advances and our virtual identities become more and more fundamentally real.
As Schmidt and Cohen’s nuanced vision of the near future unfolds, an urban professional takes his driverless car to work, attends meetings via hologram and dispenses housekeeping robots by voice; a Congolese fisherwoman uses her smart phone to monitor market demand and coordinate sales (saving on costly refrigeration and preventing overfishing); the potential arises for “virtual statehood” and “Internet asylum” to liberate political dissidents and oppressed minorities, but also for tech-savvy autocracies (and perhaps democracies) to exploit their citizens’ mobile devices for ever more ubiquitous surveillance. Along the way, we meet a cadre of international figures—including Julian Assange—who explain their own visions of our technology-saturated future.
Inspiring, provocative and absorbing, The New Digital Age is a brilliant analysis of how our hyper-connected world will soon look, from two of our most prescient and informed public thinkers.
Robust in its style and mesmerizing in its account of battle, it is exhilarating, illuminating, and utterly essential reading for every armchair historian and at-home general. The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.