Epic in scope yet eminently readable, penetrating and deeply moving, David van Reybrouck's Congo: The Epic History of a People traces the fate of one of the world's most critical, failed nation-states, second only to war-torn Somalia: the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Van Reybrouck takes us through several hundred years of history, bringing some of the most dramatic episodes in Congolese history. Here are the people and events that have impinged the Congo's development—from the slave trade to the ivory and rubber booms; from the arrival of Henry Morton Stanley to the tragic regime of King Leopold II; from global indignation to Belgian colonialism; from the struggle for independence to Mobutu's brutal rule; and from the world famous Rumble in the Jungle to the civil war over natural resources that began in 1996 and still rages today.
Van Reybrouck interweaves his own family's history with the voices of a diverse range of individuals—charismatic dictators, feuding warlords, child-soldiers, the elderly, female merchant smugglers, and many in the African diaspora of Europe and China—to offer a deeply humane approach to political history, focusing squarely on the Congolese perspective and returning a nation's history to its people.
The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.
At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.
A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”
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.
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.
In 1787, when the Constitution was drafted, a woman asked Ben Franklin what the founders had given the American people. "A republic," he shot back, "if you can keep it." More than two centuries later, Metaxas examines what that means and how we are doing on that score.
If You Can Keep It is at once a thrilling review of America's uniqueness—including our role as a "nation of nations"—and a chilling reminder that America's greatness cannot continue unless we embrace our own crucial role in living out what the founders entrusted to us. Metaxas explains that America is not a nation bounded by ethnic identity or geography, but rather by a radical and unprecedented idea, based on liberty and freedom for all. He cautions us that it's nearly past time we reconnect to that idea, or we may lose the very foundation of what made us exceptional in the first place.
Eric Metaxas's latest book, Martin Luther, will be available from Viking in Fall 2017.
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.
“An elegant synthesis done by the leading scholar in the field, which nicely integrates the work on the American Revolution over the last three decades but never loses contact with the older, classic questions that we have been arguing about for over two hundred years.”—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers
A magnificent account of the revolution in arms and consciousness that gave birth to the American republic.
When Abraham Lincoln sought to define the significance of the United States, he naturally looked back to the American Revolution. He knew that the Revolution not only had legally created the United States, but also had produced all of the great hopes and values of the American people. Our noblest ideals and aspirations-our commitments to freedom, constitutionalism, the well-being of ordinary people, and equality-came out of the Revolutionary era. Lincoln saw as well that the Revolution had convinced Americans that they were a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty. The Revolution, in short, gave birth to whatever sense of nationhood and national purpose Americans have had.
No doubt the story is a dramatic one: Thirteen insignificant colonies three thousand miles from the centers of Western civilization fought off British rule to become, in fewer than three decades, a huge, sprawling, rambunctious republic of nearly four million citizens. But the history of the American Revolution, like the history of the nation as a whole, ought not to be viewed simply as a story of right and wrong from which moral lessons are to be drawn. It is a complicated and at times ironic story that needs to be explained and understood, not blindly celebrated or condemned. How did this great revolution come about? What was its character? What were its consequences? These are the questions this short history seeks to answer. That it succeeds in such a profound and enthralling way is a tribute to Gordon Wood’s mastery of his subject, and of the historian’s craft.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
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.
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.
Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters—even those who are well informed and politically engaged—mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly.
Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.
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
An authoritative analysis of the Constitution of the United States and an enduring classic of political philosophy.
Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers explain the complexities of a constitutional government—its political structure and principles based on the inherent rights of man. Scholars have long regarded this work as a milestone in political science and a classic of American political theory.
Based on the original McLean edition of 1788 and edited by noted historian Clinton Rossiter, this special edition includes:
● Textual notes and a select bibliography by Charles R. Kesler
● Table of contents with a brief précis of each essay
● Appendix with a copy of the Constitution cross-referenced to The Federalist Papers
● Index of Ideas that lists the major political concepts discussed
● Copies of The Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation
Originating as a clandestine movement of ideas that was almost entirely hidden from public view during its earliest phase, the Radical Enlightenment matured in opposition to the moderate mainstream Enlightenment dominant in Europe and America in the eighteenth century. During the revolutionary decades of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the Radical Enlightenment burst into the open, only to provoke a long and bitter backlash. A Revolution of the Mind shows that this vigorous opposition was mainly due to the powerful impulses in society to defend the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy--principles linked to the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, religious discrimination, and far-reaching privilege for ruling groups.
In telling this fascinating history, A Revolution of the Mind reveals the surprising origin of our most cherished values--and helps explain why in certain circles they are frequently disapproved of and attacked even today.
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.
In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business. Looking to the present, Greider assesses the unique mix of policies on issues like immigration, debt, taxes, regulation, and energy, which together have sparked a bonafide Texas Miracle of job growth. While acknowledging that it still has plenty of twenty-first-century problems to face, she finds in Texas a model of governance whose power has been drastically underestimated. Her book is a fascinating exploration of America's underrated powerhouse.
Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies. Wolin examines the myths and mythmaking that justify today's politics, the quest for an ever-expanding economy, and the perverse attractions of an endless war on terror. He argues passionately that democracy's best hope lies in citizens themselves learning anew to exercise power at the local level.
Democracy Incorporated is one of the most worrying diagnoses of America's political ills to emerge in decades. It is sure to be a lightning rod for political debate for years to come.
In a new preface, Wolin describes how the Obama administration, despite promises of change, has left the underlying dynamics of managed democracy intact.
Sharansky was catapulted onto the Israeli political stage in 1996. In the last eight years, he has served as a minister in four different Israeli cabinets, including a stint as Deputy Prime Minister, playing a key role in government decision making from the peace negotiations at Wye to the war against Palestinian terror. In his views, he has been as consistent as he has been stubborn: Tyranny, whether in the Soviet Union or the Middle East, must always be made to bow before democracy.
Drawing on a lifetime of experience of democracy and its absence, Sharansky believes that only democracy can safeguard the well-being of societies. For Sharansky, when it comes to democracy, politics is not a matter of left and right, but right and wrong.
This is a passionately argued book from a man who carries supreme moral authority to make the case he does here: that the spread of democracy everywhere is not only possible, but also essential to the survival of our civilization. His argument is sure to stir controversy on all sides; this is arguably the great issue of our times.
Information is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy. Public opinion and debate suffer when citizens are misinformed about current affairs, as is increasingly the case. Though the failures of today’s communication system cannot be blamed solely on the news media, they are part of the problem, and the best hope for something better.
Patterson proposes “knowledge-based journalism” as a corrective. Unless journalists are more deeply informed about the subjects they cover, they will continue to misinterpret them and to be vulnerable to manipulation by their sources. In this book, derived from a multi-year initiative of the Carnegie Corporation and the Knight Foundation, Patterson calls for nothing less than a major overhaul of journalism practice and education. The book speaks not only to journalists but to all who are concerned about the integrity of the information on which America’s democracy depends.
In The Spirit of Compromise, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson connect the rejection of compromise to the domination of campaigning over governing--the permanent campaign---in American democracy today. They show that campaigning for political office calls for a mindset that blocks compromise--standing tenaciously on principle to mobilize voters and mistrusting opponents in order to defeat them. Good government calls for an opposite cluster of attitudes and arguments--the compromising mindset--that inclines politicians to adjust their principles and to respect their opponents. It is a mindset that helps politicians appreciate and take advantage of opportunities for desirable compromise.
Gutmann and Thompson explore the dynamics of these mindsets by comparing the historic compromises on tax reform under President Reagan in 1986 and health care reform under President Obama in 2010. Both compromises were difficult to deliver but only tax reform was bipartisan. Drawing lessons from these and other important compromises--and failures to compromise--in American politics, Gutmann and Thompson propose changes in our political institutions, processes, and mindsets that would encourage a better balance between campaigning and governing.
Calling for greater cooperation in contemporary politics, The Spirit of Compromise will interest all who care about whether their government leaders can work together.
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.
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 Breaking Through Power, Ralph Nader draws from a lifetime waging--and often winning--David vs. Goliath battles against big corporations and the United States government. In this succinct, Tom Paine-style wake-up call, the iconic consumer advocate highlights the success stories of fellow Americans who organize change and work together to derail the many ways in which wealth manipulates politics, labor, media, the environment, and the quality of national life today. Nader makes an inspired case about how the nation can--and must--be democratically managed by communities guided by the United States Constitution, not by the dictates of big businesses and the wealthy few. This is classic Ralph Nader, a crystallization of the core political beliefs and commitments that have driven his lifetime of advocacy for greater democracy.
"Ralph Nader is the grand progressive of our time. We overlook his words at our own peril! This book is required reading."--Cornel West
"Ralph Nader's Breaking Through Power is a brilliant analysis of corporate power and the popular mechanisms that can be used to wrest back our democracy. No one has been fighting corporate domination longer, or understands it better, than Nader, who will go down in history not only as a prophet but an example of what it means to live the moral life. We disregard his wisdom and his courage at our peril."--Chris Hedges, Pulitzer-Prize winner and author of Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt
"Nader goes beyond delineating the problem and provides a critical prescription to battle the toxicity of unjust power--one that every individual can, and must, embrace."--Nomi Prins, author, All the Presidents' Bankers
"People are recognizing that our founding, fundamental values of fairness, justice, and opportunity for all--the very values that define our America--are being shoved aside to create an un-America of plutocracy and autocracy. Ralph Nader's new book Breaking Through Power provides progressive boat-rockers with inspiration and a plan for reclaiming America from the greedy Plutocrats and Fat Cats who think democracy is for sale to the highest bidder."--Jim Hightower
"I read Ralph Nader for the same reasons that I read Tom Paine. He knows what he thinks, says what he means, and his courage is a lesson for us all."--Lewis Lapham
"Nader insists on speaking up for the little people and backs his arguments and decent sentiments with hard facts."--Publishers Weekly
About Ralph Nader: Named by The Atlantic as one of the hundred most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of the most influential Americans of the twentieth century, Ralph Nader has helped us drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments for more than four decades. Nader's recent books include Animal Envy, Unstoppable, The Good Fight, and the bestseller, Seventeen Traditions. Nader writes a syndicated column, has his own radio show, and gives lectures and interviews year round.
Combining the tenets of classical Libertarian philosophy with his own highly-original, always provocative thinking, Murray shows why less government advances individual happiness and promotes more vital communities and a richer culture. By applying the truths our founders held to be self-evident to today's most urgent social and political problems, he creates a clear, workable vision for the future.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the early days of the American experiment, as the states spread across the continent and the young nation was reshaped by the Industrial Revolution, no intellectual held more power than Ralph Waldo Emerson. The leading light of the Transcendentalists, Emerson spent his life devising a uniquely American philosophy, a worldview as suited to the bustling docks of Boston as it is to the endless expanses of the West. Through lectures, letters, and essays, Emerson helped a nation discover its identity.
In this collection, which includes such monumental essays as “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “The American Scholar,” Emerson brilliantly articulates his philosophy of individualism and nonconformity. An inspiration to Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and countless other literary and political figures, Emerson exerted a profound influence that continues to be felt more than a century after his death.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse—more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government—epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable—may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out.
A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines.
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.
One of our most perceptive China experts, James Mann has penned a vital wake-up call to all who are ignorant of America's true relationship with the Asian giant. Our leaders may posit a China drawn to increasing liberalization through the power of the free market, but Mann asks us to consider a very real alternative: What if China's economy continues to expand but its government remains as dismissive of democracy and human rights as it is now? Calling for an end to the current policy of overlooking China's abuses for the sake of business opportunities, Mann presents a must-read book for anyone interested in global affairs.
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.
Over 175 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, an astute political scientist, came to the United States to evaluate the meaning and actual functioning of democracy.
Here, Tocqueville discusses the advantages and dangers of majority rule—which he thought could be as tyrannical as the rule of a monarchy. He analyzes the influence of political parties and the press on the government and the effect of equality on the social, political, and economic life of the American people. He also offers some startling predictions about world politics, which history has borne out. So brilliant and penetrating are his comments and criticisms, they have vital meaning today for all who are interested in democracy.
Abridged and with an Introduction by Richard D. Heffner
and an Afterword by Vartan Gregorian
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.
Penguin presents a series of six portable, accessible, and—above all—essential reads from American political history, selected by leading scholars. Series editor Richard Beeman, author of The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, draws together the great texts of American civic life to create a timely and informative mini-library of perennially vital issues. Whether readers are encountering these classic writings for the first time, or brushing up in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, these slim volumes will serve as a powerful and illuminating resource for scholars, students, and civic-minded citizens.
Written at a time when furious arguments were raging about the best way to govern America, The Federalist Papers had the immediate practical aim of persuading New Yorkers to accept the newly drafted Constitution in 1787. In this they were supremely successful, but their influence also transcended contemporary debate to win them a lasting place in discussions of American political theory. The Federalist Papers make a powerful case for power-sharing between State and Federal authorities and have only risen in legal influence over the last two centuries. Beeman’s analysis helps clarify the goals, at once separate and in concert, of Madison, Hamilton, and Jay during their writing, and his selection of some of the most important papers show the array of issues—both philosophical and policy-specific—covered by this body of work.
"The best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written" - Thomas Jefferson
Alecos Papadatos and Annie DiDonna, artists behind the international phenomenon Logicomix, together with writer Abraham Kawa, deliver a graphic novel bursting with extraordinary characters and vibrant color, one that also offers fresh insight into how this greatest of civic inventions came to be.
Separating fact from myth in today’s heated immigration debate, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board contends that foreign workers play a vital role in keeping America prosperous, that maintaining an open-border policy is consistent with free-market economic principals, and that the arguments put forward by opponents of immigration ultimately don’t hold up to scrutiny.
In lucid, jargon-free prose aimed at the general-interest reader, Riley takes on the most common anti-immigrant complaints, including claims that today’s immigrants overpopulate the United States, steal jobs, depress wages, don’t assimilate, and pose an undue threat to homeland security. As the 2008 presidential election approaches with immigration reform on the front burner, Let Them In is essential reading for liberals and conservatives alike who want to bring an informed perspective to the discussion.
For this fiftieth-anniversary edition, Dahl has written an extensive new afterword that reevaluates Madisonian theory in light of recent research. And in a new foreword, he reflects back on his influential volume and the ways his views have evolved since he wrote it. For any student or scholar of political science, this new material is an essential update on a gold standard in the evolving field of democratic theory.
“A Preface to Democratic Theory is well worth the devoted attention of anyone who cares about democracy.”—Political Science Quarterly
While describing a parallel between the most common forms of espionage in modern times, the book intends to show how our world has been moving towards a more complex strategy of warfare with higher purposes as it is the case of religious and spiritual espionage. It also promotes a better understanding on how strategy in espionage is related to a net of values that extends its domains in acts unseen for the vast majority of the population.
Even though introducing merely basic principles it is described here the most common forms of warfare being applied in modern times. While movies and reporters show us a world representing only the surface of its consequences and not the real sources, these real sources reveal a nature far beyond what our eyes can see.
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Disposable Futures makes the case that we have not just become desensitized to violence, but rather, that we are being taught to desire it.
From movies and other commercial entertainment to "extreme" weather and acts of terror, authors Brad Evans and Henry Giroux examine how a contemporary politics of spectacle--and disposability--curates what is seen and what is not, what is represented and what is ignored, and ultimately, whose lives matter and whose do not.
Disposable Futures explores the connections between a range of contemporary phenomena: mass surveillance, the militarization of police, the impact of violence in film and video games, increasing disparities in wealth, and representations of ISIS and the ongoing terror wars. Throughout, Evans and Giroux champion the significance of public education, social movements and ideas that rebel against the status quo in order render violence intolerable.
"Disposable Futures poses, and answers, the pressing question of our times: How is it that in this post-Fascist, post-Cold War era of peace and prosperity we are saddled with more war, violence, inequality and poverty than ever? The neoliberal era, Evans and Giroux brilliantly reveal, is defined by violence, by drone strikes, 'smart' bombs, militarized police, Black lives taken, prison expansion, corporatized education, surveillance, the raw violence of racism, patriarchy, starvation and want. The authors show how the neoliberal regime normalizes violence, renders its victims disposable, commodifies the spectacle of relentless violence and sells it to us as entertainment, and tries to contain cultures of resistance. If you're not afraid of the truth in these dark times, then read this book. It is a beacon of light."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Disposable Futures confronts a key conundrum of our times: How is it that, given the capacity and abundance of resources to address the critical needs of all, so many are having their futures radically discounted while the privileged few dramatically increase their wealth and power? Brad Evans and Henry Giroux have written a trenchant analysis of the logic of late capitalism that has rendered it normal to dispose of any who do not service the powerful. A searing indictment of the socio-technics of destruction and the decisions of their deployability. Anyone concerned with trying to comprehend these driving dynamics of our time would be well served by taking up this compelling book."--David Theo Goldberg, author of The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism
"Disposable Futures is an utterly spellbinding analysis of violence in the later 20th and early 21st centuries. It strikes me as a new breed of street-smart intellectualism moving through broad ranging theoretical influences of Adorno, Arendt, Bauman, Deleuze, Foucault, Zizek, Marcuse, and Reich. I especially appreciated a number of things, including: the discussion of representation and how it functions within a broader logics of power; the descriptions and analyses of violence mediating the social field and fracturing it through paralyzing fear and anxiety; the colonization of bodies and pleasures; and the nuanced discussion of how state violence, surveillance, and disposability connect. Big ideas explained using a fresh straightforward voice."--Adrian Parr, author of The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics
Brad Evans and Henry A. Giroux are internationally renowned educators, authors, and intellectuals. Together, they curate a forum for Truthout.com that explores the theme of "Disposable Futures." Evans is director of histories of violence project at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. Giroux holds McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest, and is the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy.
While such "liberation technology" has been instrumental in freeing Egypt and Tunisia, other cases—such as China and Iran—demonstrate that it can be deployed just as effectively by authoritarian regimes seeking to control the Internet, stifle protest, and target dissenters. This two-sided dynamic has set off an intense technological race between "netizens" demanding freedom and authoritarians determined to retain their grip on power.
Liberation Technology brings together cutting-edge scholarship from scholars and practitioners at the forefront of this burgeoning field of study. An introductory section defines the debate with a foundational piece on liberation technology and is then followed by essays discussing the popular dichotomy of "liberation" versus "control" with regard to the Internet and the sociopolitical dimensions of such controls. Additional chapters delve into the cases of individual countries: China, Egypt, Iran, and Tunisia.
This book also includes in-depth analysis of specific technologies such as Ushahidi—a platform developed to document human-rights abuses in the wake of Kenya’s 2007 elections—and alkasir—a tool that has been used widely throughout the Middle East to circumvent cyber-censorship.
Liberation Technology will prove an essential resource for all students seeking to understand the intersection of information and communications technology and the global struggle for democracy.
Contributors: Walid Al-Saqaf, Daniel Calingaert, Ronald Deibert, Larry Diamond, Elham Gheytanchi, Philip N. Howard, Muzammil M. Hussain, Rebecca MacKinnon, Patrick Meier, Evgeny Morozov, Xiao Qiang, Rafal Rohozinski, Mehdi Yahyanejad
This revised and expanded edition includes two new chapters on the political economy of the Obama era. One presents the Great Recession as a "stress test" of the American political system by analyzing the 2008 election and the impact of Barack Obama's “New New Deal” on the economic fortunes of the rich, middle class, and poor. The other assesses the politics of inequality in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2012 election, and the partisan gridlock of Obama’s second term. Larry Bartels offers a sobering account of the barriers to change posed by partisan ideologies and the political power of the wealthy. He also provides new analyses of tax policy, partisan differences in economic performance, the struggle to raise the minimum wage, and inequalities in congressional representation.
President Obama identified inequality as “the defining challenge of our time.” Unequal Democracy is the definitive account of how and why our political system has failed to rise to that challenge. Now more than ever, this is a book every American needs to read.
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.
In 1979, seemingly overnight—moving at a clip some thirty years faster than the rest of the world—Iran became the first revolutionary theocracy in modern times. Since then, the country has been largely a black box to the West, a sinister presence looming over the horizon. But inside Iran, a breathtaking drama has unfolded since then, as religious thinkers, political operatives, poets, journalists, and activists have imagined and reimagined what Iran should be. They have drawn as deeply on the traditions of the West as of the East and have acted upon their beliefs with urgency and passion, frequently staking their lives for them.
With more than a decade of experience reporting on, researching, and writing about Iran, Laura Secor narrates this unprecedented history as a story of individuals caught up in the slipstream of their time, seizing and wielding ideas powerful enough to shift its course as they wrestle with their country’s apparatus of violent repression as well as its rich and often tragic history. Essential reading at this moment when the fates of our countries have never been more entwined, Children of Paradise will stand as a classic of political reporting; an indelible portrait of a nation and its people striving for change.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
The authors’ original and extensive research reveals how, when, and why citizens talk to each other about the issues of the day. They find that—in settings ranging from one-on-one conversations to e-mail exchanges to larger and more formal gatherings—a surprising two-thirds of Americans regularly participate in public discussions about such pressing issues as the Iraq War, economic development, and race relations. Pinpointing the real benefits of public discourse while considering arguments that question its importance, Talking Together presents an authoritative and clear-eyed assessment of deliberation’s function in American governance. In the process, it offers concrete recommendations for increasing the power of talk to foster political action.