In a risk-filled world, democracies are increasingly turning to large-scale state surveillance, at home and abroad, to fight complex and unconventional threats — but is it justified? For some, the threats more than justify the current surveillance system, and the laws and institutions of democracies are more than capable of balancing the needs of individual privacy with collective security. But for others, we are in peril of sacrificing to a vast and unaccountable state surveillance apparatus the civil liberties that guarantee citizens’ basic freedoms and our democratic way of life.
In this edition of the Munk Debates, former head of the CIA and NSA Michael Hayden and civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz square off against journalist Glenn Greenwald and reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian to debate the legitimacy of state surveillance. With issues of Internet privacy increasingly gaining prominence, the Munk Debate on the Surveillance State asks: Should government be able to monitor our activities in order to keep us safe?
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a passionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krauthammer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioethics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have profoundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused reflections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Winston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
With a special, highly autobiographical introduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
New York Times Bestseller
“Not so different in spirit from the way public intellectuals like John Kenneth Galbraith once shaped discussions of economic policy and public figures like Walter Cronkite helped sway opinion on the Vietnam War…could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade.”
—New York Times Book Review
"Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century."
—Rachel Maddow, author of Drift
"A serious treatise about the craft of prediction—without academic mathematics—cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver's coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism."
—New York Review of Books
Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight.
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.
An eBook short.
We all know the system isn’t working. Our governments are corrupt and the opposing parties pointlessly similar. Our culture is filled with vacuity and pap, and we are told there’s nothing we can do: “It’s just the way things are.”
In this book, Russell Brand hilariously lacerates the straw men and paper tigers of our conformist times and presents, with the help of experts as diverse as Thomas Piketty and George Orwell, a vision for a fairer, sexier society that’s fun and inclusive.
You have been lied to, told there’s no alternative, no choice, and that you don’t deserve any better. Brand destroys this illusory facade as amusingly and deftly as he annihilates Morning Joe anchors, Fox News fascists, and BBC stalwarts.
This book makes revolution not only possible but inevitable and fun.
"Those hungry for political news will read Double Down for the scooplets and insidery glimpses it serves up about the two campaigns, and the clues it offers about the positioning already going on among Republicans and Democrats for 2016 ... The book testifies to its authors’ energetic legwork and insider access... creating a novelistic narrative that provides a you-are-there immediacy... They succeed in taking readers interested in the backstabbing and backstage maneuvering of the 2012 campaign behind the curtains, providing a tactile... sense of what it looked like from the inside."
In their runaway bestseller Game Change, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann captured the full drama of Barack Obama’s improbable, dazzling victory over the Clintons, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. With the same masterly reporting, unparalleled access, and narrative skill, Double Down picks up the story in the Oval Office, where the president is beset by crises both inherited and unforeseen—facing defiance from his political foes, disenchantment from the voters, disdain from the nation’s powerful money machers, and dysfunction within the West Wing. As 2012 looms, leaders of the Republican Party, salivating over Obama’s political fragility, see a chance to wrest back control of the White House—and the country. So how did the Republicans screw it up? How did Obama survive the onslaught of super PACs and defy the predictions of a one-term presidency? Double Down follows the gaudy carnival of GOP contenders—ambitious and flawed, famous and infamous, charismatic and cartoonish—as Mitt Romney, the straitlaced, can-do, gaffe-prone multimillionaire from Massachusetts, scraped and scratched his way to the nomination.
Double Down exposes blunders, scuffles, and machinations far beyond the klieg lights of the campaign trail: Obama storming out of a White House meeting with his high command after accusing them of betrayal. Romney’s mind-set as he made his controversial “47 percent” comments. The real reasons New Jersey governor Chris Christie was never going to be Mitt’s running mate. The intervention held by the president’s staff to rescue their boss from political self-destruction. The way the tense détente between Obama and Bill Clinton morphed into political gold. And the answer to one of the campaign’s great mysteries—how did Clint Eastwood end up performing Dada dinner theater at the Republican convention?
In Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann take the reader into back rooms and closed-door meetings, laying bare the secret history of the 2012 campaign for a panoramic account of an election that was as hard fought as it was lastingly consequential.
From politics to the personal, from fashion to food, from the campus to the locker room, the desire to be cool has infected all aspects of our lives. At its most harmless, it is annoying. At its worst, it is deadly, on a massive scale. The Cool are the termites of life, infiltrating every nook and cranny and destroying it from within. The Cool report the news, write the scripts, teach our children, run our government—and each day they pass judgment on those who don’t worship at the altar of their coolness. The cool fawn over terrorists, mock the military, and denigrate employers. They are, in short, awful people.
From what we wear and what we eat, to what we smoke and who we poke, pop culture is crafted and manipulated by the cool and, to Greg Gutfeld, that's Not Cool.
How do the cool enslave you? By convincing you that:
- If you don't agree with them no one will like you.
- If you don't follow them you will miss out on life.
- If you don't listen to them you will die a lonely loser
How do you vanquish the cool and discover your own true self? Read this book.
In Not Cool, Greg Gutfeld, bestselling author of The Joy Of Hate, lays out the battle plan for reclaiming the real American ideal of cool--building businesses, protecting freedom at home and abroad, taking responsibility for your actions, and leaving other people alone to live as they damn well please. Not Cool fights back against the culture of phonies, elitists, and creeps who want your soul. It’s not a book, it’s a weapon—and one should be armed with it at all times.
From the Hardcover edition.
Greg Gutfeld hates artificial tolerance. At the root of every single major political conflict is the annoying coddling Americans must endure of these harebrained liberal hypocrisies. In fact, most of the time liberals uses the mantle of tolerance as a guise for their pathetic intolerance. And what we really need is smart intolerance, or as Gutfeld reminds us, what we used to call common sense.
The Joy of Hate tackles this conundrum head on--replacing the idiocy of open-mindness with a shrewd judgmentalism that rejects stupid ideas, notions, and people. With countless examples grabbed from the headlines, Gutfeld provides readers with the enormous tally of what pisses us all off. For example:
- The double standard: You can make fun of Christians, but God forbid Muslims. It's okay to call a woman any name imaginable, as long as she's a Republican. And no problem if you're a bigot, as long as you're politically correct about it.
- The demonizing of the Tea Party and romanticizing of the Occupy Wall Streeters.
- The media who are always offended (see MSNBC lineup)
- How critics of Obamacare or illegal immigration are somehow immediately labeled racists.
- The endless debate over the Ground Zero Mosque (which Gutfeld planned to open a Muslim gay bar next to).
- As well as pretentious music criticism, slow-moving ceiling fans, and snotty restaurant hostesses.
Funny and sarcastic to the point of being mean (but in a nice way), The Joy of Hate points out the true jerks in this society and tells them all off.
From the Hardcover edition.
Forty years after its original publication, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 remains a cornerstone of American political journalism and one of the bestselling campaign books of all time. Hunter S. Thompson’s searing account of the battle for the 1972 presidency—from the Democratic primaries to the eventual showdown between George McGovern and Richard Nixon—is infused with the characteristic wit, intensity, and emotional engagement that made Thompson “the flamboyant apostle and avatar of gonzo journalism” (The New York Times). Hilarious, terrifying, insightful, and compulsively readable, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 is an epic political adventure that captures the feel of the American democratic process better than any other book ever written.
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.
In her new preface, Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.
Why is America living in an age of profound and widening economic inequality? Why have even modest attempts to address climate change been defeated again and again? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? In a riveting and indelible feat of reporting, Jane Mayer illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats—headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys—who have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Mayer traces a byzantine trail of billions of dollars spent by the network, revealing a staggering conglomeration of think tanks, academic institutions, media groups, courthouses, and government allies that have fallen under their sphere of influence. Drawing from hundreds of exclusive interviews, as well as extensive scrutiny of public records, private papers, and court proceedings, Mayer provides vivid portraits of the secretive figures behind the new American oligarchy and a searing look at the carefully concealed agendas steering the nation. Dark Money is an essential book for anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize Finalist
PEN/Jean Stein Book Award Finalist
Shortlisted for the Lukas Prize
A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The New Rules, The New New Rules delivers a series of hilarious, intelligent rants on everything from same-sex marriage to healthcare, from Republican agendas to celebrity meltdowns, with all the razor-sharp insight that has made Bill Maher one of the most influential comedic voices shaping the political debate today. With another presidential campaign on the horizon and a stellar set of real- life characters to have fun with-"New Rule: If Charlie Sheen's home life means he can't have a TV show, then I say Newt Gingrich can't be president"-this enlightening and important book may be the best thing you pretend to read all year.
In Alter Egos, veteran New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler takes us inside the fraught and fascinating relationship between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—a relationship that has framed the nation’s great debates over war and peace for the past eight years.
In the annals of American statecraft, theirs was a most unlikely alliance. Clinton, daughter of an anticommunist father, was raised in the Republican suburbs of Chicago in the aftermath of World War II, nourishing an unshakable belief in the United States as a force for good in distant lands. Obama, an itinerant child of the 1970s, was raised by a single mother in Indonesia and Hawaii, suspended between worlds and a witness to the less savory side of Uncle Sam’s influence abroad. Clinton and Obama would later come to embody competing visions of America’s role in the world: his, restrained, inward-looking, painfully aware of limits; hers, hard-edged, pragmatic, unabashedly old-fashioned.
Spanning the arc of Obama’s two terms, Alter Egos goes beyond the speeches and press conferences to the Oval Office huddles and South Lawn strolls, where Obama and Clinton pressed their views. It follows their evolution from bitter rivals to wary partners, and then to something resembling rivals again, as Clinton defined herself anew and distanced herself from her old boss. In the process, it counters the narrative that, during her years as secretary of state, there was no daylight between them, that the wounds of the 2008 campaign had been entirely healed.
The president and his chief diplomat parted company over some of the biggest issues of the day: how quickly to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; whether to arm the rebels in Syria; how to respond to the upheaval in Egypt; and whether to trust the Russians. In Landler’s gripping account, we venture inside the Situation Room during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, watch Obama and Clinton work in tandem to salvage a conference on climate change in Copenhagen, and uncover the secret history of their nuclear diplomacy with Iran—a story with a host of fresh disclosures.
With the grand sweep of history and the pointillist detail of an account based on insider access—the book draws on exclusive interviews with more than one hundred senior administration officials, foreign diplomats, and friends of Obama and Clinton—Mark Landler offers the definitive account of a complex, profoundly important relationship. As Barack Obama prepares to relinquish the presidency, and Hillary Clinton makes perhaps her last bid for it, how both regard American power is a central question of our time.
Advance praise for Alter Egos
“A superb journalist has brought us a vivid, page-turning, and revelatory account of the relationship between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as of their statecraft. Alter Egos will make a signal contribution to the national debate over who should be the next American president.”—Michael Beschloss, bestselling author of Presidential Courage
“Mark Landler, one of the best reporters working in Washington today, delivers an inside account of Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Barack Obama that brims with insight and high-level intrigue. It’s both fun to read and eye-opening.”—Jane Mayer, bestselling author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
From the Hardcover edition.
From Roger Stone, a New York Times bestselling author, longtime political adviser and friend to Donald Trump, and consummate Republican strategist, comes the first in-depth examination of how Trump’s campaign tapped into the national mood to deliver a stunning victory that almost no one saw coming.
In the early hours of November 9, 2016, one of the most contentious, polarizing, and vicious presidential races came to an abrupt and unexpected end when heavily favored presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton called Donald J. Trump to concede, shocking a nation that had, only hours before, given little credence to his chances. Donald Trump pulled the greatest upset in American political history despite a torrent of invective and dismissal of the mainstream media. Here is the first definitive explanation about how the “silent majority” shifted the election to Donald Trump in reliable Democratic Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, thus handing him the presidency.
Stone, a long time Trump retainer and confidant, gives us the inside story of how Donald Trump almost single-handedly harnessed discontent among “Forgotten Americans” despite running a guerrilla-style grass roots campaign to compete with the smooth running and free-spending Clinton political machine.
From the start, Trump’s campaign was unlike any seen on the national stage—combative, maverick, and fearless. Trump’s nomination was the hostile takeover of the Republican party and a resounding repudiation of the failed leadership of both parties whose policies have brought America to the brink of financial collapse as well as endangering our national security.
Here Stone outlines how Donald Trump skillfully ran as the anti-Open Borders candidate as well as a supporter of American sovereignty, and how he used the Globalist trade deals like NAFTA to win over three of ten Bernie Sanders supporters. The veteran adviser to Nixon, Reagan, and Trump charts the rise of the alt-conservative media and the end of the mainstream media monopoly on voter impacting information dissemination. This is an insider’s view that includes studying opposition research into Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton’s crimes, and the struggle by the Republican establishment to stop Trump and how they underestimated him. Stone chronicles Trump’s triumph in three debates where he skillfully lowered expectation levels but skewered Mrs. Clinton for the corruption of the Clinton Foundation, her mishandling of government email, and her incompetence as Secretary of State.
Stone gives us the inside word on Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner, Carlos Danger, Doug Band, Jeffery Epstein, and the efforts to hide the former first lady’s infirmities and health problems. Stone dissects the phony narrative that Trump was in cahoots with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin or that the e-mails released by Wikileaks came from the Russians.
The grizzled political veteran of ten Republican presidential campaigns from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump explains how Trump’s election has averted near certain war with Russia over Syria and the rejection of the neocon policies of the Obama/Clinton Administration.
The Making of the President 2016 reveals how Trump brilliantly picked at Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses, particularly her reputation as a crooked insider, and ignited the passions of out-of-work white men and women from the rust belt and beyond, at a time when millions of Americans desperately wanted change. Stone also reveals how and why the mainstream media got it wrong, including how the polls were loaded and completely misunderstood who would vote.
Stone's analysis is akin to Theodore H. White’s seminal book The Making of the President 1960. It is both a sweeping analysis of the trends that elected Trump as well as the war stories of a hard-bitten political survivor who Donald Trump called “one tough cookie."
Roger Stone has authored or co-authored the following books:
The Man Who Killed Kennedy, a New York Times bestseller in which Roger Stone makes a compelling case that Lyndon Baines Johnson was the mastermind behind the murder of President John F. Kennedy. Stone maps out LBJ’s motives for orchestrating the murder and uses fingerprint evidence and testimony to prove JFK was shot by a long-time LBJ hit man—not Lee Harvey Oswald.
Nixon’s Secrets gives the inside scoop on Nixon’s rise and fall in Watergate. Stone charts Nixon’s rise from election to Congress in 1946 to the White House in 1968 after his razor-thin loss to John Kennedy in 1960, his disastrous campaign for Governor of California in 1962 and the greatest comeback in American Presidential history.
Jeb and the Bush Crime Family, in which Stone collaborates with Saint John Hunt to make this a “no-holds-barred” history of the Bush family. After detailing the vast litany of Jeb’s misdeeds, Stone travels back to Samuel, Prescott, George H. W., and George W. Bush to weave an epic story of privilege, greed, corruption, drug profiteering, assassination, and lies. This exposition will have you asking, “Why aren't these people in prison?”
The Clintons’ War on Women, where Roger Stone and historian Robert Morrow uncover the explosive and ugly truths about Bill and Hillary’s crimes and cover-ups. They reveal the details about their actions in Arkansas, Bill Clinton’s scandalous time in the White House, who really ordered the deadly attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Hillary’s federally-investigated tenure as secretary of state, their time at the corrupt Clinton Foundation, and Hillary’s failed campaign for president.
Hailed by David Weigel in Slate as having “had more of an impact on the 2012 election than any journalist,” James O’Keefe is young, brash, and provocative: a new breed of guerrilla reporter for the twenty-first century. He and his associates have famously infiltrated some of America’s most protected organizations and institutions. Now, in Breakthrough, O’Keefe chronicles the harrowing undercover investigation that opened America’s eyes to the chicanery of its state houses and the duplicity of the White House during one of the most compromised election campaigns in our nation’s history: the 2012 presidential race.
Of all his controversial sting operations, this was the one that his late mentor, Andrew Breitbart, called “his most consequential.” While still on federal probation, O’Keefe organized an army of citizen journalists, planned a series of video stings to reveal the American system’s vulnerability to voter fraud, and went nose to nose with the most powerful political machine in the world. Along the way, O’Keefe found disheartening evidence that Americans are not nearly as free as we may believe, but also showed just how much real change ordinary citizens can bring about when they are willing to risk the wrath of the powerful.
Free of ideology, Breakthrough is at its core a clarion call for a more ethical society. Despite being vilified and libeled by an establishment media dedicated to suppressing the truth, James O’Keefe has dared to break through the firewall and reshape public opinion by showing things as they really are.
With The Politics of Resentment, Katherine J. Cramer uncovers an oft-overlooked piece of the puzzle: rural political consciousness and the resentment of the “liberal elite.” Rural voters are distrustful that politicians will respect the distinct values of their communities and allocate a fair share of resources. What can look like disagreements about basic political principles are therefore actually rooted in something even more fundamental: who we are as people and how closely a candidate’s social identity matches our own. Using Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s prominent and protracted debate about the appropriate role of government, Cramer illuminates the contours of rural consciousness, showing how place-based identities profoundly influence how people understand politics, regardless of whether urban politicians and their supporters really do shortchange or look down on those living in the country.
The Politics of Resentment shows that rural resentment—no less than partisanship, race, or class—plays a major role in dividing America against itself.
A little-known classic in the spirit of Machiavelli's Prince, How to Win an Election is required reading for politicians and everyone who enjoys watching them try to manipulate their way into office.
The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, "I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree." These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline.
"I get it," writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted.
Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education—how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders' vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning—precisely the gifts of a liberal education.
Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history.
Called the “father of framing” by The New York Times, Lakoff explains how framing is about ideas—ideas that come before policy, ideas that make sense of facts, ideas that are proactive not reactive, positive not negative, ideas that need to be communicated out loud every day in public.
The ALL NEW Don’t Think of an Elephant! picks up where the original book left off—delving deeper into how framing works, how framing has evolved in the past decade, how to speak to people who harbor elements of both progressive and conservative worldviews, how to counter propaganda and slogans, and more.
In this updated and expanded edition, Lakoff, urges progressives to go beyond the typical laundry list of facts, policies, and programs and present a clear moral vision to the country—one that is traditionally American and can become a guidepost for developing compassionate, effective policy that upholds citizens’ well-being and freedom.
To survive, the right must learn how to express nonliberal principles as effectively as possible, and persuade others of their point of view. It is an art that demands patience, research, humor, understanding, creative thinking, learning from your opponent and even mimicking their tactics.
In How to Be Right: the Art of Being Persuasively Correct, Gutfeld reveals the strategies that have helped him keep a steady job for almost three decades. From “Discard Your Outrage” and “Outcompassion Them” To “Find the Right’s Obama” and “Use your Mom,” Gutfeld gives readers the tools they’ll need to argue, influence, and convince their friends, family and foes throughout the 2016 election cycle.
From the Hardcover edition.
Packed with news-making disclosures and written with the drive of a legal thriller, Too Close to Call takes us inside James Baker's private jet, through the locked gates to Al Gore's mansion, behind the covered-up windows of Katherine Harris's office, and even into the secret conference room of the United States Supreme Court. As the scene shifts from Washington to Austin and into the remote corners of the enduringly strange Sunshine State, Toobin's book will transform what you thought you knew about the most extraordinary political drama in American history.
The Florida recount unfolded in a kaleidoscopic maze of bizarre concepts (chads, pregnant and otherwise), unfamiliar people in critically important positions (the Florida Supreme Court), and familiar people in surprising new places (the Miami relatives of Elián González, in a previously undisclosed role in this melodrama). With the rich characterization that is his trademark, Toobin portrays the prominent strategists who masterminded the campaigns--the Daleys and the Roves--and also the lesser-known but influential players who pulled the strings, as well as the judges and justices whose decisions determined the final outcome. Toobin gives both camps a treatment they have not yet received--remarkably evenhanded, nonpartisan, and entirely new.
The post-election period posed a challenge to even the most zealous news junkie: how to keep up with what was happening and sort out the important from the trivial. Jeffrey Toobin has now done this--and then some. With clarity, insight, humor, and a deep understanding of the law, he deconstructs the events, the players, and the often Byzantine intricacies of our judicial system. A remarkable account of one of the most significant periods in our country's history, Too Close to Call is endlessly surprising, frequently poignant, and wholly addictive.
Yahoo's national political columnist and the former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine brilliantly revisits the Gary Hart affair and looks at how it changed forever the intersection of American media and politics.
In 1987, Gary Hart-articulate, dashing, refreshingly progressive-seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for president and led George H. W. Bush comfortably in the polls. And then: rumors of marital infidelity, an indelible photo of Hart and a model snapped near a fatefully named yacht (Monkey Business), and it all came crashing down in a blaze of flashbulbs, the birth of 24-hour news cycles, tabloid speculation, and late-night farce. Matt Bai shows how the Hart affair marked a crucial turning point in the ethos of political media-and, by extension, politics itself-when candidates' "character" began to draw more fixation than their political experience. Bai offers a poignant, highly original, and news-making reappraisal of Hart's fall from grace (and overlooked political legacy) as he makes the compelling case that this was the moment when the paradigm shifted-private lives became public, news became entertainment, and politics became the stuff of Page Six.
From the Hardcover edition.
A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics
William L. Riordan
“Nobody thinks of drawin’ the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft.”
This classic work offers the unblushing, unvarnished wit and wisdom of one of the most fascinating figures ever to play the American political game and win. George Washington Plunkitt rose from impoverished beginnings to become ward boss of the Fifteenth Assembly District in New York, a key player in the powerhouse political team of Tammany Hall, and, not incidentally, a millionaire. In a series of utterly frank talks given at his headquarters (Graziano’s bootblack stand outside the New York County Court House), he revealed to a sharp-eared and sympathetic reporter named William L. Riordan the secrets of political success as practiced and perfected by him and fellow Tammany Hall titans. The result is not only a volume that reveals more about our political system than does a shelfful of civics textbooks, but also an irresistible portrait of a man who would feel happily at home playing ball with today’s lobbyists and king makers, trading votes for political and financial favors.
Doing for twentieth-century America what Machiavelli did for Renaissance Italy, and as entertaining as it is instructive, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall is essential reading for those who prefer twenty-twenty vision to rose-colored glasses in viewing how our government works and why.
With an Introduction by Peter Quinn
and a New Afterword
In a world of sound bites, deliberate misinformation, and a political scene that is colored by the blue versus red partisan divide. How does the average educated American find a reliable source that’s free of political spin? What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don’t breaks it all down, issue by issue, explaining who stands for what, and why—whether it’s the economy, income inequality, Obamacare, foreign policy, education, immigration, or climate change. If you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or somewhere in between, it’s the perfect book to brush up on a single topic or read through to get a deeper understanding of the often mucky world of American politics.
This is an essential volume for understanding the background to the 2016 presidential election. But it is also a book that transcends the season. It’s truly for anyone who wants to know more about the issues, which are perennial issues that will continue to affect our everyday lives.
In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon’s historic trip to Beijing. With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower’s twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time.
Shaw’s nonpartisan study lays out how both the Democrats and the Republicans developed strategies to win decisive electoral votes by targeting specific states and media markets. Drawing on his own experience with Republican battle plans, candidate schedules, and advertising purchases—plus key contacts in the Gore and Kerry camps—Shaw goes on to show that both sides used information on weekly shifts in candidate support to reallocate media buys and schedule appearances. Most importantly, he uses strikingly original research to prove that these carefully constructed plans significantly affected voters’ preferences and opinions—not in huge numbers, but enough to shift critical votes in key battlegrounds.
Bridging the gap between those who study campaigns and those who conduct them, The Race to 270 will provide political scientists and practitioners alike with fresh insights about the new strategies that stem from one of our oldest institutions.
The Edward Said Reader includes key sections from all of Said's books, from the groundbreaking 1966 study of Joseph Conrad to his new memoir, Out of Place. Whether he is writing of Zionism or Palestinian self-determination, Jane Austen or Yeats, music or the media, Said's uncompromising intelligence casts urgent light on every subject he undertakes. The Edward Said Reader will prove a joy to the general reader and an indispensable resource for scholars of politics, history, literature, and cultural studies: in short, of all those fields that his work has influenced and, in some cases, transformed.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Rules for Revolutionaries is a bold challenge to the political establishment and the “rules” that govern campaign strategy.
It tells the story of a breakthrough experiment conducted on the fringes of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign: A technology-driven team empowered volunteers to build and manage the infrastructure to make seventy-five million calls, launch eight million text messages, and hold more than one-hundred thousand public meetings—in an effort to put Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign over the top.
Bond and Exley, digital iconoclasts who have been reshaping the way politics is practiced in America for two decades, have identified twenty-two rules of “Big Organizing” that can be used to drive social change movements of any kind. And they tell the inside story of one of the most amazing grassroots political campaigns ever run.
Fast-paced, provocative, and profound, Rules for Revolutionaries stands as a liberating challenge to the low expectations and small thinking that dominates too many advocacy, non-profit, and campaigning organizations—and points the way forward to a future where political revolution is truly possible.
Donald Trump blindsided them all: the media, campaign consultants on both sides, and Hillary Clinton’s vaunted data operation. Now two insiders—Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News, eye-witness to the election from his unique position as the only conservative reporter aboard the Trump press plane in the last pivotal weeks of the campaign, and professional historian Larry Schweikart, whose "Renegade Deplorables" group of volunteer analysts supplied the Trump campaign with data the mainstream pollsters didn’t have—reveal the true story of how Trump defied the pundits, beat the polls, and won.
Pollak and Schweikart reveal: why only two pollsters got the election even close to right (one of them was working with Larry Schweikart); why working class and rural voters flocked to support a New York City billionaire—and the media completely missed the story; how the "Deplorables" were able to read the early voting data to show that Trump was winning Ohio and Pennsylvania weeks before the election—and were still texting reassurances to his campaign on election night; why the release of the Access Hollywood "sex tape" cost Trump Minnesota and New Hampshire, a four-point lead in the popular vote, and a "yuge" landslide in the electoral college; and how the Clinton Team realized they had lost before Team Trump knew they had won.
Find out how Trump really beat the polls, the odds, and the machinations of Hillary Clinton and her willing allies in the media and political establishment. How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution is an absolute must-read from a prescient historian and a reporter with the inside scoop—and great stories from the campaign trail.
After the 2012 election, the GOP was in the wilderness. Lost and in disarray. And doggedly determined to do whatever it took to get back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
McKay Coppins has had unparalleled access to Republican presidential candidates, power brokers, lawmakers, and Tea Party leaders. Based on more than 300 interviews, The Wilderness is the book that opens up the party like never before: the deep passions, larger-than-life personalities, and dagger-sharp power plays behind the scenes.
In wildly colorful scenes, this exclusive look into the Republican Party at a pivotal moment in its history follows a cast of its rising stars, establishment figures, and loudmouthed insurgents--Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and dozens of others--as they battle over the future of the party and its path to the presidency.
In his speech, Sanders blasted the agreement that President Obama struck with Republicans, which extended the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, lowered estate tax rates for the very, very rich, and set a terrible precedent by establishing a "payroll tax holiday" diverting revenue away from the Social Security Trust Fund, threatening the fund's very future. But the speech was more than a critique of a particular piece of legislation. It was a dissection of the collapse of the American middle class and a well-researched attack on corporate greed and on public policy which, over the last several decades, has led to a huge growth in millionaires even as the United States has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. It was a plea for a fundamental change in national priorities, for government policy that reflects the needs of working families, and not just the wealthy and their lobbyists.
Finally, Sanders' speech-published here in its entirety with a new introduction by the senator-is a call for action. It is a passionate statement informing us that the only people who will save the middle class of this country is the middle class itself, but only if it is informed, organized, and prepared to take on the enormously powerful special interests dominating Washington.
Over the course of a long winter and into the spring, the contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination gathered steam and bubbled over with drama. At times it seemed more like a soap opera or reality show than a political campaign. Inside the Circus, the latest real-time digital dispatch from acclaimed political correspondent Mike Allen and award-winning journalist and author Evan Thomas, chronicles each turn in this endlessly surprising race with reporting straight from the campaign war rooms of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and the other GOP contenders.
What was the thinking inside the Romney brain trust as what was once expected to be an easy ride to the nomination turned into what some have called a “long slog”? How did Newt Gingrich throw the preternaturally poised Romney off his game in South Carolina—and who convinced the former Massachusetts governor it was time to start punching back? Why were the other campaigns caught flat-footed by the rise of Rick Santorum and what does his unlikely ascent mean for the prospect of a brokered convention? From the Iowa caucuses to Super Tuesday and beyond, Allen and Thomas answer all the questions the headlines, polls, and delegate counts can’t address. The stakes are high, the plotlines are still unfolding, and Inside the Circus is your fly-on-the-wall guide to the most fascinating Republican presidential race in recent memory.
"Thank you, Howard Zinn. Thank you for telling us what none of our leaders are willing to: The truth. And you tell it with such brilliance, such humanity. It is a personal honor to be able to say I am a better citizen because of you." —Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 9/11
"This strong, incisive book by Howard Zinn provides us with a penetrating critique of current U.S. policies and embraces the sweep of history. . . . A Power Governments Cannot Suppress leaves us with the faith that citizens have what it takes to confront power and to reverse the dangerous and unjust acts of our government." —Jonathan Kozol, author of The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America
"Find here the voice of the well-educated and honorable and capable and humane United States of America, which might have existed if only absolute power had not corrupted its third-rate leaders so absolutely." —Kurt Vonnegut, author of A Man Without a Country
"Howard Zinn is a unique voice of sanity, clarity, and wisdom who reads history not only to understand the present but to shape the future . . . . Profoundly insightful . . . A Power Governments Cannot Suppress should be read by every American, over and over again." —Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine
"Zinn writes with an enthusiasm rarely encountered in the leaden prose of academic history. . ." —New York Times Book Review
"Zinn collects here almost three dozen brief, passionate essays that follow in the tradition of his landmark work, A People's History of the United States . . . Readers seeking to break out of their ideological comfort zones will find much to ponder here." —Publishers Weekly
Howard Zinn was an acclaimed historian, playwright, and combat veteran of World War II. He was the author of more than two dozen books, including his masterpiece A People's History of the United States, and The Historic Unfulfilled Promise (City Lights).
"Run not in the streets. . .nor with mouth open; go not upon the toes nor in a dancing fashion."
George Washington was known as a remarkably modest and courteous man. Humility and flawless manners were so ingrained in his character that he rarely if ever acted without them.
The "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior" that governed Washington's etiquette were by turns practical, inspirational and curious. These rules are as instructive and invaluable today as they were hundreds of years ago.
George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior includes the complete text of the rules, as well as famous Washington writings such as:
-Farewell to the Armies speech
-Address at the End of His Presidency
Between 1965 and 1972 America experienced a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know today was born.
Nixonland begins in the blood and fire of the Watts riots-one week after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, and nine months after his historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater seemed to have heralded a permanent liberal consensus. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever-and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. Six years later, President Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment borne of that blood and fire, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's, and the outlines of today's politics of red-and-blue division became already distinct.
Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland:
• Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods, while suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns.
• The civil war over Vietnam, the assassinations, the riot at the Democratic National Convention.
• Richard Nixon acceding to the presidency pledging a new dawn of national unity--and governing more divisively than any before him.
• The rise of twin cultures of left- and right-wing vigilantes, Americans literally bombing and cutting each other
down in the streets over political differences.
•And, finally, Watergate, the fruit of a president who rose by matching his own anxieties and dreads with those of an increasingly frightened electorate--but whose anxieties and dreads produced a criminal conspiracy in the Oval Office.
Arguing that current explanations of voting behavior are ill suited for most local contests, Eric Oliver puts forward a new theory that highlights the crucial differences between local, state, and national democracies. Being small in size, limited in power, and largely unbiased in distributing their resources, local governments are "managerial democracies" with a distinct style of electoral politics. Instead of hinging on the partisanship, ideology, and group appeals that define national and state elections, local elections are based on the custodial performance of civic-oriented leaders and on their personal connections to voters with similarly deep community ties. Explaining not only the dynamics of local elections, Oliver's findings also upend many long-held assumptions about community power and local governance, including the importance of voter turnout and the possibilities for grassroots political change.
Pat Buchanan: becomes the first politician ever to choose a black hat over a white one.
Phil Gramm: spends twenty million dollars to convince voters of his fiscal responsibility.
John McCain: makes the fatal mistake of actually speaking his mind.
Alan Keyes: checks out of a New Hampshire hotel and tells the manager another candidate will be paying his bill.
Steve Forbes: refuses to answer questions about his father's motorcycles.
Bob Dole: marches through the campaign without ever seeming to care.
Losers is a wickedly funny, unflinching look at how America really goes about choosing a President.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The 2008 campaign for the presidency reopened some of the most fraught American conversations—about gender, race and generational difference, about sexism on the left and feminism on the right—difficult discussions that had been left unfinished but that are crucial to further perfecting our union. Though the election didn’t give us our first woman president or vice president, the exhilarating campaign was nonetheless transformative for American women and for the nation. In Big Girls Don’t Cry, her electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining first book, Traister tells a terrific story and makes sense of a moment in American history that changed the country’s narrative in ways that no one anticipated.
Throughout the book, Traister weaves in her own experience as a thirtysomething feminist sorting through all the events and media coverage—vacillating between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and questioning her own view of feminism, the women’s movement, race and the different generational perspectives of women working toward political parity. Electrifying, incisive and highly entertaining, Big Girls Don’t Cry offers an enduring portrait of dramatic cultural and political shifts brought about by this most historic of American contests.
This expanded edition includes new data and easy-to-read graphics explaining the 2008 election. Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State is a must-read for anyone seeking to make sense of today's fractured political landscape.
We Are the Change We Seek is a collection of Barack Obama's 27 greatest addresses: beginning with his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq War and closing with his emotional farewell address in Chicago in January 2017. As president, Obama's words had the power to move the country, and often the world, as few presidents before him. Whether acting as Commander in Chief or Consoler in Chief, Obama adopted a unique rhetorical style that could simultaneously speak to the national mood and change the course of public events. Obama's eloquence, both written and spoken, propelled him to national prominence and ultimately made it possible for the son of a Kenyan man and a white woman from Kansas to become the first black president of the United States.
These speeches span Obama's career--from his time in state government through to the end of his tenure as president--and the issues most important to our time: war, inequality, race relations, gun violence and human rights. The book opens with an essay placing Obama's oratorical contributions within the flow of American history by E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist and author of Why The Right Went Wrong, and Joy Reid, the host of AM Joy on MSNBC and author of Fracture.
Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about the primary challenges still facing the human race.
"This is a classic Chomsky work: a bonfire of myths and lies, sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky is an enduring inspiration all over the world—to millions, I suspect—for the simple reason that he is a truth-teller on an epic scale. I salute him." —John Pilger
"In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of American empire and class domination, at home and abroad, Chomsky continues a longstanding and crucial work of elucidation and activism...the writing remains unswervingly rational and principled throughout, and lends bracing impetus to the real alternatives before us." —Publisher's Weekly
"Chomsky’s commentary is razor sharp and offers a compendium of facts that make a well-supported—and undoubtedly controversial—claim of the incongruity between US actions and the democratic ideals it professes....A valuable resource for both academics and everyday concerned citizens." —ForeWord
Professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Noam Chomsky is widely regarded to be one of the foremost critics of U.S. foreign policy in the world. He has published numerous groundbreaking books, articles, and essays on global politics, history, and linguistics. Among his recent books are The New York Times bestsellers Hegemony or Survival and Failed States.
From the founder of modern radical activism in America, Saul Alinsky, whose the bestselling classic Rules for Radicals has reinvigorated the political left in America. “Organizational genius” Alinsky lays out the thirteen rules that all have-nots must follow to wage a successful campaign against the haves. Wielding tremendous influence to this day, and used as a bible by leading organizers since it was first published almost fifty years ago, these vital words of wisdom are written with humor, wit and unassailable power.
Crucially impactful on both President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s political philosophies and dedicated to the American political tradition—Alinsky’s thirteen tactics will remain powerful and relevant, a must-read, for anyone interested in how to enact constructive social change for years to come.
An ebook short.
In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government-driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission-trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.
With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted-but redeemable-representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.
While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In REPUBLIC, LOST, he not only makes this need palpable and clear-he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.
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.
Michael Shnayerson first traveled to the coal fields four years ago, on assignment for Vanity Fair. There he met an inspiring young lawyer named Joe Lovett, who was fighting mountaintop removal in court with a series of brilliant and daring lawsuits. He also met Judy Bonds, whose grassroots group, the Coal River Mountain Watch, was speaking out in a region where talking truth to power was both brave and dangerous. The two had joined forces to take on Massey Energy, the largest and most aggressive of the coal companies, and its swaggering, notorious chairman, Don Blankenship.
Coal River is Shnayerson's account of this dramatic struggle. From courtroom to boardroom, forest clearing to factory floor, Shnayerson gives us a novelistic and compelling portrait of the people who risked their reputations and livelihoods in the fight against King Coal.
Not long after burglars were caught raiding the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, Congressman Tip O’Neill noticed that Democratic fundraising efforts for the 1972 election had stalled. Major contributors were under IRS investigation, and Republican lackeys were threatening further trouble if those donors didn’t close their checkbooks. O’Neill sensed a conspiracy coming from the Nixon administration, but it wasn’t until the scandal broke that he connected the threatened donors with the Watergate burglary. In the boldest move of his career, he did something that would shock the nation: O’Neill decided to impeach the President. To his fellow members of the House of Representatives, this was an ugly idea. But as evidence mounted against Nixon and his cronies, O’Neill led the charge against the President. This blow-by-blow, conviction-by-conviction account is a gripping reminder of how O’Neill and his colleagues brought justice to those who abused their power, and revived America after the greatest political scandal in its history. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Jimmy Breslin including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions.
Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said—or could have said—in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years—such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how…
The problems that need attention in the United States aren't new, nor are their solutions. Yet the political establishment neither understands these problems nor desires to address them. Only informed and courageous leadership can change that.
In The Right Problems, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain shows how we can overcome the ignorance that has spread throughout our country, and describes what an informed and courageous leader should look like as we elect a new president in 2016.
From his personal motto—“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God”—to his resounding discourse on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson defined the essential truth of the American spirit. In the essays that Petersen has crafted from letters, speeches, and public documents, Jefferson’s unique moral philosophy and vision shine through. Among the hundreds of magnificent sentences gathered in this volume, here are Jefferson’s pronouncements on
Gratitude: “I have but one system of ethics for men and for nations—
to be grateful, to be faithful to all engagements and under all circumstances, to be open and generous.”
Religion: “A concern purely between our God and our consciences.”
America’s national character: “It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate; to surmount every difficulty with resolution and contrivance.”
Public debt: “We shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves.”
War: “I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind.”
In stately measured cadences, these thirty-four essays provide timeless guidance on leading a spiritually fulfilling life. Light and Liberty is a triumphant work of supreme eloquence, as uplifting today as when Jefferson first set these immortal sentences on paper.
From the Hardcover edition.
Perlstein's epic account begins in the blood and fire of the 1965 Watts riots, nine months after Lyndon
Johnson's historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater appeared to herald a permanent liberal consensus
in the United States. Yet the next year, scores of liberals were tossed out of Congress, America was more divided than ever, and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon.
Between 1965 and 1972, America experienced no less than a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born. It was the era not only of Nixon, Johnson, Spiro Agnew, Hubert H. Humphrey, George McGovern, Richard J. Daley, and George Wallace but Abbie Hoffman, Ronald Reagan, Angela Davis, Ted Kennedy, Charles Manson, John Lindsay, and Jane Fonda. There are tantalizing glimpses of Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, and even of two ambitious young men named Karl Rove and William Clinton -- and a not so ambitious young man named George W. Bush.
Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland:
- Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods in cities across the land as white suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns
- The student insurgency over the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention
- The fissuring of the Democratic Party into warring factions manipulated by the "dirty tricks" of Nixon and his Committee to Re-Elect the President
- Richard Nixon pledging a new dawn of national unity, governing more divisively than any president before him, then directing a criminal conspiracy, the Watergate cover-up, from the Oval Office
Then, in November 1972, Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment born of America's turmoil, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's 1964 victory, not only setting the stage for his dramatic 1974 resignation but defining the terms of the ideological divide that characterizes America today.
Filled with prodigious research and driven by a powerful narrative, Rick Perlstein's magisterial account of how America divided confirms his place as one of our country's most celebrated historians.