They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy

Routledge
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They Rule reflects on key political questions raised by the Occupy movement, showing how similar questions have been raised by previous generations of radical activists: who really owns and rules the US? Does it matter that the nation is divided by stark class disparities and a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few? Along the way, this book sharpens readers' sense of who the US oligarchy are, including how their fortunes have changed over the course of US history, how they live and think and how to detect and de-cloak them. They Rule is a masterful historical and political analysis, revealing what lies beneath the surface of US society and what ordinary people can do to bring about social change.
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About the author

Paul Street is an independent journalist, policy adviser, and historian. Formerly he was Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League. Among his recent books are "Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics" (Paradigm, 2008), "Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), and "Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in Post-Civil Rights America" (Routledge, 2005). His many articles have appeared in the "Chicago Tribune"; "In These Times; Dissent; Z Magazine; Black Commentator; Monthly Review, Journal of American Ethnic History; Journal of Social History", and other publications.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Nov 17, 2015
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Pages
252
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ISBN
9781317250593
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Many Americans believe Barak Obama represents a hopeful future for America. But does he also reflect the American politics of the past? This book offers the broadest and best-informed understanding on the meaning of the "Obama phenomenon" to date. Paul Street was on the ground throughout the Iowa campaign, and his stories of the rising Obama phenomenon are poignant. Yet the author's background in American political history allows him to explore the deeper meanings of Obama's remarkable political career. He looks at Obama in relation to contemporary issues of class, race, war, and empire. He considers Obama in the context of our nation's political history, with comparisons to FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton, and other leaders. Street finds that the Obama persona, crafted by campaign consultants and filtered through dominant media trends, masks the "change" candidate's adherence to long-prevailing power structures and party doctrines. He shows how American political culture has produced misperceptions by the electorate of Obama's positions and values. Obama is no magical exception to the narrow-spectrum electoral system and ideological culture that have done so much to define and limit the American political tradition. Yet the author suggests key ways in which Obama potentially advances democratic transformation. Street makes recommendations on how citizens can productively respond to and act upon Obama's influence and the broader historical and social forces that have produced his celebrity and relevance. He also lays out a real agenda for change for the new presidential administration, one that addresses the recent failures of democratic politics.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

“Every teacher, every student of history, every citizen should read this book. It is both a refreshing antidote to what has passed for history in our educational system and a one-volume education in itself.”
—Howard Zinn

A new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the author

Since its first publication in 1995, Lies My Teacher Told Me has become one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and was heralded on the front page of the New York Times in the summer of 2006.

For this new edition, Loewen has added a new preface that shows how inadequate history courses in high school help produce adult Americans who think Donald Trump can solve their problems, and calls out academic historians for abandoning the concept of truth in a misguided effort to be “objective.”

What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks has ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls “an extremely convincing plea for truth in education.” In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. Beginning with pre-Columbian history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, the My Lai massacre, 9/11, and the Iraq War, Loewen offers an eye-opening critique of existing textbooks, and a wonderful retelling of American history as it should—and could—be taught to American students.

Starting with the publication of their seminal bestseller, Future Shock, Alvin and Heidi Toffler have given millions of readers new ways to think about personal life in today’s high-speed world with its constantly changing, seemingly random impacts on our businesses, governments, families and daily lives. Now, writing with the same rare grasp and clarity that made their earlier books classics, the Tofflers turn their attention to the revolution in wealth now sweeping the planet. And once again, they provide a penetrating, coherent way to make sense of the seemingly senseless.

Revolutionary Wealth is about how tomorrow’s wealth will be created, and who will get it and how. But twenty-first-century wealth, according to the Tofflers, is not just about money, and cannot be understood in terms of industrial-age economics. Thus they write here about everything from education and child rearing to Hollywood and China, from everyday truth and misconceptions to what they call our “third job”—the unnoticed work we do without pay for some of the biggest corporations in our country.

They show the hidden connections between extreme sports, chocolate chip cookies, Linux software and the “surplus complexity” in our lives as society wobbles back and forth between depressing decadence and a hopeful post-decadence.

In their earlier work, the Tofflers coined the word “prosumer” for people who consume what they themselves produce. In Revolutionary Wealth they expand the concept to reveal how many of our activities—whether parenting or volunteering, blogging, painting our house, improving our diet, organizing a neighborhood council or even “mashing” music—pump “free lunch” from the “hidden” non-money economy into the money economy that economists track. Prosuming, they forecast, is about to explode and compel radical changes in the way we measure, make and manipulate wealth.

Blazing with fresh ideas, Revolutionary Wealth provides readers with powerful new tools for thinking about—and preparing for—their future.


From the Hardcover edition.
Life is getting better—and at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down — all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people’s lives as never before. The pessimists who dominate public discourse insist that we will soon reach a turning point and things will start to get worse. But they have been saying this for two hundred years.

Yet Matt Ridley does more than describe how things are getting better. He explains why. Prosperity comes from everybody working for everybody else. The habit of exchange and specialization—which started more than 100,000 years ago—has created a collective brain that sets human living standards on a rising trend. The mutual dependence, trust, and sharing that result are causes for hope, not despair.

This bold book covers the entire sweep of human history, from the Stone Age to the Internet, from the stagnation of the Ming empire to the invention of the steam engine, from the population explosion to the likely consequences of climate change. It ends with a confident assertion that thanks to the ceaseless capacity of the human race for innovative change, and despite inevitable disasters along the way, the twenty-first century will see both human prosperity and natural biodiversity enhanced. Acute, refreshing, and revelatory, The Rational Optimist will change your way of thinking about the world for the better.

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