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Books for POLS Research Paper
Publication Date: 2017
The fierce polarization of contemporary politics has encouraged Americans to read back into their nation's past a perpetual ideological struggle between liberals and conservatives. However, in this timely book, David S. Brown advances an original interpretation that stresses the critical role of moderate statesmen, ideas, and alliances in making our political system work. Beginning with John Adams and including such key figures as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., and Bill Clinton, Brown charts the vital if uneven progress of centrism through the centuries. Moderate opposition to both New England and southern secessionists during the early republic and later resistance to industrial oligarchy and the modern Sunbelt right are part of this persuasion's far-reaching legacy. Time and again moderates, operating under a broad canopy of coalitions, have come together to reshape the nation's electoral landscape. Today's bitter partisanship encourages us to deny that such a moderate tradition is part of our historical development--one dating back to the Constitutional Convention. Brown offers a less polemical and far more compelling assessment of our politics.
No Is Not Enough by
Publication Date: 2017
New York Times Bestseller National Book Award Longlist Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017 Donald Trump's takeover of the White House is a dangerous escalation in a world of cascading crises. His reckless agenda--including a corporate coup in government, aggressive scapegoating and warmongering, and sweeping aside climate science to set off a fossil fuel frenzy--will generate waves of disasters and shocks to the economy, national security, and the environment. Acclaimed journalist, activist, and bestselling author Naomi Klein has spent two decades studying political shocks, climate change, and "brand bullies." From this unique perspective, she argues that Trump is not an aberration but a logical extension of the worst, most dangerous trends of the past half-century--the very conditions that have unleashed a rising tide of white nationalism the world over. It is not enough, she tells us, to merely resist, to say "no." Our historical moment demands more: a credible and inspiring "yes," a roadmap to reclaiming the populist ground from those who would divide us--one that sets a bold course for winning the fair and caring world we want and need. This timely, urgent book from one of our most influential thinkers offers a bracing positive shock of its own, helping us understand just how we got here, and how we can, collectively, come together and heal.
Unleashing the Second American Century by
Publication Date: 2014
Political gridlock in Washington... the lingering effects of the financial crisis... structural problems such as unemployment and the skills gap of our work force... the mediocre K-12 educational system. Are our best days behind us? Joel Kurtzman persuasively shows why all the talk about America's decline is not only baseless but dead wrong. Our best days, are, in fact, ahead of us. Four transformational forces--unrivaled manufacturing depth, soaring levels of creativity, massive new energy sources, and gigantic amounts of capital waiting to be invested--have been gathering steam. When combined they will provide the foundation for a much stronger economy, robust growth, and broad-based prosperity that will propel the United States to new heights. One endlessly repeated anxiety is that "we don't make anything here, anymore." The reality, though, is that the US is the world's dominant manufacturing power--and growing. American companies produce 20 percent of the world's goods in the US and perhaps another 15 to 20 percent outside our country. And much of what we make is recession-proof--such as software, jetliners, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food. Kurtzman reveals the stories of the unsung heroes who are the creative force leading the second American century, describing the payoff of the investment in our best minds. American companies have stunning levels of talent and creativity at work in the world's fastest growing economic sectors--biotech, pharmaceuticals, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, advanced manufacturing, materials science, and aeronautical and space engineering. In these fields, Americans are without peer and consistently break new ground. We are coming to the realization that America is no longer beholden to the despots of foreign energy. Thanks to advances in technology developed in the US, we now have among the world's largest energy reserves, and are richer in energy resources than Saudi Arabia and second only to Russia. These three strengths--manufacturing, soaring levels of creativity, and energy independence--will be magnified and synergistically combined with the unprecedented amount of capital that now lies idle. US companies of all types are hoarding cash and securities worth more than 4 trillion--an amount larger than the world's fourth largest economy, Germany. When the money starts flowing and is invested, it will rapidly propel every part of the economy forward.
Rise of the Robots by
Publication Date: 2015
The New York Times-bestselling guide to how automation is changing the economy, undermining work, and reshaping our lives "Lucid, comprehensive, and unafraid...;an indispensable contribution to a long-running argument."--Los Angeles Times Winner of the 2015 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award Top Business Book of 2015 at Forbes One of NBCNews.com 12 Notable Science and Technology Books of 2015 What are the jobs of the future? How many will there be? And who will have them? As technology continues to accelerate and machines begin taking care of themselves, fewer people will be necessary. Artificial intelligence is already well on its way to making "good jobs" obsolete: many paralegals, journalists, office workers, and even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by robots and smart software. As progress continues, blue and white collar jobs alike will evaporate, squeezing working- and middle-class families ever further. At the same time, households are under assault from exploding costs, especially from the two major industries-education and health care-that, so far, have not been transformed by information technology. The result could well be massive unemployment and inequality as well as the implosion of the consumer economy itself. The past solutions to technological disruption, especially more training and education, aren't going to work. We must decide, now, whether the future will see broad-based prosperity or catastrophic levels of inequality and economic insecurity. Rise of the Robots is essential reading to understand what accelerating technology means for our economic prospects-not to mention those of our children-as well as for society as a whole.
American Power after the Financial Crisis by
Publication Date: 2014
The global financial crisis of 2007-2008 was both an economic catastrophe and a watershed event in world politics. In American Power after the Financial Crisis, Jonathan Kirshner explains how the crisis altered the international balance of power, affecting the patterns and pulse of world politics. The crisis, Kirshner argues, brought about an end to what he identifies as the "second postwar American order" because it undermined the legitimacy of the economic ideas that underpinned that order--especially those that encouraged and even insisted upon uninhibited financial deregulation. The crisis also accelerated two existing trends: the relative erosion of the power and political influence of the United States and the increased political influence of other states, most notably, but not exclusively, China. Looking ahead, Kirshner anticipates a "New Heterogeneity" in thinking about how best to manage domestic and international money and finance. These divergences--such as varying assessments of and reactions to newly visible vulnerabilities in the American economy and changing attitudes about the long-term appeal of the dollar--will offer a bold challenge to the United States and its essentially unchanged disposition toward financial policy and regulation. This New Heterogeneity will contribute to greater discord among nations about how best to manage the global economy. A provocative look at how the 2007-2008 economic collapse diminished U.S. dominance in world politics, American Power after the Financial Crisis suggests that the most significant and lasting impact of the crisis and the Great Recession will be the inability of the United States to enforce its political and economic priorities on an increasingly recalcitrant world.
The Decline and Fall of the American Republic by
Publication Date: 2011-02-01
Constitutional thought is currently dominated by heroic tales of the Founding Fathers -- who built an Enlightenment machine that can tick-tock its way into the twenty-first century, with a little fine-tuning by the Supreme Court. However, according to Bruce Ackerman, the modern presidency is far more dangerous today than it was when Arthur Schlesinger published the Imperial Presidency in 1973. In this book, he explores how the interaction of changes in the party system, mass communications, the bureaucracy, and the military have made the modern presidency too powerful and a threat to liberal constitutionalism and democracy. Ackerman argues that the principles of constitutional legitimacy have been undermined by both political and legal factors. On the political level, by "government by emergency" and "government by public-opinion poll"; on the legal, by two rising institutions: The Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice and the Office of the Presidential Counsel in the White House. Both institutions came out of the New Deal, but have gained prominence only in the last generation. Lastly, Ackerman kicks off a reform debate that aims to adapt the Founding ideal of checks-and-balances to twenty-first century realities. His aim is not to propose definitive solutions but to provoke a national debate on American democracy in its time of trouble.
Dark Money by
Publication Date: 2016
Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against "big government" led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.
We the People by
Publication Date: 2016
We the People, Eleventh Edition, sets a new standard for showing how government affects students lives and why it matters who participates. The Who Are Americans? theme has been expanded to highlight how Americans from different backgrounds experience politics, and new Who Participates? infographics get students thinking critically about who shapes American politics. The textbook, InQuizitive course, and free coursepack are organized around chapter learning goals to ensure students learn the nuts and bolts of American government.
The Political Elite and Special Interests by
Publication Date: 2017
135 pagesThere is a growing sense that government is no longer of the people, by the people, and for the people. Many believe that society is manipulated by a handful of political elites and special interests, but why does each party feel that it is the elites and special interests of the other party who are in control of things? Does one person one vote still hold sway? Is this still a citizen democracy, or has it evolved into an oligarchy? Whose voice and vote really count? These and other questions and debates concerning power, influence, and who wields it are at the center of this fascinating collection of articles drawn from across the political spectrum.
Pipelines and Politics by
Publication Date: 2017
Fossil fuels are a valuable commodity at the forefront of national and international politics. Pipelines can create jobs and economic growth, not to mention delivering a commodity to people who need it. What happens when there is conflict about the land through which a pipeline travels? Such conflicts can lead to protests, stoppages, and even war. Readers of this comprehensive volume, which explores the topic from a multitude of angles, will learn how a simple pipeline can have enormous geopolitical ramifications.
Identity Politics by
Publication Date: 2017
In an age of divisiveness, perhaps more than America has seen in decades, identity politics has taken its share of the blame. Those who have cheered on progressive ideology often write off detractors as racists, homophobes, and misogynists. And those who rail against political correctness often feel their own voices are not being heard or, worse, are being censored. Do identity politics come at a cost to national empathy and unity? Or do they reflect and address legitimate discrimination? Through multiple perspectives, readers will learn why this topic has become a hot button issue.
Coming Apart by
Publication Date: 2013
"From the bestselling author of Losing Groundand The Bell Curve, this startling long-lens view shows how America is coming apart at the seams that historically have joined our classes. /b>In Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity. Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apartdemonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad. The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That diver
Hillbilly Elegy by
Publication Date: 2016
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "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 From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on 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 their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their 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.
The Soul of America by
Publication Date: 2018
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the "better angels of our nature" have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women's rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson's crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear--a struggle that continues even now. While the American story has not always--or even often--been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, "The good news is that we have come through such darkness before"--as, time and again, Lincoln's better angels have found a way to prevail. Praise for The Soul of America "Appalled by the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump, and shaken by the deadly white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville in 2017, Meacham returns to other moments in our history when fear and division seemed rampant. He wants to remind us that the current political turmoil is not unprecedented, that as a nation we have survived times worse than this. . . . Meacham tries to summon the better angels by looking back at when America truly has been great. He is effective as ever at writing history for a broad readership."--The New York Times Book Review "This is a brilliant, fascinating, timely, and above all profoundly important book."--Walter Isaacson
Nickel and Dimed by
Publication Date: 2011
Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
The Smear by
Publication Date: 2017
New York Times Bestseller Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? The New York Times bestselling author of Stonewalled pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions. Behind most major political stories in the modern era, there is an agenda; an effort by opposition researchers, spin doctors, and outside interests to destroy an idea or a person. The tactic they use is the Smear. Every day, Americans are influenced by the Smear without knowing it. Paid forces cleverly shape virtually every image you cross. Maybe you read that Donald Trump is a racist misogynist, or saw someone on the news mocking the Bernie Sanders campaign. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist's ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not. Veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson has witnessed this practice firsthand. After years of being pitched hit jobs and puff pieces, she's an expert at detecting Smear campaigns. Now, the hard-hitting investigative reporter shares her inside knowledge, revealing how the Smear takes shape and who its perpetrators are--including Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and, most influential of all, "right-wing assassin turned left-wing assassin" (National Review) political operative David Brock and his Media Matters for America empire. Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists, and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media--operatives who are corrupting the political process, and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.
Rise of the Robots by
Publication Date: 2015
A New York Times Science Bestseller What are the jobs of the future? How many will there be? And who will have them? We might imagine--and hope--that today’s industrial revolution will unfold like the last: even as some jobs are eliminated, more will be created to deal with the new innovations of a new era. InRise of the Robots, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford argues that this is absolutely not the case. As technology continues to accelerate and machines begin taking care of themselves, fewer people will be necessary. Artificial intelligence is already well on its way to making "good jobs” obsolete: many paralegals, journalists, office workers, and even computer programmers are poised to be replaced by robots and smart software. As progress continues, blue and white collar jobs alike will evaporate, squeezing working- and middle-class families ever further. At the same time, households are under assault from exploding costs, especially from the two major industries--education and health care--that, so far, have not been transformed by information technology. The result could well be massive unemployment and inequality as well as the implosion of the consumer economy itself. InRise of the Robots, Ford details what machine intelligence and robotics can accomplish, and implores employers, scholars, and policy makers alike to face the implications. The past solutions to technological disruption, especially more training and education, aren’t going to work, and we must decide, now, whether the future will see broad-based prosperity or catastrophic levels of inequality and economic insecurity.Rise of the Robots is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what accelerating technology means for their own economic prospects--not to mention those of their children--as well as for society as a whole.
The Righteous Mind by
Publication Date: 2012
Why can't our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition--the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim--that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.
Environmental Racism and Classism by
Publication Date: 2017
Flint's water supply tainted with lead. Chicago's toxic "donut." Louisiana's "cancer alley." Corporate waste poisoning developing nations. These are all examples of environmental racism. Readers of this compelling anthology will be awakened to many examples of poor and minority communities that suffer physically, emotionally, and financially from living in a toxic environment. With no political clout and few available resources, these victims find themselves abandoned by the environmental movement and bullied by environmental policies. The burgeoning environmental justice movement argues that environmental protection is a basic right. After reading the informative viewpoints in this volume, students will come to their own conclusions.
Publication Date: 2018
A New York Times Bestseller! Bestselling author, former White House speechwriter, and Atlantic columnist and media commentator David Frum explains why President Trump has undermined our most important institutions in ways even the most critical media has missed, in this thoughtful and hard-hitting book that is a warning for democracy and America's future. "From Russia to South Africa, from Turkey to the Philippines, from Venezuela to Hungary, authoritarian leaders have smashed restraints on their power. Media freedom and judicial independence have eroded. The right to vote remains, but the right to have one's vote counted fairly may not. Until the US presidential election of 2016, the global decline of democracy seemed a concern for other peoples in other lands. . . . That complacent optimism has been upended by the political rise of Donald Trump. The crisis is upon Americans, here and now." Quietly, steadily, Trump and his administration are damaging the tenets and accepted practices of American democracy, perhaps irrevocably. As he and his family enrich themselves, the presidency itself falls into the hands of the generals and financiers who surround him. While much of the country has been focused on Russia, David Frum has been collecting the lies, obfuscations, and flagrant disregard for the traditional limits placed on the office of the presidency. In Trumpocracy, he documents how Trump and his administration are steadily damaging the tenets and accepted practices of American democracy. During his own White House tenure as George W. Bush's speechwriter, Frum witnessed the ways the presidency is limited not by law but by tradition, propriety, and public outcry, all now weakened. Whether the Trump presidency lasts two, four, or eight more years, he has changed the nature of the office for the worse, and likely for decades. In this powerful and eye-opening book, Frum makes clear that the hard work of recovery starts at home. Trumpocracy outlines how Trump could push America toward illiberalism, what the consequences could be for our nation and our everyday lives, and what we can do to prevent it.
Hillbilly Elegy by
Publication Date: 2016
6 Audio Discs- 6 hours, 45 minutes
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis--that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on 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 their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their 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.
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