Political Culture
Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959: A Critical Assessment
Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959
A Critical Assessment
Paperback      ISBN: 1608461394

Uncritically lauded by the left and impulsively denounced by the right, the Cuban Revolution is almost universally viewed one dimensionally. Farber, one of its most informed left-wing critics, provides a much-needed critical assessment of the revolution's impact and legacy.
Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America
Challenging Authority
How Ordinary People Change America
Paperback      ISBN: 0742563162

Challenging Authority argues that ordinary people exercise extraordinary political courage and power in American politics when, frustrated by politics as usual, they rise up in anger and hope and defy the authorities and the status quo rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives. By doing so, they disrupt the workings of important institutions and become a force in American politics. Drawing on critical episodes in American history, Frances Fox Piven shows that it is precisely at those seismic moments when people act outside of self-restricting political norms that they become empowered to their full democratic potential.

The Terror Dream
The Terror Dream
Paperback      ISBN: 0312428006

It has become clear over the years that the reaction of America's politicians and media to the attacks of 9/11 was bizarrely misdirected and dangerous to our national security. But no one has fully probed its cultural roots. Until now. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi brilliantly demonstrates how our culture's seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. Her analysis of what went on in the months and years after 9/11 will shock even those who thought they knew the full measure of that tragedy (as her account of the post-9/11 media marketing of flight-suit superheroes, cowering "security moms," Jessica-Lynchesque helpless "girls," and Daniel Boone-wannabe politicians will outrage and amuse).

A masterwork of historical interpretation and a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism, and culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.

The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country
The Thirteen American Arguments
Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country
Paperback      ISBN: 0812976355


Howard Fineman, one of our most trusted political journalists, shows that every debate, from our nation's founding to the present day, is rooted in one of thirteen arguments that-thankfully-defy resolution. It is the very process of never-ending argument, Fineman explains, that defines us, inspires us, and keeps us free. At a time when most public disagreement seems shrill and meaningless, Fineman makes a cogent case for nurturing the real American dialogue. The Thirteen American Arguments runs the gamut, including

- Who Is a Person? The Declaration of Independence says "everyone," but it took a Civil War, the Civil Rights Act, and other movements to make that a reality. Now, what about human embryos and prisoners in Guantanamo?
- The Role of Faith No country is more legally secular yet more avowedly prayerful. From Thomas Jefferson to James Dobson, the issue persists: Where does God fit in government?
- America in the World In Iraq and everywhere else, we ask ourselves whether we must change the world in order to survive and honor our values-or whether the best way to do both is to deal with the world as it is.

Whether it's the nomination of judges or the limits of free speech, presidential power or public debt, the issues that galvanized the Founding Fathers should still inspire our leaders, thinkers, and fellow citizens. If we cease to argue about these things, we cease to be. "Argument is strength, not weakness," says Fineman. "As long as we argue, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, we will argue."
The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror
The Last Refuge
Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror
Hardcover      ISBN: 1559635282

This is a book about politics. It consists of a discurive, often witty, often poignant, always biting set of 13 essays on the American political climate. It takes on eveyrthing from the Bush administration's use of the terrorist threat as cover to advance an otherwise unacceptable agenda, to the impoverishment of our public discourse, to the mediocrity of the US constitution. It concludes I've always admired the spirit of Marshall Foch's bravado prior to the secopnd battle of the Marne in 1917: my center is giving way, my right is pushed back, situation excellent, I am attacking.

Who Stole the American Dream?
Who Stole the American Dream?
Paperback      ISBN: 0812982053

Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith's new book is an extraordinary achievement, an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, the American Dream has been dismantled and we became two Americas.

In his bestselling The Russians, Smith took millions of readers inside the Soviet Union. In The Power Game, he took us inside Washington's corridors of power. Now Smith takes us across America to show how seismic changes, sparked by a sequence of landmark political and economic decisions, have transformed America. As only a veteran reporter can, Smith fits the puzzle together, starting with Lewis Powell's provocative memo that triggered a political rebellion that dramatically altered the landscape of power from then until today.

This is a book full of surprises and revelations--the accidental beginnings of the 401(k) plan, with disastrous economic consequences for many; the major policy changes that began under Jimmy Carter; how the New Economy disrupted America's engine of shared prosperity, the "virtuous circle" of growth, and how America lost the title of "Land of Opportunity." Smith documents the transfer of $6 trillion in middle-class wealth from homeowners to banks even before the housing boom went bust, and how the U.S. policy tilt favoring the rich is stunting America's economic growth.

This book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand America today, or why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat. Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn't looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines, and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists.

Smith talks to a wide range of people, telling the stories of Americans high and low. From political leaders such as Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to CEOs such as Al Dunlap, Bob Galvin, and Andy Grove, to heartland Middle Americans such as airline mechanic Pat O'Neill, software systems manager Kristine Serrano, small businessman John Terboss, and subcontractor Eliseo Guardado, Smith puts a human face on how middle-class America and the American Dream have been undermined.

This magnificent work of history and reportage is filled with the penetrating insights, provocative discoveries, and the great empathy of a master journalist. Finally, Smith offers ideas for restoring America's great promise and reclaiming the American Dream.

Praise for Who Stole the American Dream?

" A] sweeping, authoritative examination of the last four decades of the American economic experience."--The Huffington Post

"Some fine work has been done in explaining the mess we're in. . . . But no book goes to the headwaters with the precision, detail and accessibility of Smith."--The Seattle Times

"Sweeping in scope . . . Smith] posits some steps that could alleviate the problems of the United States."--USA Today

"Brilliant . . . a] remarkably comprehensive and coherent analysis of and prescriptions for America's contemporary economic malaise."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Smith enlivens his narrative with portraits of the people caught up in events, humanizing complex subjects often rendered sterile in economic analysis. . . . The human face of the story is inseparable from the history."--Reuters
The Supreme Court Phalanx: The Court's New Right-wing Bloc
The Supreme Court Phalanx
The Court's New Right-wing Bloc
Paperback      ISBN: 1590172930

George W. Bush s nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court in 2005 were widely expected to turn it sharply to the right. But no one foresaw the rapidity or the revolutionary zeal with which, as Ronald Dworkin writes, the Court would begin overruling, most often by stealth, the central constitutional doctrines that generations of past justices, conservative as well as liberal, had constructed.
Dworkin examines the key decisions of the Court s 2006- 2007 term and argues that these two new justices, along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, have created an unbreakable phalanx bent on remaking constitutional law. They are guided not by political ideology or conservative judicial principle but rather by partisan, cultural, and perhaps religious allegiance, and disdain tradition, precedent, even careful legal reasoning.
In his analyses of the prior records of Roberts and Alito, Dworkin finds ample evidence that both have long held strong conservative convictions. But during their confirmation hearings, they gave little hint of their judicial philosophy, hiding behind vague promises to make decisions according to the rule of law. If senators fail to press nominees for candid answers to the controversial questions of principle underlying the Constitution, Dworkin contends, then the confirmation process is irrelevant.
As a result, the Court may be dominated for a generation by justices whose views are far from those of most Americans. Its past decisions on issues such as abortion, affirmative action, and executive power, Dworkin fears, are vulnerable to reversal in the next several years as the fiercely conservative justices set out to rewrite American constitutional law without much caring about the logic of the arguments they use to do so. Bush s appointment of Roberts and Alito may prove to be among the worst of the many disasters of his miserable administration. "

America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11: The Misunderstood Years Between the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Start of the War on Terror
America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11
The Misunderstood Years Between the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Start of the War on Terror
Paperback      ISBN: 1586487051

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed, taking the Cold War down with it. The next twelve years passed in a haze of self-congratulation, Republican confusion, and angst, and economic prosperity--until they ended abruptly with a stunning catastrophe on September 11, 2001.

In America Between The Wars, Derek Chollet and James Goldgeier blend deep expertise with broad access to both parties' political and policy establishments to find out how--and why--America failed to recognize that when we became the sole superpower with responsibility for the world's oversight, we overlooked how the new world actually worked.

America's Three Regimes: A New Political History
America's Three Regimes
A New Political History
Hardcover      ISBN: 0195325028

Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as the single best book written in recent years on the sweep of American political history, this groundbreaking work divides our nation's history into three regimes, each of which lasts many, many decades, allowing us to appreciate as never before the slow steady evolution of American politics, government, and law. The three regimes, which mark longer periods of continuity than traditional eras reflect, are Deferential and Republican, from the colonial period to the 1820s; Party and Democratic, from the 1830s to the 1930s; and Populist and Bureaucratic, from the 1930s to the present. Praised by The Economist as a feast to enjoy and by Foreign Affairs as a masterful and fresh account of U.S. politics, here is a major contribution to the history of the United States--an entirely new way to look at our past, our present, and our future--packed with provocative and original observations about American public life.

America's Three Regimes: A New Political History
America's Three Regimes
A New Political History
Paperback      ISBN: 019537424x

Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as the single best book written in recent years on the sweep of American political history, this groundbreaking work divides our nation's history into three regimes, each of which lasts many, many decades, allowing us to appreciate as never before the slow steady evolution of American politics, government, and law. The three regimes, which mark longer periods of continuity than traditional eras reflect, are Deferential and Republican, from the colonial period to the 1820s; Party and Democratic, from the 1830s to the 1930s; and Populist and Bureaucratic, from the 1930s to the present. Praised by The Economist as a feast to enjoy and by Foreign Affairs as a masterful and fresh account of U.S. politics, here is a major contribution to the history of the United States--an entirely new way to look at our past, our present, and our future--packed with provocative and original observations about American public life.