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READING FOR THE RESISTANCE 2018

   

Unabridged Bookstore is excited to continue our monthly series for 2018, #readingisresistance.  Each month we feature a different title, either a new book or a classic text, that is relevant for one to remain informed, engaged and sane in these crazy political times.  Read important books about what is happening in our world now.  Read to escape, but also read to become informed.  Read history books.  Read current event books.  Read as if your democracy depended on it, because it probably does.  Reading is educating oneself.  Reading encourages free thinking.  Reading is the sharing of ideas.  Reading is a political act.  Reading is an antidote to cynicism. Reading recognizes demagoguery and rejects it.

 

As we all contemplate the midterm elections, check out this important essay by Aleksandar Hemon entitled, "Fascism is Not an Idea to Be Debated, It's a Set of Actions to Fight."

https://lithub.com/fascism-is-not-an-idea-to-be-debated-its-a-set-of-actions-to-fight/

 

 

READING IS RESISTANCE.

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FEATURED TITLE: DECEMBER

 

10 Best Books of the Year--Washington Post
Longlisted for the National Book Award in Nonfiction
50 Must-Read Books about American Politics--BookRiot
New York Public Library's Best Books of the Year for Nonfiction

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of White Rage, the startling--and timely--history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin.

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.

 

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PAST FEATURED TITLES 

As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don’t have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism’s roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics—the language and beliefs that separate people into an “us” and a “them.” He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation’s past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership.  By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics—charged by rhetoric and myth—can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.

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In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history.

Written in elegiac prose, Lepore’s groundbreaking investigation places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—"these truths," Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. And it rests, too, on a fearless dedication to inquiry, Lepore argues, because self-government depends on it. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?

These Truths tells this uniquely American story, beginning in 1492, asking whether the course of events over more than five centuries has proven the nation’s truths, or belied them. To answer that question, Lepore traces the intertwined histories of American politics, law, journalism, and technology, from the colonial town meeting to the nineteenth-century party machine, from talk radio to twenty-first-century Internet polls, from Magna Carta to the Patriot Act, from the printing press to Facebook News.

Along the way, Lepore’s sovereign chronicle is filled with arresting sketches of both well-known and lesser-known Americans, from a parade of presidents and a rogues’ gallery of political mischief makers to the intrepid leaders of protest movements, including Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist orator; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate and ultimately tragic populist; Pauli Murray, the visionary civil rights strategist; and Phyllis Schlafly, the uncredited architect of modern conservatism.

Americans are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and from people who have fought to end immigration. "A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history," Lepore writes, but engaging in that struggle by studying the past is part of the work of citizenship. "The past is an inheritance, a gift and a burden," These Truths observes. "It can’t be shirked. There’s nothing for it but to get to know it."

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In this powerful and wide-ranging collection, Solnit turns her attention to battles over meaning, place, language, and belonging at the heart of the defining crises of our time. She explores the way emotions shape political life, electoral politics, police shootings and gentrification, the life of an extraordinary man on death row, the pipeline protest at Standing Rock, and the existential threat posed by climate change.

Now in paperback: $15.95

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Reading, The Marginalized Majority, is like sitting down on the couch with our favorite bourbon and your best friend who is, let's face it, a lot more daring and insightful than you, and having one of those amazing conversations that sticks with you for the rest of your life.  Roychoudhuri knows her activist history and she has actually read Audre Lorde and James Baldwin, not just memorized a few popular quotes.  But she uses this knowledge to engage, not alienate the reader, beacuase she understands the importance of collective power, and knows that there simply isn't time for apathy or silence.  An inspiring and bold book...Shane recommends!

 

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The Battle for Paradise: “We are in a fight for our lives. Hurricanes Irma and María unmasked the colonialism we face in Puerto Rico, and the inequality it fosters, creating a fierce humanitarian crisis. Now we must find a path forward to equality and sustainability, a path driven by communities, not investors. And this book explains, with careful and unbiased reporting, only the efforts of our community activists can answer the paramount question: What type of society do we want to become and who is Puerto Rico for?” —Carmen Yulín 

 

Never Again: On February 14, 2018, seventeen-year-old David Hogg and his fourteen-year-old sister, Lauren, went to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, like any normal Wednesday. That day, of course, the world changed. By the next morning, with seventeen classmates and faculty dead, they had joined the leadership of a movement to save their own lives, and the lives of all other young people in America. It's a leadership position they did not seek, and did not want--but events gave them no choice.

The morning after the massacre, David Hogg told CNN: "We're children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Get over your politics and get something done."

This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America--with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed. With moral force and clarity, a new generation has made it clear that problems previously deemed unsolvable due to powerful lobbies and political cowardice will be theirs to solve. Born just after Columbine and raised amid seemingly endless war and routine active shooter drills, this generation now says, Enough. This book is their statement of purpose, and the story of their lives. It is the essential guide to the #NeverAgain movement.

 

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In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation―that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation―the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments―that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.

Through extraordinary revelations and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant" (The Atlantic), Rothstein comes to chronicle nothing less than an untold story that begins in the 1920s, showing how this process of de jure segregation began with explicit racial zoning, as millions of African Americans moved in a great historical migration from the south to the north.

As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the 1950s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post–World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighborhoods.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded. Yet recent outbursts of violence in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and Minneapolis show us precisely how the legacy of these earlier eras contributes to persistent racial unrest. “The American landscape will never look the same to readers of this important book” (Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), as Rothstein’s invaluable examination shows that only by relearning this history can we finally pave the way for the nation to remedy its unconstitutional past.

NOW IN PAPERBACK: $17.95

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Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time.

To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship.

Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.

 

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In THE ROAD TO UNFREEDOM, Timothy Snyder, author of the small but very successful On Tyranny, explains how democracies die when people cease to believe voting matters. The road to unfreedom is the passage from the politics of inevitability to the politics of eternity.  Snyder examines and expands this idea, and how a society descends into totalitarianism, in 6 revealing, enlightening chapters that focus on a particular year and event: 2011--the return of totalitarian thought; 2012—the collapse of democratic politics in Russia; 2013—the Russian assault on the European Union; 2014—the revolution in Ukraine and Russia’s subsequent invasion; 2015—spread of political fiction in Russia, Europe and the U.S.; 2016—the election of Donald Trump. Informative, provocative and essential reading. ED LOVED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDS!

 

 

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With the sheer abundance of new books responding to our current political crisis, it's difficult to distinguish between those that are just cashing in on the chaos versus those that are truly relevant. How Democracies Die is the latter. In it, professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt show how democracies have collapsed throughout history, creating a framework to draw parallels to the United States and Trump. They also reveal what we can learn from countries where autocracy has risen out of the ashes of democracy. This demise of democracy, they argue, rarely happens with a bang, but instead happens incrementally, and relies on the normalization of these overt and covert changes. Trump is merely a symptom and not the cause, they believe, and democracy can only survive and thrive with the active engagement and participation from its citizens. This work may be scholarly, but it is not written for academics. It's written for concerned citizens. Insightful, provocative, accessible, and sometimes downright disturbing, this book is essential for anyone looking to make sense of this mess. There are no easy answers, and this book doesn't pretend to have them. But it's a great place to start.  

 

Shane recommends!

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Bestselling author and longtime Trump observer David Cay Johnston shines a light on the political termites who have infested our government under the Trump Administration, destroying it from within and compromising our jobs, safety, finances, and more.

No journalist knows Donald Trump better than David Cay Johnston, who has been following him since 1988. It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America goes inside the administration to show how the federal agencies that touch the lives of all Americans are being undermined. Here is just some of what you will learn:

The Wall. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told President Trump that Mexico will never pay for the border wall. So, Trump is proposing putting a tariff on Mexican imports. But a tariff will simply raise the price of Mexican goods in the US, meaning American consumers will end up paying for the wall—if it ever gets built.

Climate Change. Welcome to the new EPA, run by Scott Pruitt, a lawyer who has spent much of his career trying to destroy the agency he now heads. Secrecy reigns at the new EPA because Pruitt meets with industry executives to find out which clean air and clean water provisions they most want to roll back, and keeps staffers in the dark to make sure these pro-pollution plans don’t leak prematurely.

Stocking the Swamp. Contrary to his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC, Trump has filled his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires, from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs and hedge fund veteran who made much of his fortune foreclosing on homeowners to billionaire heiress Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has already put the interests of bankers ahead of debt-burdened students and their families.

The Kleptocracy. Under Donald Trump conflict of interest is passé. When Trump isn’t in Washington, he stays at one of his properties, where the taxpayers pick up the tab for staffers, Secret Service, and so on, all at full price. And back in Washington, everyone now knows that the Trump International Hotel is the only place to stay if you want to do business with the administration. Meanwhile sons Donald Jr. and Eric run an eyes-wide-open blind trust of Trump holdings to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest—but not the reality.

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TFIH  brilliantly charts the devastating descent of a hopeful, post-Soviet Russia into totalitarianism, from Perestroika in the 1980s to the current rise of President Vladimir Putin and his new brand of autocracy (and the re-emergence of the haunting specter of "Homo Sovieticus," the gloomily obedient citizen craving authoritarianism.) In addition to this straightforward, historical account Gessen tracks the rise of totalitarianism through the lens of four individuals… a deeply personal, dramatic and engaging narrative that charts the lives of four people born at the time communism fell (including Lyosha, a homosexual academic battling an extremely intolerant, homophobic Russian society!) This intimate, unflinching look at the legacy of Stalin, the danger of nostalgia, and Russia in the post-Soviet period is brilliant, somber, urgent, alarming, riveting. At this particular moment in history it serves as a dire warning, essential reading for anyone trying to understand the earthshaking events of our time. ED LOVED and HIGHLY RECOMMENDS!!

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NOTES ON A FOREIGN COUNTRY   is Suzy Hansen’s  coming-of age-travelogue/geopolitical memoir, filled with her detailed and evocative descriptions of people and places, drawing on history, her own travels and reading (including the writings of James Baldwin), trying to make sense of her own country (America) from afar (Turkey). Her book is a deeply honest and brave portrait, the tone both insistent and intimate, personal and political, anecdotal and historical. She takes us through complex histories while coming to her own personal reckoning with her country’s violent role in the world. It is a meditation on American identity in an age of American decline, on American empire, on American ignorance and naivete, and on the idea of American exceptionalism. Unsettling and remarkably revealing, NOTES ON A FOREIGN COUNTRY is the one book I wish every American would read this year!  ED LOVED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDS—MY FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR!!

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Since the Great Recession, most Americans' standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But inequality's impact differs by race; African Americans' net wealth is just a tenth that of white Americans, and over recent decades, white families have accumulated wealth at three times the rate of black families. In our increasingly diverse nation, sociologist Thomas M. Shapiro argues, wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities--a dangerous combination he terms "toxic inequality." 

In Toxic Inequality, Shapiro reveals how these forces combine to trap families in place. Following nearly two hundred families of different races and income levels over a period of twelve years, Shapiro's research vividly documents the recession's toll on parents and children, the ways families use assets to manage crises and create opportunities, and the real reasons some families build wealth while others struggle in poverty. The structure of our neighborhoods, workplaces, and tax code-much more than individual choices-push some forward and hold others back. A lack of assets, far more common in families of color, can often ruin parents' careful plans for themselves and their children.

Toxic inequality may seem inexorable, but it is not inevitable. America's growing wealth gap and its yawning racial divide have been forged by history and preserved by policy, and only bold, race-conscious reforms can move us toward a more just society.

 

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In The Second Amendment, Michael Waldman traced the ongoing argument on gun rights from the Bill of Rights to the current day. Now in The Fight to Vote, Michael Waldman takes a succinct and comprehensive look at a crucial American struggle: the drive to define and defend government based on “the consent of the governed.” From the beginning, and at every step along the way, as Americans sought to right to vote, others have fought to stop them. This is the first book to trace the full story from the founders’ debates to today’s challenges: a wave of restrictive voting laws, partisan gerrymanders, the flood of campaign money unleashed by Citizens United. Americans are proud of our democracy. But today that system seems to be under siege, and the right to vote has become the fight to vote.

In fact, that fight has always been at the heart of our national story, and raucous debates over how to expand democracy have always been at the center of American politics. At first only a few property owners could vote. Over two centuries, working class white men, former slaves, women, and finally all Americans won the right to vote. The story goes well beyond voting rules to issues of class, race, political parties, and campaign corruption. It's been raw, rowdy, a fierce, and often rollicking struggle for power. Waldman’s The Fight to Vote is a compelling story of our struggle to uphold our most fundamental democratic ideals.

 

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In designing an ideal country, high life expectancy, good health, the absence of poverty, education, democracy and the rule of law are all important, but ANGUS Deaton suggests HEALTH and WEALTH are the 2 most essential components of WELLBEING.  To measure if the world is a better place than it used to be, people should be measurably healthier (live longer) and wealthier. In THE GREAT ESCAPE, Angus Deaton take a historical/economic look at the health and wealth of nations, looking at the worldwide distribution of WELL-BEING, seeing who has made “the great escape” from destitution and who hasn’t, and where and why the “inequality gap” is widening. Deaton, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, makes the ideas of development, progress, life expectancy, health care, inequality and world poverty accessible and fascinating (even if you are not a policy wonk!), and he does this without a political agenda, making what he presents EXTREMELY IMPORTANT (essential!!) to framing the current discussion of health care in our country, without all the political noise. ED LOVED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDS!!

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Drawing on more than four decades of polling data, The End of White Christian America explains and analyzes the waning vitality of WCA. Robert P. Jones argues that the visceral nature of today’s most heated issues—the vociferous arguments around same-sex marriage and religious and sexual liberty, the rise of the Tea Party following the election of our first black president, and stark disagreements between black and white Americans over the fairness of the criminal justice system—can only be understood against the backdrop of white Christians’ anxieties as America’s racial and religious topography shifts around them.

 

 

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In Demagoguery and Democracy, Patricia Roberts-Miller does for demagoguery what Hannah Arendt did for evil in Eichmann in Jerusalem. She takes a familiar concept that seems straightforward and obviously detestable, and she challenges her readers to understand it for its complexity, and more importantly, to see how connected we all are to it. Demagoguery and Democracy is one of those rare books that is simultaneously approachable and complex, timely and timeless, and absolutely indispensable for understanding not just how to confront demagoguery, but also how to strengthen democracy.

 

 

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A small city wrenched by the worst of what a mighty recession metes out does not have a single fate; in JANESVILLE, Amy Goldstein gives us a glimpse into the individual fate of many of Janesville’s citizens when the GM auto plant closed there in 2008 at the beginning of the Great Recession. Like Barbara Ehrenreich’s NICKEL AND DIMED and George Packer’s THE UNWINDING, Goldstein goes beyond the macro, economic collapse of Janesville and introduces us to an array of characters, telling her story through the voices of factory workers, educators, business and community leaders, and politicians (notably Paul Ryan and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker). The result is fascinating, heartbreaking, and very enlightening, an indictment of our inadequate  political response to unemployment, health care, job training, and even access to food, as a community fends for itself to survive. ED LOVED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDS!

 

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JUST MERCY is an intense, emotional reading experience about one man’s fight against injustice in America, one that appealed to my intellect as well as my heart—I haven’t been so viscerally moved, so upset, by a book in years! Bryan Stevenson confronts head-on a criminal justice system that has proven itself brutally unfair and cruel, one that is racially biased and discriminates against the poor; through his EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE in Montgomery, Alabama, he has for years been assisting clients on death row, trying to overturn their death penalty sentences, freeing people who are wrongfully convicted, challenging excessive punishments, helping disabled prisoners, and assisting children incarcerated in the adult system. The individual stories he tells here are infuriating, riveting, shocking examples of American injustice; but Stevenson’s monumental efforts to right these wrongs, his clarity and determination, the sheer nobility of his cause, give the reader hope that justice and mercy can prevail. JUST MERCY is a brilliant book…please give it your consideration.

ED LOVED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDS!!

In Paperback: $16

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Voter suppression and the right-wing/republican assault on our democracy turns out to actually be WORSE than I had imagined, as I found out reading Zachary Roth’s enlightening, well-researched and straightforward THE GREAT SUPPRESSION. The assault is real, it is well-funded, and it has been in the making for years. This book is an urgent wake-up call, a fascinating, blistering account of the concerted attempt by the right to subvert the democratic process in our country, and should be required reading for anyone wishing to understand what our voting democracy is up against, and what we need to do to save it. ED LOVED AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDS!!

 

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This book is for all Americans who consider themselves part of the Resistance—people like us who wake up every day and think, “What more can I do to stop Trump?” The book offers 45 ways to stop the 45th president of the United States in his tracks, including ways to:

•Protect our culture from the degrading effects of Trump’s presidency, which rewarded bullying, sexism, racism, and xenophobia.
•Protect our communities from Trump’s personal attacks, which he and his Republican friends target at women, people of color, youth, immigrants, Jewish people, Muslims, and others.
•Fight for our values and the issues that define us—in the face of a four-year assault on racial justice, income equality, the environment, women’s rights, education, and worker’s rights.
•Build the infrastructure this movement needs (and sorely lacks), including the capacity to register and get out the vote for the 97 million Americans who didn’t cast a ballot in 2016; to find, train and promote tomorrow’s leaders; and to develop the media organizations that will report the facts and promote our values and candidates.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, and Michael Huttner, founder of ProgressNow, have built two of the nation’s largest advocacy organizations. Now, in The Resistance Handbook: 45 Ways to Fight Trump, they offer a much-needed guide to fighting Trump and building a better, more just, and more equitable America.     (Paperback: $12.99)

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ILife’s Work, an outspoken, Christian reproductive justice advocate and abortion provider (one of the few doctors to provide such services to women in Mississippi and Alabama) pulls from his personal and professional journeys as well as the scientific training he received as a doctor to reveal how he came to believe, unequivocally, that helping women in need, without judgment, is precisely the Christian thing to do.

In Life’s Work, Dr. Willie Parker tells a deeply personal and thought-provoking narrative that illuminates the complex societal, political, religious, and personal realities of abortion in the United States from the unique perspective of someone who performs them and defends the right to do so every day. He also looks at how a new wave of anti-abortion activism, aimed at making incremental changes in laws and regulations state by state, are slowly chipping away at the rights of women to control their own lives. In revealing his daily battle against mandatory waiting periods and bogus rules governing the width of hallways, Dr. Parker uncovers the growing number of strings attached to the right to choose and makes a powerful Christian case for championing reproductive rights.

 

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Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us. 

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy. 

Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

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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.

Paperback: $16.95

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In an incisive, thorough analysis of the current international situation, Noam Chomsky examines the way that the United States, despite the rise of Europe and Asia, still largely sets the terms of global discourse. Drawing on a wide range of examples, from the sordid history of U.S. involvement with Cuba to the sanctions on Iran, he details how America’s rhetoric of freedom and human rights so often diverges from its actions. He delves deep into the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel-Palestine, providing unexpected and nuanced insights into the workings of imperial power on our increasingly chaotic planet. And, in a new afterword, he addresses the election of Donald Trump and what it shows about American society.

Fierce, unsparing, and meticulously documented, Who Rules the World? delivers the indispensable understanding of the central issues of our time that we have come to expect from Chomsky.

Now in paperback: $18.00

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We are in an age of epic political turbulence in America. Old hierarchies and institutions are collapsing. From the election of Donald Trump to the upending of the major political parties to the spread of grassroots movements like Black Lives Matter and $15 Now, people across the country and across the political spectrum are reclaiming power.  Are you ready for this age of bottom-up citizen power? Do you understand what power truly is, how it flows, who has it, and how you can claim and exercise it?  Eric Liu, who has spent a career practicing and teaching civic power, lays out the answers in this incisive, inspiring, and provocative book. Using examples from the left and the right, past and present, he reveals the core laws of power. He shows that all of us can generate power-and then, step by step, he shows us how. The strategies of reform and revolution he lays out will help every reader make sense of our world today. If you want to be more than a spectator in this new era, you need to read this book.

 

 

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In Rules for Resistance, writers from Russia, Turkey, India, Hungary, Chile, China, Canada, Italy, and elsewhere tell Americans what to expect under our own new regime, and give us guidance for living—and for resisting—in the Trump era.  Advice includes being on the watch for the prosecution of political opponents, the use of libel laws to attack critics, the gutting of non-partisan institutions, and the selective application of the law.

In paperback: $15.95

 

 

 

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 Enter Donald J Trump and his team of advisors.  For them, as Gladstone writes, lying is the point.  The more blatant the lie, the easier it is to hijack reality and assert power over the truth.  Drawing on writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, and Jonathan Swift, she dissects this strategy out of the authoritarian playbook and shows how the Trump team mastered it.  She analyzes Trump tweets including the "diversion tweet," the "trial ballloon tweet," and the "deflection tweet."

And she offers hope--the inevitable reckoning history tells us we count on--and a way to recover both our belief in reality and our sanity.  NOW IN PAPERBACK $8.95

 

 

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Radical Hope is a collection of letters—to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged—written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists. Provocative and inspiring, Radical Hope offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear, in view of the recent US presidential election.

 

 

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In this “thought-provoking and important” (Library Journal) analysis of state-sanctioned violence, Marc Lamont Hill carefully considers a string of high-profile deaths in America—Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others—and incidents of gross negligence by government, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. He digs underneath these events to uncover patterns and policies of authority that allow some citizens become disempowered, disenfranchised, poor, uneducated, exploited, vulnerable, and disposable. To help us understand the plight of vulnerable communities, he examines the effects of unfettered capitalism, mass incarceration, and political power while urging us to consider a new world in which everyone has a chance to become somebody. Heralded as an essential text for our times, Marc Lamont Hill’s galvanizing work embodies the best traditions of scholarship, journalism, and storytelling to lift unheard voices and to address the necessary question, “how did we get here?"

 

 

 

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In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being—giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world

 

 

 

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Ed loved this practical, inspirational book that is both a memoir and an activist handbook. Reverend Barber is involved in the struggle for justice in North Carolina, at the forefront of the resistance, building a new justice movement with a fusion coalition of people committed to America’s third reconstruction (the first was after the civil war; the second was the civil rights movement of the 60’s), following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, jr.  He organizes and mobilizes for collective action, taking a stand AGAINST systemic injustice in America: the wealth divide, the legacy of slavery, racism, militarism, homophobia. He believes in a moral movement toward justice (that also includes non-religious people), fighting FOR workers’ rights, voting rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and women’s access to healthcare with FUSION COALITIONS that are “radically inclusive”, pursuing “militantly pro-labor, pro-justice, anti-racist, anti-poverty solutions.” The Third Reconstruction reads as a primer on how to successfully fight the radical right, including a 14-point mobilization plan. Ed highly recommends!!

 

 

 

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THE NASTY WOMEN PROJECT is an invaluable collection of heartfelt and courageous voices from American women that is sure to rouse and inspire. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to Planned Parenthood!

 

 

 

 

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Today, with economic inequality rising, the middle class collapsing, and power increasingly concentrated in the hands of economic elites, our middle-class constitution is at risk. Steps must be taken to preserve middle-class America or the united states will cease to be a democracy, says Vanderbilt law professor (and former Elizabeth Warren policy director) Ganesh Sitaraman, author of The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic. This provocative, compelling, even thrilling book, fusing political philosophy, history and economics, gives a historical context to our present problem: the collapse of the middle class, the number one threat to American constitutional government today.  If we want to preserve our republic, the only sustainable answer is to rebuild our middle class; this important book is a monumental achievement providing a bold, historic vision that can ignite our collective imagination and frame the debate about solutions. Ed loved and highly recommends.

 

 

 

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ON TYRANNY is a small, succint primer listing "twenty lessons from the twentieth century" to consider when contemplating our current, imperiled political order.  The book's message: It CAN happen here but we CAN prevent it.  We need more writers like Timothy Snyder, and more discerning readers to engage in the political act of reading books like this!

 

 

 

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A COLONY IN A NATION is a welcome addition to the current literature dealing with racial inequality, privilege, and the American Criminal Justice System. Hayes argues that there are really two Americas- a nation, where Americans are treated as citizens, and a colony, where people are treated as colonized and where policing resembles   occupation. His brilliantly argued critique of “white fear” is essential reading, and Hayes helps reframe our thinking on the politics of American crime and punishment. A compelling, urgent read!

 

 

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TEARS WE CANNOT STOP is a powerful work of cultural analysis.  It is a cry from the heart, a lament, an urgent book in the vein of James Baldwin's THE FIRE NEXT TIME and Martin Luther King's WHY WE CAN'T WAIT, told with righteous anger and unflinching honesty.  It is moving, challenging, sometimes uncomfortable and provocative, covering the ideas of white privilege, the culture of whiteness, the power of language, black subjugation, the myth of white history as American history, and personal reparations, complete with an amazing reading list to encourage further learning.  Read and be prepared to be changed.

 

 

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HOPE IN THE DARK is Rebecca Solnit’s rallying cry for activism, her well thought-out, well-argued case for hope in transforming society.  Martin Luther King spoke of an “infinite hope,” and Solnit explains its importance and how to maintain it, not as a substitute for action, but as a prerequisite for it.  Howard Zinn said the “struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the over-whelming power of those wo have the guns and money,” and Solnit argues that to maintain in hope is the opposite of powerlessness, that resistance begins in the imagination, that hope generates struggle which generates more hope, that hope is a rejection of inaction and defeatism, that hope sustains activism.  This is truly an important book for our times!

 

 

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DEMAND THE IMPOSSIBLE! asks you to close your eyes for a moment and think creatively about what a better world might look like, ask “what if?” and question received wisdom; then grow these questions into calls to action, into creating alternatives, into challenging profit-driven systems everywhere, into “getting busy with projects of reframing and repair, movement making, agitating, educating, and community organizing.” 

 

 

 

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THE FIRE NEXT TIME is a brilliant, searing, intensely personal document, written in the form of a letter (2 letters, actually,1 short and 1 much longer) that gives voice to the disturbing/ongoing consequences of racial injustice in America.  Full of passion and eloquence, it is especially relevant today some 50 years after its initial 1963 publication.  It is an indictment of, and an exhortation to address, racism’s terrible legacy, and the continued enslavement of black people in America, 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

 

 

 

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DARK MONEY is written in straightforward and largely unemotional prose, but it reads as if conceived in quiet anger. Mayer believes that the Koch brothers and a small number of allied plutocrats have essentially hijacked American democracy, using their money not just to compete with their political adversaries, but to drown them out.  It emerges as an impressively reported and well-documented work. The importance of DARK MONEY flows from its scope and perspective. It is not easy to uncover the inner workings of an essentially secretive political establishment. Mayer has come as close to doing it as anyone is likely to come anytime soon.

 

 

 

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FREEDOM IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE is an incisive, urgent, and comprehensive understanding of systematic racism, the grounds for intersectional analysis and solidarity, and the importance of working together as equals to unmask and depose systems of injustice. This wide-ranging and brilliant set of essays includes a trenchant analysis of police violence against people of color, of the systematic incarceration of black people in America, the grounds of Palestinian solidarity for the Left, the affirmation of transgender inclusion, and the necessity of opposing the G4S corporation and its high-profit empire dedicated to the institutionalization of racism in the name of security. 

 

 

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 BEAUTIFUL TROUBLE brings together dozens of seasoned artists and activists from around the world to distill their best practices into a toolbox for creative action. Sophisticated enough for veteran activists, accessible enough for newbies, this compendium of troublemaking wisdom is a must-have for aspiring changemakers. Showcasing the synergies between artistic imagination and shrewd political strategy, Beautiful Trouble is for everyone who longs for a more beautiful, more just, more livable world – and wants to know how to get there.

 

 

 

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THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

 

 

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RULES FOR RADICALS is Saul Alinsky's impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.” Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.

 

 

 

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WHAT WE DO NOW is a collection of passionate manifestos by some of the country's leading progressives, aims to provide a blueprint for how those stunned progressives can move forward. Its powerful contributions -- from economists, environmentalists, activists, artists, politicians, and novelists -- will offer encouragement and guidance to practicing constitutionally protected acts of resistance throughout the unprecedented upcoming administration.

 



 

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THE TRUMP SURVIVAL GUIDE, by Gene Stone, offers invaluable guidance and concrete solutions they can use to make a difference in this serious call-to-arms—showing them how to move from anger and despair to activism as the Trump presidency is in full swing and he signs one executive order after another.  While marches and social media are important forms of protest, concrete actions achieve real change. Positive and reinforcing, The Trump Survival Guide presents the essential information we need to effectively make our voices heard and our power felt. 

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