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Our Endangered Values
Jimmy Carter
0743284577
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
After several books on spirituality and homespun values (most recently Sharing Good Times), President Carter turns his attention to the political arena. He is gravely concerned by recent trends in conservatism, many of which, he argues, stem from the religious right's openly political agenda. Criticizing Christian fundamentalists for their "rigidity, domination and exclusion," he suggests that their open hostility toward a range of sinners (including homosexuals and the federal judiciary) runs counter to America's legacy of democratic freedom. Carter speaks eloquently of how his own faith has shaped his moral vision and of how he has struggled to reconcile his own values with the Southern Baptist church's transformation under increasingly conservative leadership. He also makes resonant connections between religion and political...


101 People Who Are Screwing America : (and Bernard Goldberg is only #73)

1560258756


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From Publishers Weekly
More than a mere hit list of America's most despicable individuals, corporations, affinity groups and think tanks, this droll and acerbic refresher course on the issues confronting the 21st-century United States marks Huberman's (The Bush-Hater's Handbook) latest foray into the dark side. Starting with the premise that right-wing pundit Ann Coulter is an evil alien manipulated by crypto-fascist Scientologists, he occasionally gets carried away with his modus operandi, becoming just as inanely self-righteous as the reactionaries he's decrying. Entry 67, about SUV buyers, offers some chilling statistics about the vehicles. But to argue that all SUV owners are antisocial misfits meriting utter contempt, when many a suburban soccer mom is simply trying to protect her family from being obliterated by a three-ton...


Beyond Toleration : The Religious Origins of American Pluralism (A Hodder Arnold Publication)

0195305558


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Book Description
The legal changes that brought religious liberty to the United States have been thoroughly documented. But no one has explained how 18th-century Americans managed to accommodate the religious differences that had produced so much bloodshed in the past. Drawing on pamphlets and broadsides,
newspaper exchanges, document collections, personal diaries, church records, and legislative journals, Chris Beneke shows how early Americans learned to live amid a great diversity of beliefs and modes of worship. He briefly summarizes the long history of persecution in Europe and America, and then
examines the factors that contributed to the cultural revolution that took place in the realm of ideas and public norms in America. He begins by explaining how the right of private judgment gained the status of an unquestioned...


The War on Christmas
John Gibson
1595230165
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
Yes, Virginia, there is a war on Christmas. It’s the secularization of America’s favorite holiday and the ever-stronger push toward a neutered "holiday" season so that non-Christians won’t be even the slightest bit offended. Traditionalists get upset when they’re told—more and more these days—that celebrating Christmas in any public way is a violation of church and state separation. That is certainly not what the founders intended when they wrote, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." John Gibson, a popular anchor for the Fox News Channel, has been digging up evidence about the liberal activists, lawyers, politicians, educators, and media people who are leading the war on Christmas. And he reveals that the...


God's Politics
Jim Wallis
0060558288
Feb 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
Secular liberals and religious conservatives will find things to both comfort and alarm them in Jim Wallis's God's Politics. That combination is actually reason enough to recommend the book in a time when the national political and theological discourse is dominated by blanket descriptions and shortsightedness. But Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, offers more than just a book that's hard to categorize. What Wallis sees as the true mission of Christianity--righting social ills, working for peace--is in tune with the values of liberals who so often run screaming from the idea of religion. Meanwhile, in his estimation, religious vocabulary is co-opted by conservatives who use it to polarize. Wallis proposes a new sort of politics, the name of which serves as the title of the book, wherein these disparities are reconciled...


News That Matters : Television and American Opinion (American Politics and Political Economy Series)

0226388573


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Book Description
"News That Matters does matter, because it demonstrates conclusively that television newscasts powerfully affect opinion. . . . All that follows, whether it supports, modifies, or challenges their conclusions, will have to begin here."--Aaron Wildavsky, The Public Interest

"Because of its methodological integrity and richness, News That Matters is likely to be regarded as an impressive, possibliy grounbreaking work."--Neil Postman, New York Times Book Review



Don't Think of an Elephant
George Lakoff
1931498717
Sept 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
In the first of his three debates with George W. Bush, 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry argued against the war in Iraq not by directly condemning it but by citing the various ways in which airport and commercial shipping security had been jeopardized due to the war's sizable price tag. In so doing, he re-framed the war issue to his advantage while avoiding discussing it in the global terrorism terms favored by President Bush. One possible reason for this tactic could have been that Kerry familiarized himself with the influential linguist George Lakoff, who argues in Don't Think of an Elephant that much of the success the Republican Party can be attributed to a persistent ability to control the language of key issues and thus position themselves in favorable terms to voters. While Democrats may have valid arguments,...


The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
Thomas L. Friedman
0374292884

Hardcover
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Book Review
Thomas L. Friedman is not so much a futurist, which he is sometimes called, as a presentist. His aim, in his new book, The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not to give you a speculative preview of the wonders that are sure to come in your lifetime, but rather to get you caught up on the wonders that are already here. The world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless narrative much of its urgency, and which also saves it from the Epcot-style polyester sheen that futurists--the optimistic ones at least--are inevitably prey to.

What Friedman means by "flat" is "connected": the lowering of trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution have made it possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with...



American Theocracy : The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21stCentury
Kevin Phillips
067003486X
March 21, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The title of political analyst Phillips's latest book may overstate his case (in the text, he prefers the term "theocratic direction"), but his analysis likely will strike chords among those troubled by our current political moment. Phillips (American Dynasty) expounds upon historical parallels for each of his three subjects. In his section on "Oil and American Supremacy," for example, he points to Britain's post-WWI involvement in the Middle East as an analogy to Iraq, and in his section on radicalized religion, he warns of "the pitfalls of imperial Christian overreach from Rome to Britain." The five major measures of U.S. debt—from national to household—keep setting records, he observes in his section on "Borrowed Prosperity," and the real estate boom spurred by the Federal Reserve, he argues,...


Saturday
Ian McEwan
0385511809
Mar 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In the predawn sky on a Saturday morning, London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne sees a plane with a wing afire streaking toward Heathrow. His first thought is terrorism--especially since this is the day of a public demonstration against the pending Iraq war. Eventually, danger to Perowne and his family will come from another source, but the plane, like the balloon in the first scene of Enduring Love, turns out to be a harbinger of a world forever changed. Meanwhile, the reader follows Perowne through his day, mainly via an interior monologue. His cerebral peregrination records, in turn, the meticulous details of brain surgery, a car accident followed by a confrontation with a hoodlum, a far-from-routine squash game, a visit to Perowne's mother in a nursing home and a family reunion. It is during the latter event, at...


Hardball
Christopher Matthews
0684845598
Nov 1999
(Paperback) - Revised Ed.
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Book Review
Hardball, first published in 1988, is like a modern version of Machiavelli's The Prince, only much more richly illustrated, with anecdotes drawn from talk-show host Chris Matthews's stint as a congressional staffer (where he worked for, among others, renowned Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill). Discussing such basic principles as "It's not who you know; it's who you get to know" and "Don't get mad, don't get even--get ahead," Matthews not only dishes out choice Washington insider info, he has over the years inspired many readers to apply his principles for political success to their own professional lives.

From Publishers Weekly
A former Senate aide, presidential speech writer and assistant to Tip O'Neill, Matthews here offers an entertaining view of Washington politics. He covers...


The Fair Tax Book : Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS
Neal Boortz, John Linder
0060875496
May 1, 2006
Paperback
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Book Description

Wouldn't you love to abolish the IRS. . . .
Keep all the money in your paycheck. . . .
Pay taxes on what you spend, not what you earn. . . .
And eliminate all the fraud, hassle, and waste of our current system?
If so, the FairTax is for you!

A smash #1 New York Times bestseller from the moment it went on sale, The FairTax Book launched a massive grassroots movement across the country with its dramatic call to rid Americans of the punishing burden of income tax. Talk-radio firebrand Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder are leading the charge to replace the current tax system with the FairTax -- a simple 23 percent retail sales tax on new goods and services that would eliminate the reviled IRS and replace it with a system that's fair to all -- while jump-starting the U.S....



Cobra II : The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
Michael R. Gordon, Bernard E. Trainor
0375422625
March 14, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
On one level, narrator Wasson's mostly neutral delivery is apt. The authors' dispassionate prose imparts their impeccably researched story of the 2003 Iraq invasion—from concept to insurgency. Sourced at the highest levels, Cobra II captures the fog of war and war planning. But Wasson's read too often feels routine, as if recounting a local board meeting. Because he renders the numerous players and backdrops with equal tones, differentiating between them can be a challenge. This style of narration creates an anti-tension when juxtaposed with the book's revelations that an invasion plan was being formed not long after September 11, despite administration denials. Strictly supervising the plan was defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was intent on transforming the military into a lighter, leaner force....


The Woman at the Washington Zoo
Marjorie Williams
1586483633
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Washington, D.C., is a city ruled by insiders, and few writers have broken through the social and public politics that govern it as eloquently as Williams. This posthumous collection presents a series of remarkably well-observed and intelligent profiles of the great and minor figures who have made D.C. for the past two decades. Williams, a longtime writer for the Washington Post and Vanity Fair, has a fine eye for telling details—the license plates on a bureaucrat's car, the folds of satin in a dying socialite's dress—but it's more than just details that make Williams's profiles so engaging. Underlying each representation is Williams's ability to make her characters as complicated on the page as they are in real life. It's that same concern that governs the heartbreaking personal pieces in the last...


American Gospel : God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
Jon Meacham
1400065550
April 4, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Historian and Newsweek editor Meacham's third book examines over 200 years of American history in its quest to prove the idea of religious tolerance, along with the separation of church and state, is "perhaps the most brilliant American success." Meacham's principal focus is on the founding fathers, and his insights into the religious leanings of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Co. present a new way of considering the government they created. So it is that the religious right's attempts to reshape the Constitution and Declaration of Independence into advocating a state religion of Christianity are at odds with the spirit of religious freedom ("Our minds and hearts, as Jefferson wrote, are free to believe everything or nothing at all-and it is our duty to protect and perpetuate this sacred culture of freedom")....


Imperial Grunts
Robert D. Kaplan
1400061326
Sept 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
It is the dawn of the 21st century, and the United States has appropriated the entire Earth. So journalist Robert Kaplan writes in his paean to the American fighting man and woman, Imperial Grunts. The U.S. has quietly--with little public debate--forged an empire that is "ready to flood the most obscure areas of it with troops at a moment's notice," writes Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly magazine who has written 10 earlier books on foreign affairs and travel, including the acclaimed Balkan Ghosts. Imperial Grunts is Kaplan's account of his travels to the frontiers of the U.S. imperium. From the dustbowl of northern Yemen to the coca fields of Colombia and the insurgent hotbed of Fallujah, Kaplan takes readers to the war-torn edges of the U.S. empire and visits with front-line grunts who guard it and...


The Covenant with Black America
Tavis Smiley (Editor)
0883782774
January 1, 2006
Paperback
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Book Description
Six years' worth of symposiums come together in this rich collection of essays that plot a course for African Americans, explaining how individuals and households can make changes that will immediately improve their circumstances in areas ranging from health and education to crime reduction and financial well-being. Addressing these pressing concerns are contributors Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. surgeon general; Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of the research think tank PolicyLink; and Cornel West, professor of Religion at Princeton University. Each chapter outlines one key issue and provides a list of resources, suggestions for action, and a checklist for what concerned citizens can do to keep their communities progressing...


Condi Vs. Hillary
Dick Morris
0060839139
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
Dick Morris sizes up the campaign of a lifetime: Condoleezza Rice versus Hillary Clinton. Dick Morris, who helped President Bill Clinton win re-election in 1996, is the most prominent political commentator today, and one of the most fearless predictors of future trends on the political landscape. In Condi vs. Hillary, he traces the trends that could lead to the political race of the century: a contest between Condoleezza Rice versus Hillary Rodham Clinton in the election of 2008.In this eye-opening new book, Morris contends that Condoleezza Rice, just confirmed as secretary of state in George W. Bush's second cabinet, is the only Republican on the national scene with the credentials, credibility, and popularity to lead the Republican Party in 2008. And he outlines how the Democratic Party, fresh from its narrow yet...


Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy
Mark M. Lowenthal
1933116021
October 1, 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Spies, bugs, moles, double-agents, drop-offs, covert action. The world of intelligence is filled with intrigue, but at its core, the information-secret or otherwise-is valuable to governments for the power it affords policy makers. With the constant need for background, context, and warning as well as an assessment of risks, benefits, and likely outcomes, the intelligence community plays a crucial role in policy formation. Lowenthal adeptly describes the development of this community while showing students how the various stages of the intelligence process serve an intelligence agenda that has changed dramatically in this post-Cold War, post-9/11 world. In this thoroughly revised second edition, Lowenthal updates each and every chapter, including new material on the infamous Robert Hanssen and Wen Ho Lee cases. Two...


Mein Kampf
Adolf Hitler
0395925037
Sept 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
The angry ranting of an obscure, small-party politician, the first volume of Mein Kampf was virtually ignored when it was originally published in 1925. Likewise the second volume, which appeared in 1926. The book details Hitler's childhood, the "betrayal" of Germany in World War I, the desire for revenge against France, the need for lebensraum for the German people, and the means by which the National Socialist party can gain power. It also includes Hitler's racist agenda and his glorification of the "Aryan" race. The few outside the Nazi party who read it dismissed it as nonsense, not believing that anyone could--or would--carry out its radical, terrorist programs. As Hitler and the Nazis gained power, first party members and then the general public were pressured to buy the book. By the time Hitler became chancellor of the...


Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
Barbara Ehrenreich
0805063897
May 1, 2002
Paperback
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Book Review's Best of 2001
Essayist and cultural critic Barbara Ehrenreich has always specialized in turning received wisdom on its head with intelligence, clarity, and verve. With some 12 million women being pushed into the labor market by welfare reform, she decided to do some good old-fashioned journalism and find out just how they were going to survive on the wages of the unskilled--at $6 to $7 an hour, only half of what is considered a living wage. So she did what millions of Americans do, she looked for a job and a place to live, worked that job, and tried to make ends meet.

As a waitress in Florida, where her name is suddenly transposed to "girl," trailer trash becomes a demographic category to aspire to with rent at $675 per month. In Maine, where she ends up working as both a cleaning woman and a nursing home assistant,...



The Constitution in Exile : How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land
Andrew P. Napolitano
1595550305
April 18, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Napolitano, New Jersey Superior Court Judge and analyst for Fox News, explains how the federal government has manipulated the Constitution to take power from the states and the people. Written for a general audience, Napolitano's book also includes a brief history of the founding of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution and an explanation of relevant legal precedents. Napolitano's nonpartisan apprehension toward a strong central government is clear as he takes issue with both Democratic and Republican legislative initiatives, including the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992, the Patriot Act, attempted FCC regulation of HDTV sets and the retention of Yasser Hamdi and Jose Padilla. However, the book is disappointingly sparse on ways to fix the...


The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
Sam Harris
0393327655
October 10, 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
Sam Harris cranks out blunt, hard-hitting chapters to make his case for why faith itself is the most dangerous element of modern life. And if the devil's in the details, then you'll find Satan waiting at the back of the book in the very substantial notes section where Harris saves his more esoteric discussions to avoid sidetracking the urgency of his message. Interestingly, Harris is not just focused on debunking religious faith, though he makes his compelling arguments with verve and intellectual clarity. The End of Faith is also a bit of a philosophical Swiss Army knife. Once he has presented his arguments on why, in an age of Weapons of Mass Destruction, belief is now a hazard of great proportions, he focuses on proposing alternate approaches to the mysteries of life. Harris recognizes the truth of the human condition, that we...

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