Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics
Two longtime activists and political theorists make the argument that the concept of "hate" is insufficient to explain the systemic violence committed in the United States against Native peoples, Black people, LGBTQ people and immigrants. According to Cornel West, Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski "offer a new visionary paradigm of how we pursue goodness and justice with imagination, empathy and courage."
More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing
Edited by high school history teacher, education writer and activist Jesse Hagopian, this compelling book exposes how young people are stifled and shortchanged by an emphasis on standardized high-stakes test scores that has been pushed by so-called "education reformers." But the many voices in More Than a Score - teachers, students, parents and others - also chronicle the resistance movement that is pushing back against the "testocracy" across the country.
Leading British public intellectual and leftist activist Tariq Ali offers a devastating analysis of a capitalist system that has become "the extreme center." Ali persuasively argues that governments formed to promote the needs of the marketplace cannot also function as real democracies.
Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare
Award-winning journalist and lawyer Scott Horton, a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine, compellingly details how government secrecy in the name of "national security" is eroding democracy in the United States. Jeremy Scahill calls Lords of Secrecy "a brilliantly devastating exposé of the shadow government that runs US national security policy."
The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America
Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations, calls for a revolution in care for the elderly and people with disabilities. Gloria Steinem writes of The Age of Dignity: "Ai-jen Poo knows how to create social change from the bottom up…showing the humanity of a long devalued kind of work. This goes beyond organizing to transforming."
Covering bin Laden: Global Media and the World's Most Wanted Man
The killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 was celebrated by the US government and media. However, his death was more a Western catharsis than a strategic military operation that halted the “war on terror.” Edited by Susan Jeffords and Fahed Yayha Al-Sumait, Covering bin Laden provides insight into how the myth of bin Laden created by governments and the media superseded the reality of the man.
In Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century, Free Press co-founder Robert McChesney describes the recent trajectory and degeneration of capitalism and reveals how notions of democratic media are becoming central to activists around the world seeking to establish post-capitalist democracies.
The story of former Army Ranger Rory Fanning's walk across the US for the Pat Tillman Foundation is "great reading" according to Rebecca Solnit. The Chicago Tribune concluded that Fanning "shows us the imperial and harmful objective of US foreign policy. He shows us the courage to walk away from it, and he shows us a path to a saner society."
The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America
Acclaimed scholar and civil rights advocate Lani Guinier argues that college and university admissions practices favor the elite, as a result failing to provide educational opportunity or to prepare students to be engaged citizens. Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, says The Tyranny of the Meritocracy "points the way toward a more just and inclusive conception of education in a democratic society."
#NEWSFAIL: Climate Change, Feminism, Gun Control, and Other Fun Stuff We Talk About Because Nobody Else Will
"Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny are a modern day social justice, non-violent, vegan, punk, anti-war, feminist Bonnie and Clyde. Their weapons are simple: the pen, the airwaves, and a searing sense of humor. Their targets are the rich, the powerful, corporate media barons and basically any major league assholes."
- Jeremy Scahill, Academy Award nominee and author of Blackwater and Dirty Wars
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Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better
From Maya Schenwar, Truthout's Editor-in-Chief, comes a hard-hitting and personal exploration of the enormous damage prison causes by severing millions of people from their families and communities - and the practical alternatives to incarceration that can create a safer, more just world.
"This book has the power to transform hearts and minds, opening us to new ways of imagining what justice can mean for individuals, families, communities, and our nation as a whole... I turned the last page feeling nothing less than inspired." - Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Canadian journalist Dawn Paley's new book shows, "with remarkable clarity and depth of analysis, all the ways drug war capitalism is capitalism, that there is little difference between what is called international crimes and what passes for global commerce," according to Greg Grandin, author of The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World
Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral and Geopolitical Issues
This collection of essays on the legal, moral and geopolitical aspects of US drone warfare is edited by Marjorie Cohn, a Truthout contributor and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Drones and Targeted Killing has already been called a "very important book" by Noam Chomsky and includes essays by Phyllis Bennis, Medea Benjamin and Richard Falk.
"Through his extensive historical research, Andreas shows us that illicit trade in America is not an aberration but has in fact shaped the modern economy in fundamental ways. An extraordinary re-narrating of familiar episodes that makes visible America's hidden connections with underworlds and parallel worlds." - Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights
No Good Men Among the Living: America, The Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes
“A brilliant, incisive work of storytelling and analysis. Of all the recent books on Afghanistan, this one stands out like a bright shining light, revealing the truth of the war from the ground up. Breathtaking and magnificent, this is a must read.” - Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
"Gareth Porter is among the last of that rare breed-- the independent investigative journalist who brings to bear long experience in foreign policy reporting with a keen and critical eye for K Street propaganda. He is essential." - Juan Cole
"I thought I would read The Burglary for a few minutes while I waited for my plane to take off. Six hours later my eyes had not left the pages. I continued to read in the cab, but the driver forced me to turn off the light. It is astonishingly good, marvelously written. It is the best book I've read about either the antiwar movement or Hoover's FBI. It's a masterpiece." - Dan Ellsberg
"For most of the planet, the specter of global warming is ominous, but as journalist Funk reveals in this startling book, there are those who view the Earth's dangerous meltdown as a golden opportunity...Funk's original, forthright take on this little-discussed profit-taking trend in the climate change sweepstakes is very unsettling." - Publisher's Weekly
"Here is story-telling that is unique, refreshing, and revealing, and the Nelson Mandela who emerges—more nuanced than I ever understood and even more admirable—is someone you will want to know. You will be both surprised by Mandela’s profoundly complex personality and grateful for Danny Schechter’s creative journalism."- Bill Moyers
"Despite years of feminism and such activist groups as Women Strike for Peace, much of the female population in the world is often powerless, forced to remain voiceless and subjugated to acts of extreme violence in the home, on school campuses and anywhere men deem they should dominate… The few women who do stand up and shout to the world are the exception, not the rule, and Solnit provides a platform and a voice for them and the thousands who are too overwhelmed by fear and guilt to speak up." - Kirkus Reviews
Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth Is Plundering the Planet
"The easy mineral resources, the least expensive to extract and process, have been mostly exploited and depleted. There are plenty of minerals left to extract, but at higher costs and with increasing difficulties. The effects of depletion take different forms and one may be the economic crisis that is gripping the world system. And depletion is not the only problem. Mining has a dark side - pollution - that takes many forms and delivers many consequences, including climate change." - Chelsea Green Press
"Frightening, gripping and inspiring...Northup's story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction...Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe." - Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Editor of Penguin Edition
Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia
"Through personal narratives and qualitative empirical studies, more than 40 authors expose the daunting challenges faced by academic women of color as they navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education... The narratives are filled with wit, wisdom, and concrete recommendations, and provide a window into the struggles of professional women in a racially stratified but increasingly multicultural America." - Utah State University Press
Bill Ayers, a distinguished professor of education, was turned into a terrorist caricature by the Republicans seeking to defeat Obama. But Ayers was being vilified for his dissent and outspokeness, values that are basic to American democracy.
Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel & the Rise of Chicago's 99%
"I urge everyone to read Lydersen's book. Over the last few months, many Chicagoans have told me they didn't realize who they were voting for when they cast a ballot for Emanuel. Thanks to Lydersen, they'll have no excuse in 2015." - Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader
"A meticulous dossier of the mayor's privatization deals and other achievements at the head of the rightmost flank of the Democratic Party." - Micah Uetricht, Salon
"West of Memphis is a scrupulous examination of the conviction of three small-town Arkansas teenagers for the brutal murder of three small boys in 1993. The evidence was flimsy and contrived, the confessions extracted under duress, the social prejudice palpable and perjury rife. The prevaricating Arkansas authorities were at best pigheadedly cynical, at worst criminally conspiratorial, and the movie is a shocking indictment of the American criminal justice system." - Guardian UK
"Combining evocative personal narratives with penetrating geopolitical analysis, this compelling book vividly reveals the devastating effects on Mexico of the global class war of the past decades and their impact on the United States. Perhaps the most striking demand of the victims is 'the right to not migrate,' the right to live with dignity and hope, bitterly attacked under the neoliberal version of globalization." - Noam Chomsky
"A Dream Foreclosed is a powerful combination of riveting stories about four defrauded families and their fight back together with the broader documentation of Wall Street's corporate crimes that crashed the economy. Laura Gottesdiener, a veteran of Occupy Wall Street, has the acute eye and pen of a young progressive star with extraordinary talent. Her pages should grip you with motivational indignation." - Ralph Nader
“True to her style, [Angelou’s] writing cuts to the chase with compression and simplicity, and there in the background is a calypso smoothness, flurries and showers of musicality between the moments of wickedness. . . . A tightly strung, finely tuned memoir about life with her mother.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Mom & Me & Mom is delivered with Angelou’s trademark good humor and fierce optimism. If any resentments linger between these lines, if lives are partially revealed without all the bitter details exposed, well, that is part of Angelou’s forgiving design. As an account of reconciliation, this little book is just revealing enough, and pretty irresistible.” - The Washington Post
"Fine has written a well-researched book that uses the clever tactic of making the moral case for ending marijuana prohibition by burying it inside the economic case." - Bill Maher in The New York Times Book Review
"Fine examines how the American people have borne the massive economic and social expenditures of the failed Drug War, which is 'as unconscionably wrong for America as segregation and DDT.' A captivating, solidly documented work rendered with wit and humor." - Kirkus
"A compelling and powerfully written memoir about identity and coming of age...If the outlines of Justice Sotomayor's life are well known by now, her searching and emotionally intimate memoir, My Beloved World, nonetheless has the power to surprise and move the reader...This account of her life is revealing, keenly observed and deeply felt...This insightful memoir underscores just how well Justice Sotomayor mastered the art of narrative. It's an eloquent and affecting testament to the triumph of brains and hard work over circumstance, of a childhood dream realized through extraordinary will and dedication." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"With this book, John Nichols and Bob McChesney invite Americans to examine the challenges facing America in new ways, and to fully recognize the threat that the combination of big money and big media poses to the promise of self-government. They paint a daunting picture, rich in detail based on intense reporting and groundbreaking research. But they do no offer us a pessimistic take. Rather, they call us, as Tom Paine did more than two centuries ago, to turn knowledge into power. And they tell us that we can and must respond to our contemporary challenges as a nation by rejecting the Dollarocracy and renewing our commitment to democracy." - United States Senator Bernie Sanders
"What is the meaning of freedom? Angela Y. Davis' life and work have been dedicated to examining this fundamental question and to ending all forms of oppression that deny people their political, cultural, and sexual freedom. In this collection of twelve searing, previously unpublished speeches, Davis confronts the interconnected issues of power, race, gender, class, incarceration, conservatism, and the ongoing need for social change in the United States. With her characteristic brilliance, historical insight, and penetrating analysis, Davis addresses examples of institutional injustice and explores the radical notion of freedom as a collective striving for real democracy - not a thing granted by the state, law, proclamation, or policy, but a participatory social process, rooted in difficult dialogues, that demands new ways of thinking and being."
“A hard-hitting attack on current drug policy by…a neuroscientist who grew up on the streets of one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods…An eye-opening, absorbing, complex story of scientific achievement in the face of overwhelming odds” - Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"A tremendously disturbing and important book about the devastating increase in our prison population...The questions that it poses call for answers that too few of those in power have been brave enough to give." - Jonathan Kozol on the original Race to Incarcerate
"Explains why prisoners have become commodities and why present policies are draining black communities of their young men." - Julian Bond
"An important book. The numbers tell a shocking story." - The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Once again, McChesney stands at the crossroads of media dysfunction and the denial of democracy, illuminating the complex issues involved and identifying a path forward to try to repair the damage. Here's hoping the rest of us have the good sense to listen this time." - Eric Alterman, professor of English and journalism, Brooklyn College, CUNY
"A provocative and far-reaching account of how capitalism has shaped the Internet in the United States. . . . a valuable addition to the literature on the digital age." - Kirkus Reviews
"Robert McChesney is one of the nation’s most important analysts of the media." -Howard Zinn
"Through a gripping narrative that combines plenty of factual data with compelling storytelling, Diaz makes the convincing case that the gun industry is knowingly trading American lives for profits…After the tragedy of Newtown, if you are going to read one book to understand the current political fight in Washington, this is it." - Joshua Horwitz, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
"In his eminently readable style, mixing science and anecdote, Diaz shows how our leaders have created gun policies that are good for the gun industry but horrific for our nation. He also describes solutions worthy of the name. What a timely book!" - David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy, Harvard
Al Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives four times and the U.S. Senate twice. He served eight years as vice president. He authored the bestsellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, and Our Choice. He is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
“This is a great book. From political policy and economics to science and the most thorny ethical issues, Al Gore has stated the human condition and the issues we face forthrightly, fearlessly, and in easily understood language—and has said what must be done. I asked myself halfway through who else could have written a book of this magnitude. The only answer I could imagine was Jefferson.” - E. O. Wilson, Harvard University, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize
If you are wondering why the Arizona legislature has appeared to turn into a Tea Party version of the Ku Klux Klan, the remarkable documentary Precious Knowledge: Arizona's Battle Over Ethnic Studies provides an invaluable insight into why.
In Precious Knowledge this battle for the nation's future plays out in the state's now successful effort to ban Mexican-American studies, specifically in Tucson. While Mexican-American young people comprise the vast majority of public school students in Tucson, a couple of opportunistic politicians decided that teaching Mexican-American heritage and culture was threatening to the white power structure – although they state their objections in more euphemistic terms, such the curriculum is "Anti-American."
For many years Tim Wise has been writing and lecturing about the assumption of white privilege in the United States and its impact on a growing racial anxiety. In his current book, he directly confronts the highly visible racial animosity evident in the US, as the white population faces a demographic trend that will leave them a minority in America.
In his book length appeal to White America, Wise appeals to the need for our nation to move forward, not backward to a yearning for a white government power structure. "We can continue to hold on to a fictional, nostalgic, past," Wise writes in the book, "longing for a return to it, and unable to embrace the changes that are as inevitable as the coming of our new day's sun....We cannot hold onto the old ways and move into the future at the same time."
"Activist extraordinaire Medea Benjamin has documented how the U.S. government’s use of drones to murder hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen has increased the danger to our national security. Benjamin’s Drone Warfare is the first book that reveals the vocal international citizen opposition that challenges the legality and morality of America’s extrajudicial execution drones before they kill here at home."
- Ann Wright, U.S. Army colonel (ret.) and former deputy chief of mission for U.S. embassies in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and elsewhere
Bonsai People is an emotionally compelling documentary film that explores the work and vision of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
Yunus pioneered microcredit, the innovative banking program that provides poor people - mainly women - with small loans they use to launch businesses and lift their families out of poverty. In the past thirty years, microcredit has spread to every continent and benefited over 100 million families. His bank currently lends to one out of every 1,000 people on earth and with a 98% rate of return - unheard of in the financial world.
Now, Yunus goes beyond microcredit to pioneer the idea of social business. Bonsai People shows how Yunus - in partnership with some of the world’s most visionary businesses - is launching purposely designed social ventures.
Author Nir Rosen writes of The Imperial Messenger that it is a "long overdue takedown of a dangerous fraud...an antidote for those suffering from admiration of Friedman and a palliative for those of us who have had aneurysms in reaction to his every latest bloviation."
The late internationally noted Professor Edward Said said of Friedman: "It is not just the comic philistinism of Friedman's ideas that I find so remarkably jejune, or his sassy and unbeguiling manner… It is rather the special combination of disarming incoherence and unearned egoism that gives him his cockily alarming plausibility—qualities that may explain [From Beirut to Jerusalem]'s startling commercial success. It's as if… what scholars, poets, historians, fighters, and statesmen have done is not as important or as central as what Friedman himself thinks."
"No, the US government's sanctioning of torture didn't start with the Iraq War, as Marjorie Cohn - a law professor and past president of the National Lawyer's Guild - proves in this important anthology. As the NYU Press notes: 'The United States and Torture opens with a compelling preface by Sister Dianna Ortiz, who describes the unimaginable treatment she endured in Guatemala in 1987 at the hands of the the Guatemalan government, which was supported by the United States. Following Ortiz's preface, an interdisciplinary panel of experts offers one of the most comprehensive examinations of torture to date, beginning with the Cold War era and ending with today's debate over accountability for torture."
A monumentally important documentary about the power of moral authority to prevail against the KKK, racist elected officials, and even the reluctance of the Kennedy brothers to stir up what was then the Democratic (albeit segregationist) South.
Freedom Riders tells a complex political story about a simple goal: desegregating interstate buses and bus stations in the deep South.
In the end, after horrifying violence and imprisonment that affected around 400 Freedom Rider volunteers from across America, Robert F. Kennedy (on behalf of the president) relented and implemented a regulation that banned segregation on interstate bus lines and in bus station waiting rooms. Anyone who wants to see how a relatively small group of committed people can force the president of the United States to take a stand on behalf of justice should see this documentary.
If you believe that corporations should not have the same rights as people - if you are appalled by the 2010 Citizens United decision - then this is the book for you. Thom Hartmann wrote this prescient book, now updated, about the threat posed to democracy by granting corporations the rights enjoyed by citizens of the United States. With extensive research and a sense for the nuances of legal history, Hartmann skillfully traces how big business legally bullied its way into receiving rights reserved in the Constitution for humans, not institutions.
Due to endless human appetites, huge factory ships are now depleting the number of fish in the ocean, which is also experiencing the adverse effects of global warming. The net result is that by 2050, we may no longer have a supply of edible fish from our seas. "Overfishing is the great environmental disaster that people haven't heard about," said the documentary's producer George Duffield. This is not merely an indictment of mercenary corporate fishing, it also exposes how consumers choose to ignore the impact of eating endangered fish.