Book and Film Reviews
Reviews of political books and films.
The Price of Liberty: Paying for America’s Wars
Robert D. Hormats shows how the struggle to fund our wars shaped the fiscal policies of our country. He warns us that not applying the lessons learned from these struggles to the war on terror will jeopardize both our social programs and national security.
A Game as Old as Empire
In this book, Steve Hiatt takes us around the globe with the confessions of former economic hit men, who, like Perkins, helped to build a global empire that benefits the wealthy and powerful at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Are We Rome?
Is America Rome? That is the question Cullen Murphy asks in his very assessable, Are we Rome? : The fall of an Empire and the fate of America. He takes us through the history of Rome and shows us where we are, and are not like Rome and what lessons we can learn from Rome.
Be the Change You Want to See in the World
Changing the world might seem like a daunting task, but Julie Fisher-McGarry breaks it down in her book to 365 simple tasks. By tackling one a day, you can make the world a better place for yourself and the planet.
Books Democrats Love
Not ready for the 2012 election? Relive two of the Democratic Party's favorite campaigns -- 2008 and 1992 in these fast-paced, non-fiction books.
Sasha Abramsky writes about food and the lack of it as a novelist would, and that is what makes reading Breadline USA such an emotional experience.
Casino Jack and the United State of Money
Money, greed, corruption, and politics, and a tale made for Hollywood movies. But this story is true. Read about the 2010 documentary about Jack Abramoff and his web of lies and deceit.
Betsy Leondar-Wright shares a wealth of knowledge on bridging the divide between the social classes in her book Class Maters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists.
Conservatives Without Conscience
Who are the RWAs, and what have they done to American politics? The book Conservatives Without Conscience by John W. Dean will tell you, and this book review will tell you why you need to know.
David Kuos Tempting Faith
Follow David Kuos journey from a naive young adult, to a sophisticated and disillusioned Washington insider. David entered politics to end abortion, strengthen marriage, and help the poor. But David soon had to ask himself was he, propping up the compassion illusion for political purposes.
Faith and Politics An Interview with John Fea
recently read a fascinating article by John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College. A professor from a religious college talking about Democrats and faith---That was someone I wanted to ask more questions.
Fight Global Warming NOW: The Handbook for Taking Action in your Community
Bill McKibben’s book, Fight Global Warming Now, is a handbook that will inspire you to take action in your own community. They show you that it doesn’t take a lot of money, or lot of experience to move people. It is something you can do.
Framing the Debate
Jeffrey Feldman’s book looks at presidential speeches to teach progressives how to identify and apply the frames implemented in the speeches. He shows how these frames can be applied in speeches for politicians, in action for activist, and in dinner table debates for ordinary citizens.
Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad
Do you think the corporations and media are too powerful, that they hold all the power, that you can’t save the world? Frances Moore Lappe lets us know that we do have the power. We can save the world.
Kristin Dawkins book Global Governance: the battle for planetary power is an excellent introduction to geo-politics. Kristin would like to see national governments embrace global democracy.
Jane Fondas Words of Politics and Passion
Historian Mary Hershberger has compiled some of the best words spoken by actress and political activist Jane Fonda. Reading Fondas words you realize they are as relevant and thought provoking today as when she spoke them. This book is an interesting insight into the life of a formidable activist
Jimmy Carter’s Our Endangered Values.
Jimmy Carter’s book illustrates how the fundamentalist policies of the current administration are incompatible with the prophetic mandates of all faiths “to do justice, love mercy, protect and care for widows and orphans, and exemplify God’s compassion for the poor and victimized.”
Long Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal
We often think of the New Deal as the birth of the welfare state, however, Robert D. Leighninger Jr.’s book, Long Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal, reminds us that the New Deal bought us much more, and much of it is still here today.
Moving a Nation to Care, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America’s Returning Troops
What would it take to move our nation to care about our troops who are returning from war with post-traumatic stress disorder? Ilona Meager lays out the argument, trying to help us understand the issue, the lack of response we as a nation have shown, and the solutions to dealing with the issue.
No End in Sight
This film, illustrates what went wrong with the Iraq war. The movie opens with an unsanitized view of Iraq, a flashback to George Bush’s Mission Accomplished speech, and Iraqi journalist Ali Fadhill telling us, “people who died got lucky, but people who lived, are dead, while they are living.”
People’s Movements, People’s Press
Long before the internet, activists were getting their message out. In their homes, in basements, in small offices, they would publish their own papers. These newspapers and magazines made up the alternative press; it is their history that Bob Ostertag tells is his new book.
Seeing the Truth
On Saturday, December 16, 2006, Americans gathered in homes to see the truth. In more than 1,930 homes Americans gathered together to watch former Vice President Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth.
Speechless: The Erosion of Free Speech in the American Workplace
Bruce Barry says, “Many Americans would be alarmed to discover that many employers can, if they wish, regulate their employees’ private political activity.” He examines the limits of speech in the workplace, how individuals, employers, and civil society would benefit from less restriction on speech.
The Accidental American
This masterful book, subtitled Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization, will change the way you look at immigrants, labor organizing, corporate globalization, and our current immigration policy.
The Complete Idiots Guide to Grant Writing
You are passionate about your non-profit group, but the bake sales and fundraisers are not meeting your budget? It might be time to apply for a grant. Applying for a grant can seem a little overwhelming, but The Complete Idiots Guide to Grant Writing will show you that it is a manageable task.
The Conscience of a Liberal
Paul Krugman reminds us that the New Deal came about following the great inequality of the gilded age. We now have a level of inequality as high as the gilded age. Krugman shows how that inequality returned and how we can restore shared prosperity.
The Dark Side
Is it a tale of horror? Is it a murky psychological thriller? Is it an exploration of an alternate universe? It's all three, and more. Read this review of The Dark Side by Jane Mayer to see why.
The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
Naomi Wolf issues a warning to a young patriot that democracy is fragile. Wolf identifies the ten steps that must be taken to shut down democracy. She shows how those steps were implemented in dictatorships around the world and where America is in the process of meeting each of those steps.
The Kansas Documentary
Inspired by Thomas Frank's classic book of the same name, this brand-new documentary takes you to Kansas, where you meet its citizens face-to-face and heart-to-heart.
The Real Wealth of Nations
We pay plumbers, the people we entrust with our pipes, $60 dollars and hour, but we pay childcare workers, the people we entrust with our children, $10 dollars an hour. This is not logical. Eisner’s provides a roadmap to developing an economic system where we value our children more than our pipes.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
In her new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein shocks you with the correlation she draws between electroshock therapy and the way the United States has imposed the Chicago School of Economics ‘shock’ theories around the world.
UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation
Spin has become art, and one we are subjected to daily. Brook Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson’s book, UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation, will provide you with the tools for separating fact from fiction.
George Lakoff’s book, Whose Freedom: The Battle over America’s Most Important Idea, explains to us the way conservative view freedom, how they are changing the way Americans view freedom, and what progressives can do to reclaim freedom.
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