Politics & Culture

Democracy in Chains

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$18.00
Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist for the National Book Award
The Nation's "Most Valuable Book"

"[A] vibrant intellectual history of the radical right."--The Atlantic



"This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. . . . If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be."--NPR

An explosive exposé of the right's relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution.

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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ISBN: 
9781101980972
Author: 
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Publication Date: 
June 5, 2018
Binding: 
BC

Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America

Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America
$28.00

Our Book Signing event with Senator Brown on 12/06/2019 7PM is now SOLD OUT.  Thanks for your enthusiasm! We'll try to get Senator Brown to sign some books for inventory, you may call to reserve those. Thanks.

Since his election to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Ohio's Sherrod Brown has sat on the Senate floor at a mahogany desk with a proud history. In Desk 88, he tells the story of eight of the Senators who were there before him. Despite their flaws and frequent setbacks, each made a decisive contribution to the creation of a more just America. They range from Hugo Black, who helped to lift millions of American workers out of poverty, to Robert F. Kennedy, whose eyes were opened by an undernourished Mississippi child and who then spent the rest of his life afflicting the comfortable. Brown revives forgotten figures such as Idaho's Glen Taylor, a singing cowboy who taught himself economics and stood up to segregationists, and offers new insights into George McGovern, who fought to feed the poor around the world even amid personal and political calamities. He also writes about Herbert Lehman of New York, Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee, Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island, and William Proxmire of Wisconsin.

Together, these eight portraits in political courage tell a story about the triumphs and failures of the Progressive idea over the past century: in the 1930s and 1960s, and more intermittently since, politicians and the public have successfully fought against entrenched special interests and advanced the cause of economic or racial fairness. Today, these advances are in peril as employers shed their responsibilities to employees and communities, and a U.S. president gives cover to bigotry. But the Progressive idea is not dead. Recalling his own career, Brown dramatizes the hard work and high ideals required to renew the social contract and create a new era in which Americans of all backgrounds can know the "Dignity of Work."

Since his election to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Ohio's Sherrod Brown has sat on the Senate floor at a mahogany desk with a proud history. In Desk 88, he tells the story of eight of the Senators who were there before him. Despite their flaws and frequent setbacks, each made a decisive contribution to the creation of a more just America. They range from Hugo Black, who helped to lift millions of American workers out of poverty, to Robert F. Kennedy, whose eyes were opened by an undernourished Mississippi child and who then spent the rest of his life afflicting the comfortable. Brown revives forgotten figures such as Idaho's Glen Taylor, a singing cowboy who taught himself economics and stood up to segregationists, and offers new insights into George McGovern, who fought to feed the poor around the world even amid personal and political calamities. He also writes about Herbert Lehman of New York, Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee, Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island, and William Proxmire of Wisconsin.

Together, these eight portraits in political courage tell a story about the triumphs and failures of the Progressive idea over the past century: in the 1930s and 1960s, and more intermittently since, politicians and the public have successfully fought against entrenched special interests and advanced the cause of economic or racial fairness. Today, these advances are in peril as employers shed their responsibilities to employees and communities, and a U.S. president gives cover to bigotry. But the Progressive idea is not dead. Recalling his own career, Brown dramatizes the hard work and high ideals required to renew the social contract and create a new era in which Americans of all backgrounds can know the "Dignity of Work."

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ISBN: 
9780374138219
Author: 
Publication Date: 
November 5, 2019
Binding: 
DJ Hardcover

House of Trump, House of Putin

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$18.00
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"The story Unger weaves with those earlier accounts and his original reporting is fresh, illuminating and more alarming than the intelligence channel described in the Steele dossier."--The Washington Post

House of Trump, House of Putin
offers the first comprehensive investigation into the decades-long relationship among Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Mafia that ultimately helped win Trump the White House.

It is a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with Trump's inauguration as president of the United States. That moment was the culmination of Vladimir Putin's long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that he and his hand-selected group of oligarchs and Mafia kingpins had ensnared Trump in, starting more than twenty years ago with the massive bailout of a string of sensational Trump hotel and casino failures in Atlantic City. This book confirms the most incredible American paranoias about Russian malevolence.

To most, it will be a hair-raising revelation that the Cold War did not end in 1991--that it merely evolved, with Trump's apartments offering the perfect vehicle for billions of dollars to leave the collapsing Soviet Union. In House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger methodically traces the deep-rooted alliance between the highest echelons of American political operatives and the biggest players in the frightening underworld of the Russian Mafia. He traces Donald Trump's sordid ascent from foundering real estate tycoon to leader of the free world. He traces Russia's phoenix like rise from the ashes of the post-Cold War Soviet Union as well as its ceaseless covert efforts to retaliate against the West and reclaim its status as a global superpower.

Without Trump, Russia would have lacked a key component in its attempts to return to imperial greatness. Without Russia, Trump would not be president. This essential book is crucial to understanding the real powers at play in the shadows of today's world. The appearance of key figures in this book--Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Felix Sater to name a few--ring with haunting significance in the wake of Robert Mueller's report and as others continue to close in on the truth.

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ISBN: 
9781524743512
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Publication Date: 
September 3, 2019
Binding: 
BC

LINES BETWEEN US: TWO FAMILIES

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$28.99

A masterful narrative--with echoes of Evicted and The Color of Law--that brings to life the structures, policies, and beliefs that divide us

Mark Lange and Nicole Smith have never met, but if they make the moves they are contemplating--Mark, a white suburbanite, to West Baltimore, and Nicole, a black woman from a poor city neighborhood, to a prosperous suburb--it will defy the way the Baltimore region has been programmed for a century. It is one region, but separate worlds. And it was designed to be that way.

In this deeply reported, revelatory story, duPont Award-winning journalist Lawrence Lanahan chronicles how the region became so highly segregated and why its fault lines persist today. Mark and Nicole personify the enormous disparities in access to safe housing, educational opportunities, and decent jobs. As they eventually pack up their lives and change places, bold advocates and activists--in the courts and in the streets--struggle to figure out what it will take to save our cities and communities: Put money into poor, segregated neighborhoods? Make it possible for families to move into areas with more opportunity?

The Lines Between Us is a riveting narrative that compels reflection on America's entrenched inequality--and on where the rubber meets the road not in the abstract, but in our own backyards. Taking readers from church sermons to community meetings to public hearings to protests to the Supreme Court to the death of Freddie Gray, Lanahan deftly exposes the intricacy of Baltimore's hypersegregation through the stories of ordinary people living it, shaping it, and fighting it, day in and day out.

This eye-opening account of how a city creates its black and white places, its rich and poor spaces, reveals that these problems are not intractable; but they are designed to endure until each of us--despite living in separate worlds--understands we have something at stake.

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ISBN: 
9781620973448
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Publication Date: 
May 21, 2019
Binding: 
Hardcover

On Tyranny

On Tyranny
$8.99
#1 New York Times Bestseller - A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

"Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present." --The New York Times

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ISBN: 
9780804190114
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Publication Date: 
February 28, 2017
Binding: 
BC

VOTE FOR US: HOW TO TAKE BACK

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$18.00
An expert on US election law presents an encouraging assessment of current efforts to make our voting system more accessible, reliable, and effective. In contrast to the anxiety surrounding our voting system, with stories about voter suppression and manipulation, there are actually quite a few positive initiatives toward voting rights reform. Professor Joshua A. Douglas, an expert on our electoral system, examines these encouraging developments in this inspiring book about how regular Americans are working to take back their democracy, one community at a time. Told through the narratives of those working on positive voting rights reforms, Douglas includes chapters on expanding voter eligibility, easing voter registration rules, making voting more convenient, enhancing accessibility at the polls, providing voters with more choices, finding ways to comply with voter ID rules, giving redistricting back to the voters, pushing back on big money through local and state efforts, using journalism to make the system more accountable, and improving civics education. At the end, the book includes an appendix that lists organizations all over the country working on these efforts. Unusually accessible for a lay audience and thoroughly researched, this book gives anyone fed up with our current political environment the ideas and tools necessary to affect change in their own communities.
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ISBN: 
9781633885103
Author: 
Publisher: 
Publication Date: 
April 9, 2019
Binding: 
Paperback