Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Mon, 01/16/2017 - 12:10

"In this “agenda-setting” polemic, journalist and historian Eric Alterman explains what is really happening with the Obama presidency. While Obama’s many compromises have disappointed liberals, Alterman argues that these concessions are largely due to a political system that is rigged against progressive change. These structural impediments to democracy have made the keeping of Obama’s campaign promises all but impossible. 

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 23:30

"Robert Ferguson diagnoses all parts of a massive, out-of-control punishment regime. Turning the spotlight on the plight of prisoners, he asks the American people, Do we want our prisons to be this way? Acknowledging the suffering of prisoners and understanding what punishers do when they punish are the first steps toward a better, more just system."

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 17:29

First published in 1962, this wonderfully provocative book introduced the notion of “pseudo-events”—events such as press conferences and presidential debates, which are manufactured solely in order to be reported—and the contemporary definition of celebrity as “a person who is known for his well-knownness.” Since then Daniel J. Boorstin’s prophetic vision of an America inundated by its own illusions has become an essential resource for any reader who wants to distinguish the manifold deceptions of our culture from its few enduring truths.

Ideas with Consequences: The Federalist Society and the Conservative Counterrevolution

Submitted by TWIRIMaster on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 17:19

"There are few intellectual movements in modern American political history more successful than the Federalist Society. Created in 1982 to counterbalance what its founders considered a liberal legal establishment, the organization gradually evolved into the conservative legal establishment, and membership is all but required for any conservative lawyer who hopes to enter politics or the judiciary. It claims 40,000 members, including four Supreme Court Justices, dozens of federal judges, and every Republican attorney general since its inception. But its power goes even deeper.