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Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Books & Book Reviews: April 2007

By Simone Davis on April 30, 2007

Those of us that care deeply about each other and our country have had a rough ride.

In the early Bush years, I was like a robot, going through the motions - while my heart was breaking. I was stiffened. Stopped in my tracks from my own disbelief. For many months, if not years.

From the beginning, the endless headlines of Bush's reign stretched out before me like a dry, barren road.

Read more of this post here ...

By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

If your last experience of American history was brought to you by junior high school textbooks - or even if you're a specialist - get ready for the other side of stories you may not even have heard. With its vivid descriptions of rarely noted events, A People's History of the United States is required reading for anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the rich, rocky history of America.

Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People's History of the United States is the only volume to tell America's story from the point of view of -- and in the words of -- America's women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

Crashing the Gate is a shot across the bow at the political establishment in Washington, DC and a call to re-democratize politics in America.

This book lays bare, with passion and precision, how ineffective, incompetent, and antiquated the Democratic Party establishment has become, and how it has failed to adapt and respond to new realities and challenges. The authors save their sharpest knives to go for the jugular in their critique of Republican ideologues who are now running - and ruining - our country.

A must-read book for anyone with an interest in the future of American democracy.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

This concise overview of the labor movement in the United States focuses on why American workers have failed to develop the powerful unions that exist in other industrialized countries.

Packed with valuable analysis and information, Hard Work explores historical perspectives, examines social and political policies, and brings us inside today's unions.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

If social change organizations - local, regional and national - are to succeed they must go beyond traditional grassroots organizing efforts and develop systematic, comprehensive organizing practices that will change public policy and practice.

Stir It Up - written by renowned activist and trainer Rinku Sen - identifies the key priorities and strategies that can help advance the mission of any social change group. This groundbreaking book addresses the unique challenges and opportunities the new global economy poses for activist groups and provides concrete guidance for community organizations of all orientations.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

Andy Stern, one of the most visionary leaders in America today, has fought relentlessly to ensure that Americans' hard work is rewarded in today's hypercompetitive, globalized world. As the news making president of the fastest-growing, most dynamic union in America, he has led the charge for modernizing the "house of labor" - taking unions out of the past and into the twenty-first century. He has spearheaded the campaign against the "Wal-Marting" of jobs and has innovated transformative solutions to the daunting problems facing Americans, from job insecurity to runaway health care costs.

In this powerful critique and call-to-arms, he offers a revelatory dissection of the gathering threats to our standard of living - threats that our politicians have failed utterly to address - and he puts forth a bold, unassailable plan for making vital reforms.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

"Hardball on Holy Ground," a new book by Steven Swecker, chronicles ongoing efforts by wealthy and powerful individuals and foundations linked to the religious right to undermine mainline churches and the National Council of Churches.

One reviewer notes that a hostile takeover of these churches would represent a massive shift in American culture and the balance of ideas and values for a relatively small investment, muting the influence of the more moderate Christian community within our society.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

Hurricane Katrina shredded one of the great cities of the South, and as levees failed and the federal relief effort proved lethally incompetent, a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe. As an editor of New Orleans' daily newspaper, the Pulitzer Prize - winning Times-Picayune, Jed Horne has had a front-row seat to the unfolding drama of the city's collapse into chaos and its continuing struggle to survive.

Katrina was a catastrophe deeply rooted in the politics and culture of the city that care forgot and of a nation that forgot to care. In Breach of Faith, Jed Horne has created a spellbinding epic of one of the worst disasters of our time.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

Can any other critic of the Bush administration match Kevin Phillips's credentials? This veteran political and economic commentator literally wrote the playbook (The Emerging Republican Majority) that the GOP has been using successfully since the Nixon era.

Now, with American Theocracy, he has composed an indictment of right-wing policies even more scathing and erudite than his American Dynasty. Phillips details the axis of political fundamentalism, petro-politics, and "borrowed prosperity" that are endangering America's future.

From the writer called our "modern-day Tom Paine," this book is an explosive analysis of the axis of religion, politics, and fiscal imprudence that threatens to destroy our nation.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

As an avenue for progressive politics in a nation still skeptical of change, community organizing today faces significant challenges.

Whether pursuing longstanding problems about housing or more recent issues such as wages paid by big-box retailers, community organizing continues to have an important role to play as part of a broader progressive movement. As America decides what kind of society it wants to be, these insightful articles illuminate those larger trends in the local ecology that are forcing organizers to alter their strategies, operations, and visions for the future.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

The economic boom of the 1990s created huge wealth for the bosses, but benefited workers hardly at all. At the same time, the bosses were able to take the political initiative and even the moral high ground, while workers were often divided against each other.

This book explains how this happened, and what can be done about it.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

In this earnest discussion, revolutionary theologian John Cobb Jr. implores Christian churches to take a more active role in the solution of contemporary issues such as food security and the ever-expanding world population, the welfare system, civil and human rights, the war on drugs, abortion, immigration, and the destruction of ecosystems.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

This book offers the compelling call for an "insurance and opportunity society" that would safeguard economic security and expand economic opportunity, ensuring that all Americans have the basic financial security they need to reach for and achieve the American Dream.

"The Great Risk Shift is a powerful and timely account of the forces driving the ascendance of economic insecurity in America. But Hacker does more than describe the problem; he offers a thoughtful and ambitious policy agenda and explains how each of us can make our own families more secure. This is an important book for anyone concerned about the continuing vitality of the American dream." -- John Edwards, Presidential Candidate and former U.S. Senator

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

In a tiny village tucked into the Catskill Mountains, a man whose job stopped providing health insurance watches his wife die from a cancer that went undetected too long. In a booming suburb outside of Austin, Texas, a mother fights with an insurance company to get her disabled baby therapy so that he can someday learn to walk.

And in the middle of the prairie heartland, a retiree sells his house because it's the only way he can pay for the medications that keep him and his aging wife alive.

This book is a penetrating work of reportage about the failure of America's medical system, as seen through the stories of the people who engineered the current health care revolution and those who have suffered from it.

Read more of this post here ...

By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

Terrorist attacks regularly trigger the enactment of repressive laws, setting in motion a vicious cycle that threatens to devastate civil liberties over the twenty-first century. In this clear-sighted book, Bruce Ackerman peers into the future and presents an intuitive, practical alternative.

This book proposes an "emergency constitution" that enables government to take extraordinary actions to prevent a second strike in the short run while prohibiting permanent measures that destroy our freedom over the longer run.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

Every month in every neighborhood in Chicago, residents, teachers, school principals, and police officers gather to deliberate about how to improve their schools and make their streets safer. Residents of poor neighborhoods participate as much or more as those from wealthy ones. All voices are heard. Since the meetings began more than a dozen years ago, they have led not only to safer streets but also to surprising improvements in the city's schools. Chicago's police department and school system have become democratic urban institutions unlike any others in America.

Read more of this post here ...

By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

This book introduces America to an increasingly familiar political actor: the canvasser. She's the twenty-something with the clipboard, stopping you on the street or knocking on your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.

Granted unprecedented access to the "People's Project," an unknown yet influential organization driving left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the true story of outsourcing politics in America.

This book offers a chilling review of the consequences of political outsourcing. Connecting local people on the streets throughout America to the national organizations and political campaigns that make up progressive politics, it shows what happens to the passionate young activists outsourced to the clients of Activism, Inc.

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By an everyday book reader on April 1, 2007

What keeps us going when times get tough?

The Impossible Will Take a Little While gathers stories and essays of engagement that range across nations, eras, and political movements. These visionary and eloquent voices include Diane Ackerman, Sherman Alexie, Maya Angelou, Mary Catherine Bateson, Ariel Dorfman, Marian Wright Edelman, Eduardo Galeano, Susan Griffin, Viclav Havel, Seamus Heaney, Tony Kushner, Jonathan Kozol, Bill McKibben, Nelson Mandela, Pablo Neruda, Henri Nouwen, Arundhati Roy, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Cornel West, Terry Tempest Williams, and Howard Zinn.

How do we act to create a more humane world, no matter how hard it seems?

Read more of this post here ...

Want to read more in this same topic?

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. It's likely that we have many more blog posts under this same category in other months too. Most of the posts that our authors publish are timeless and relevant, regardless of when the articles are posted. We encourage and welcome you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Books & Book Reviews: March 2007.

The next archive is Books & Book Reviews: May 2007.


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The previous archive is Books & Book Reviews: March 2007.

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