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

By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

The Missing Class gives voice to the 57 million Americans - including 21 percent of the nation's children - who are sandwiched between poor and middle class. While government programs help the needy and politicians woo the more fortunate, the "Missing Class" is largely invisible and ignored.

Through the experiences of nine families, Katherine Newman and Victor Tan Chen trace the unique problems faced by individuals in this large and growing demographic - the "near poor" - who have transformed their lives through hard work and determination.

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

In this chilling account of an America in political and cultural decline, media critics Elliot D. Cohen and Bruce W. Fraser show how mainstream media corporations like CNN, Fox, and NBC (General Electric) together with giant telecoms like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have become administration pawns in a well-organized effort to hijack America. Cohen and Fraser show in blunt terms how incredible power, control, and wealth have been amassed in the hands of an elite few while the rest of us have been systematically manipulated, deceived, and divested of our freedom.

Calling attention to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a carefully devised plan for international dominion launched by high officials in the Bush administration, this book tells the story of an America quietly being stripped of its democratic way of life on its way to becoming a full-blown authoritarian state.

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

An unprecedented look inside the battle for religion in America, Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion exposes how a strident theocratic minority is attacking - or "steeplejacking" - mainstream churches in order to eliminate progressive voices and take control of America's historic mainline denominations.

The book unmasks the covert methods that renewal groups and the IRD use to spread their propaganda, as well as showing how the pastor and other church leaders can act as either provocateurs or protectors in the face of an attack. Churches that have been "steeplejacked" are also examined to illustrate why some are able to withstand an attack, while others succumb.

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

"Every so often, you pick up a book and two pages in your nose is glued to it. Not necessarily because of the subject matter per se -- though good subject matter certainly helps -- but because the prose is so damned electric.

"Usually, I've found, when it comes to reportage like this, the book's author has a single name: Hunter S. Thompson. Recently, though, I've added another name to my stuck-nose lexicon, having been utterly ensnared by Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting With Jesus.

"Bageant grew up in a fundamentalist Christian, ultra-working-class family in a claustrophobic little Virginia town named Winchester. Then, in his own terminology, he made his escape. He moved west and made a pretty decent career for himself in the world of journalism. A few years ago, though, he felt a craving for his childhood home and, now deep into middle-age, decided to relocate once more.

"No single book will ever be able to fully explain why so much of impoverished America so consistently votes against its own economic self-interest. Likewise, no single book will ever fully explain the unique confluence of historical and cultural forces that created and continues to bulge the Bible Belt. But Bageant, a newcomer to the world of book writing, takes a pretty good stab at it. And he does so in a way that's accessible, raucous and unapologetically foul-mouthed. It's fun reading, and, given his depressing subject matter, that's quite a feat." - excerpted from a piece by Sasha Abramsky, The American Prospect

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

It was a stunning example of complete civic breakdown, witnessed by the entire nation.

In less than 24 hours, levees engineered to block floodwaters ruptured, and more than 100 billion gallons surged into the streets of New Orleans. America watched in horror as every system that might have protected the city from Hurricane Katrina failed. More than 1,400 Louisianans died; hundreds of thousands more were displaced by the catastrophe, and now, more than a year later, we're still piecing together how this could have happened. And could it happen again?

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

Excerpted from this book:

Iran cannot defend itself against U.S. attack, but it can respond in other ways, among them by inciting even more havoc in Iraq. Some issue warnings that are far more grave, among them by the respected British military historian Corelli Barnett, who writes that "an attack on Iran would effectively launch World War III."

The Bush administration has left disasters almost everywhere it has turned, from post-Katrina New Orleans to Iraq. In desperation to salvage something, the administration might undertake the risk of even greater disasters.

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

"America's super-rich have returned to the days of the Roaring Twenties. As the rest of the country struggles to get by, a huge bubble of multi-millionaires lives almost in a parallel world. The rich now live in their own world of private education, private health care and gated mansions. They have their own schools and their own banks. They even travel apart -- creating a booming industry of private jets and yachts. Their world now has a name, thanks to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank which has dubbed it 'Richistan'." - Paul Harris, The Observer UK

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By an everyday book reader on July 1, 2007

In House of War, New York Times best-selling author James Carroll argues and then proves a radical thesis: the Pentagon has, since its founding, operated beyond the control of any force in government or society.

Carroll begins his highly detailed, copiously researched (there are 100 pages of notes), and unequivocally mesmerizing account with a strategy-oriented discussion of the concept of unconditional surrender, by which World War II ended. Even if readers are at first puzzled about where such a discussion may lead, they will soon pick up the thread through this amazing report, by which the author charts the history of the Pentagon, from its actual construction as a building to seeing its rise as a massive governmental unit that has a life unto itself and exists without significant control. As witnessed here, its weight on our national life continues to a phenomenal degree. Certain to be one of the most-talked-about nonfiction books of the season. - Brad Hooper, Booklist, American Library Association

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

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


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

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

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