Politically Inspired Book Club

Politically Inspired Book Club

Interested in human rights and social justice? Unsure as to the direction of our political, social and economic institutions?

And are you looking for fellow humans to meet and encourage learning and help inspire change?

In this book club, we encourage each other to learn more, discuss ideas, challenge each other and teach each other. Together we explore nonfiction, memoir and fiction books that we collectively choose. We may also follow up our book club meeting with a tea or a beer down the street.

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of Every Month
 
7:30 PM
Books Inc in Mountain View
301 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041


$15.00
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - March 13th, 1998

January 2015 Selection: In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force


$12.95
ISBN: 9780345806475
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - September 10th, 2013

October 2014 Selection: Just over two hundred years ago, there were one billion humans on Earth.
There are now over seven billion of us.
And, sometime this century, the world population will reach at least ten billion.
Deforestation. Desertification. Species extinction. Global warming. Growing threats to food and water. The driving issues of our times are the result of one huge problem: Us.
As the population continues to grow, our problems will increase. And this means that every way we look at it, a planet of ten billion people is likely to be a nightmare.
Stephen Emmott, a scientist whose lab is at the forefront of research into complex natural systems, sounds the alarm. TEN BILLION is a snapshot of our planet, and our species, approaching a crisis, and a stark analysis of where this leaves us. TEN BILLION is not another climate book. TEN BILLION is a book about us.
 


By George Orwell, C. M. Woodhouse (Introduction by), Russell Baker (Preface by)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780451526342
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Published: Signet Book - April 1996

September 2014 Selection:Since its publication fifty years ago, "Animal Farm" has become one of the most controversial books ever written. It has been translated into seventy languages and sold millions of copies throughout the world. This edition is being published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of its original U.S. publication.

It features 100 full-color and halftone illustrations by world-renowned artist Ralph Steadman. As vital and relevant as it was fifty years ago, "Animal Farm" is a devastating satire of the Soviet Union by the man V. S. Pritchett called "the conscience of his generation." A fable about an uprising of farm animals against their human masters, it illustrates how new tyranny replaces old in the wake of revolutions and power corrupts even the noblest of causes.

This anniversary edition includes Orwell's proposed but unpublished preface to the original edition and his preface to the 1947 Ukranian edition. These appendices evoke the historical context in which Orwell conceived and wrote his classic novel.


$14.95
ISBN: 9780872865679
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: City Lights Books - May 8th, 2012

August 2014 Selection: Today's economic crisis is capitalism's worst since the Great Depression. Millions have lost their jobs, homes and healthcare while those who work watch their pensions, benefits, and job security decline. As more and more are impacted by the crisis, the system continues to make the very wealthy even richer. In eye-opening interviews with prominent economist Richard Wolff, David Barsamian probes the root causes of the current economic crisis, its unjust social consequences, and what can and should be done to turn things around. While others blame corrupt bankers and unregulated speculators, the government, or even the poor who borrowed, the authors show that the causes of the crisis run much deeper. They reach back to the 1970s when the capitalist system itself shifted, ending the century-old pattern of rising wages for U.S. workers and thereby enabling the top 1% to become ultra-rich at the expense of the 99%. Since then, economic injustice has become chronic and further corrupted politics. The Occupy movement, by articulating deep indignation with the whole system, mobilizes huge numbers who seek basic change. Occupying the Economy not only clarifies and analyzes the crisis in U.S. capitalism today, it also points toward solutions that can shape a far better future for all.


$25.99
ISBN: 9781568584546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nation Books - June 18th, 2014

July 2014 Selection: Ralph Nader has fought for over fifty years on behalf of American citizens against the reckless influence of corporations and their government patrons on our society. Now he ramps up the fight and makes a persuasive case that Americans are not powerless. In "Unstoppable," he explores the emerging political alignment of the Left and the Right against converging corporate-government tyranny.
Large segments from the progressive, conservative, and libertarian political camps find themselves aligned in opposition to the destruction of civil liberties, the economically draining corporate welfare state, the relentless perpetuation of America's wars, sovereignty-shredding trade agreements, and the unpunished crimes of Wall Street against Main Street. Nader shows how Left-Right coalitions can prevail over the corporate state and crony capitalism.
He draws on his extensive experience working with grassroots organizations in Washington and reveals the many surprising victories by united progressive and conservative forces. As a participator in, and keen observer of, these budding alliances, he breaks new ground in showing how such coalitions can overcome specific obstacles that divide them, and how they can expand their power on Capitol Hill, in the courts, and in the decisive arena of public opinion.
Americans can reclaim their right to consume safe foods and drugs, live in healthy environments, receive fair rewards for their work, resist empire, regain control of taxpayer assets, strengthen investor rights, and make bureaucrats more efficient and accountable. Nader argues it is in the interest of citizens of different political labels to join in the struggle against the corporate state that will, if left unchecked, ruin the Republic, override our constitution, and shred the basic rights of the American people.


$18.00
ISBN: 9781608193417
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - April 26th, 2011

June 2014 Selection:

 

It is a well-established fact that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. "The Spirit Level," based on thirty years of research, takes this truth a step further. One common factor links the healthiest and happiest societies: the degree of equality among their members. Further, more unequal societies are bad for everyone within them-the rich and middle class as well as the poor.

 

The remarkable data assembled in "The Spirit Level" exposes stark differences, not only among the nations of the first world but even within America's fifty states. Almost every modern social problem-poor health, violence, lack of community life, teen pregnancy, mental illness-is more likely to occur in a less-equal society.

Renowned researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett lay bare the contradictions between material success and social failure in the developed world. But they do not merely tell us what's wrong. They offer a way toward a new political outlook, shifting from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more sustainable society.


$24.95
ISBN: 9780199964277
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - January 13th, 2014

May 2014 Selection: Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president.
In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney Lopez offers a sweeping account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the extremely rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives. The tactic continues at full force, with the Republican Party using racial provocations to drum up enthusiasm for weakening unions and public pensions, defunding public schools, and opposing health care reform.
Rejecting any simple story of malevolent and obvious racism, Haney Lopez links as never before the two central themes that dominate American politics today: the decline of the middle class and the Republican Party's increasing reliance on white voters. Dog Whistle Politics will generate a lively and much-needed debate about how racial politics has destabilized the American middle class -- white and nonwhite members alike."


$19.95
ISBN: 9781570270598
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Published: Autonomedia - October 22nd, 2004

April 2014 Selection: Cultural Writing. CALIBAN AND THE WITCH is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization. "It is both a passionate work of memory recovered and a hammer of humanity's agenda"--Peter Linebaugh, author of The London Hanged.

 


By E. F. Schumacher, Bill McKibben (Foreword by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061997761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 19th, 2010

March 2014 Selection: Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher's classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as "Buy Locally" and "Fair Trade," while voicing strong opposition to "casino capitalism" and wasteful corporate behemoths. Named one of the Times Literary Supplement's 100 Most Influential Books Since World War II, Small Is Beautiful presents eminently logical arguments for building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations.


$18.99
ISBN: 9781609615864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rodale Press - September 3rd, 2013

February 2014 Selection: What's wrong with the US food system? Why is half the world starving while the other half battles obesity? Who decides our food issues, and why can't we do better with labeling, safety, or school food? These are complex questions that are hard to answer in an engaging way for a broad audience. But everybody eats, and food politics affects us all.Marion Nestle, whom Michael Pollan ranked as the #2 most powerful foodie in America (after Michelle Obama) in "Forbes," has always used cartoons in her public presentations to communicate how politics--shaped by government, corporate marketing, economics, and geography--influences food choice. Cartoons do more than entertain; the best get right to the core of complicated concepts and powerfully convey what might otherwise take pages to explain.In "Eat, Drink, Vote," Nestle teams up with The Cartoonist Group syndicate to present more than 250 of her favorite cartoons on issues ranging from dietary advice to genetic engineering to childhood obesity. Using the cartoons as illustration and commentary, she engagingly summarizes some of today's most pressing issues in food politics. While encouraging readers to vote with their forks for healthier diets, this book insists that it's also necessary to vote with votes to make it easier for everyone to make healthier dietary choices.


$14.99
ISBN: 9780060850524
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins Publishers - October 17th, 2006

January 2014 Selection: Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order. A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.


$12.00
ISBN: 9781401940638
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Published: Smileybooks - April 17th, 2012

December 2013 Selection: Record unemployment and rampant corporate avarice, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunities in an increasingly paralyzed nation--these are the realities of 21st-century America, land of the free and home of the new middle class poor. Award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, one of the nation's leading democratic intellectuals, co-hosts of Public Radio's "Smiley & West," now take on the "P" word--poverty."The Rich and the Rest of Us" is the next step in the journey that began with "The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience." Smiley and West's 18-city bus tour gave voice to the plight of impoverished Americans of all races, colors, and creeds. With 150 million Americans persistently poor or near poor, the highest numbers in over five decades, Smiley and West argue that now is the time to confront the underlying conditions of systemic poverty in America before it's too late.By placing the eradication of poverty in the context of the nation's greatest moments of social transformation-- such as the abolition of slavery, woman's suffrage, and the labor and civil rights movements--ending poverty is sure to emerge as America's 21st -century civil rights struggle.As the middle class disappears and the safety net is shredded, Smiley and West, building on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., ask us to confront our fear and complacency with 12 poverty changing ideas. They challenge us to re-examine our assumptions about poverty in America--what it really is and how to eliminate it now.


$27.95
ISBN: 9781118452950
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Published: Jossey-Bass - April 16th, 2013

November 2013 Selection: "New York Times" BestsellerHow feminine values can solve our toughest problems and build a more prosperous futureAmong 64,000 people surveyed in thirteen nations, two thirds feel the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. This marks a global trend away from the winner-takes-all, masculine approach to getting things done. Drawing from interviews at innovative organizations in eighteen nations and at Fortune 500 boardrooms, the authors reveal how men and women alike are recognizing significant value in traits commonly associated with women, such as nurturing, cooperation, communication, and sharing. "The Athena Doctrine" shows why femininity is the operating system of 21st century prosperity.Advocates a new way to solve today's toughest problems in business, education, government, and moreBased on a landmark survey and results from Young & Rubicam's respected Brand Asset Valuator's global survey, as well as on-the-ground interviews in 18 countriesFrom acclaimed social theorist, consumer expert, and bestselling author, John Gerzema, and award-winning author, Michael D'AntonioBrought to life through real world examples and backed by rigorous data, "The Athena Doctrine" shows how feminine traits are ascending--and bringing success to people and organizations around the world. By nurturing, listening, collaborating and sharing, women and men are solving problems, finding profits, and redefining success in every realm.


$29.95
ISBN: 9781442202184
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Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - November 16th, 2009

October 2013 Selection: In the third edition of his highly acclaimed book, Bonilla-Silva continues to challenge color-blind thinking. He has now extended this challenge with a new chapter on Obama's election addressing the apparent miracle of a black man elected as the 44th President of the nation despite the fact that racial progress has stagnated since the 1980s and, in some areas, even regressed. In contrast to those who believe the election of President Obama is a watershed moment that signifies the beginning of a post-racial era in America, he suggests this development embodies the racial trends of the last 40 years including two he has addressed in this book: the rise of color-blind racism as the dominant racial ideology and the emergence of an apparently more flexible racial stratification system he characterizes as Latin America-like. Some material from previous editions, including 'Answers to Questions from Concerned Readers, ' 'What is to Be Done, ' and an Appendix detailing interview questions, is now available on the Rowman & Littlefield website through the Teaching/Learning Resources link.


$16.95
ISBN: 9781576753194
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Published: Berrett-Koehler Publishers - September 2005

August 2013 Selection: From its roots in 17th-century Britain to its modern incarnation in Enron and WorldCom, the modern corporation -- restless, autonomous, and self-perpetuating -- has gained potency. Designed to seek profit and power, the corporation has pursued both objectives with endless tenacity, steadily bending the framework of the law and incurring destruction in its path. Where did the corporation come from? How did it get so much power? What is its ultimate trajectory? Considering the importance of such questions, it is surprisingly difficult to find answers.
Using cutting-edge research from academic historians, sociologists, political scientists, and legal scholars, "Gangs of America attempts to answer these questions in a unique, riveting narrative. The book recounts the settlement of America by corporations, details the surprising impetus for the Revolutionary War, then traces the expansion of corporate rights onto the global stage -- culminating in an assessment of current struggles over such issues as media control and campaign finance reform. Part of the "BK Currents series, the book promotes positive social change.


$14.95
ISBN: 9780691157320
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Published: Princeton University Press - May 5th, 2013

July 2013 Selection: What explains the growing class divide between the well educated and everybody else? Noted author Brink Lindsey, a senior scholar at the Kauffman Foundation, argues that it's because economic expansion is creating an increasingly complex world in which only a minority with the right knowledge and skills--the right "human capital"--reap the majority of the economic rewards. The complexity of today's economy is not only making these lucky elites richer--it is also making them smarter. As the economy makes ever-greater demands on their minds, the successful are making ever-greater investments in education and other ways of increasing their human capital, expanding their cognitive skills and leading them to still higher levels of success. But unfortunately, even as the rich are securely riding this virtuous cycle, the poor are trapped in a vicious one, as a lack of human capital leads to family breakdown, unemployment, dysfunction, and further erosion of knowledge and skills. In this brief, clear, and forthright eBook original, Lindsey shows how economic growth is creating unprecedented levels of human capital--and suggests how the huge benefits of this development can be spread beyond those who are already enjoying its rewards.


$27.95
ISBN: 9780807050477
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beacon Press (MA) - January 29th, 2013

June 2013 Selection:

 

The definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement

Presenting a corrective to the popular notion of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who, with a single act, birthed the modern civil rights movement, Theoharis provides a revealing window into Parks's politics and years of activism. She shows readers how this civil rights movement radical sought--for more than a half a century--to expose and eradicate the American racial-caste system in jobs, schools, public services, and criminal justice.

 


This Book Is Not Sold Online - In Store Special Order Only
ISBN: 9780226264219
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Published: University of Chicago Press - November 1st, 2002

April 2013 Selection: Selected by the "Times Literary Supplement as one of the "hundred most influential books since the war"
How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of his immensely influential economic philosophy--one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. The result is an accessible text that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and shows every sign of becoming more and more influential as time goes on.


$15.99
ISBN: 9780446576444
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Twelve - October 2nd, 2012

January 2013 Selection: More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature. With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted-but redeemable-representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.


$16.00
ISBN: 9781591841838
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Portfolio - August 2008

December 2012 Selection:If you cut off a spider's head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish's leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world.
What's the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women's rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths?
Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have discovered some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. "The Starfish and the Spider" explores what happens when starfish take on spiders and reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the U.S. government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.


This Book Is Not Sold Online - In Store Special Order Only
ISBN: 9780307720450
Availability: Special Order
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - June 12th, 2012

November 2012 Selection: A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy.
Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another - from Wall Street to Congress, the Catholic Church to corporate America, even Major League Baseball - imploded under the weight of corruption and incompetence. In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions; the social contract between ordinary citizens and elites lies in tatters.
How did we get here? With "Twilight of the Elites," Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. Since the 1960s, as the meritocracy elevated a more diverse group of men and women into power, they learned to embrace the accelerating inequality that had placed them near the very top. Their ascension heightened social distance and spawned a new American elite--one more prone to failure and corruption than any that came before it.
Mixing deft political analysis, timely social commentary, and deep historical understanding, "Twilight of the Elites" describes how the society we have come to inhabit - utterly forgiving at the top and relentlessly punitive at the bottom - produces leaders who are out of touch with the people they have been trusted to govern. Hayes argues that the public's failure to trust the federal government, corporate America, and the media has led to a crisis of authority that threatens to engulf not just our politics but our day-to-day lives.
Upending well-worn ideological and partisan categories, Hayes entirely reorients our perspective on our times. "Twilight of the Elites" is the defining work of social criticism for the post-bailout age.


$17.00
ISBN: 9780767915472
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Published: Harlem Moon - January 8th, 2008

August 2012 pick: From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America's shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. "Medical Apartheid" is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge--a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government's notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions. The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, "Medical Apartheid" reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers--and indeed the whole medical establishment--with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read "Medical Apartheid," a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.


$16.00
ISBN: 9780446697965
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Twelve - April 2009

April 2012 Selection


$15.99
ISBN: 9780060512187
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Published: Harper Perennial - September 24th, 2002

March 2012 Selection


$22.95
ISBN: 9781583943977
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Evolver Editions - July 12th, 2011

February 2012 Pick:


$16.00
ISBN: 9780385529969
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - September 6th, 2011

November 2011 Pick: A brilliantly illuminating and darkly comic tale of the ongoing financial and political crisis in America The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn't past but prologue. The grifter class--made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding--has been growing in power, and the crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they've hijacked America's political and economic life. Matt Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing account yet written of this ongoing American crisis. He offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals of the bailout; tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity"; and uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of this country, and the profound consequences for us all.


$15.99
ISBN: 9780312541194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 15th, 2011

October 2011 Selection: Twenty years ago, with "The End of Nature," Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.


$13.95
ISBN: 9781608460960
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Published: Haymarket Books - September 2010

September 2011 Selection: Whether writing about the genesis of his plays, such as "Aunt Dan and Lemon"; discussing how the privileged world of arts and letters takes for granted the work of the "unobtrusives," the people who serve our food and deliver our mail; or describing his upbringing in the sheltered world of Manhattan's cultural elite, Shawn reveals a unique ability to step back from the appearance of things to explore their deeper social meanings. He grasps contradictions, even when unpleasant, and challenges us to look, as he does, at our own behavior in a more honest light. He also finds the pathos in the political and personal challenges of everyday life.


$29.95
ISBN: 9781594202674
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 14th, 2010

August 2011 Selection: With her trademark style, wit, sensitivity, and spontaneity, Kalman guides readers through a whirlwind tour of American democracy and explains how it works.


By Andre Gorz, Chris Turner (Translator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781906497415
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Published: Seagull Books - May 15th, 2010

July 2011 Selection: Writing in 2007, French social philosopher Andre Gorz (1923-2007) was remarkably prophetic, foretelling the international economic meltdown of 2008: "The real economy is becoming an appendage of the speculative bubbles sustained by the finance industry--until that inevitable point when the bubbles burst, leading to serial bank crashes and threatening the global system of credit with collapse and the real economy with a severe, prolonged depression." This prescient article is collected in "Ecologica "alongside many of Gorz's final writings and interviews, which together offer practical and often path-breaking set of solutions to our current economic and political problems. In his writings Gorz condemns the speculative global economic system and anatomizes its terminal crisis. Advocating an exit from capitalism through the self-limitation of needs and the networked use of the latest technologies, he outlines a practical, democratically based solution to our current predicament. Compiled by Gorz, "Ecologica" is intended as a final distillation of his work and thought, a guide to the survival of our planet. It is a work of "political, "rather than scientific ecology--Gorz aruges that the key to planetary survival is not a surrender to environmental experts and eco-technocrats, but a switch to non-consumerist modes of living that would amount to a type of cultural revolution. Praise for Andre Gorz "To my mind the greatest of modern French social thinkers."--Herbert Gintis, author of "Schooling in Capitalist America" "Gorz's work was always within the Utopian tradition--a label he welcomed but which was used pejoratively by his opponents. . . . Many of his derided early warnings about globalization and environmental degradation have become commonplace discourses in political debates today. Ultimately, Gorz's Utopianism was expressed in a very practical sense--we never know how far along the road we are if we have no idea of the destination."--"Independent "


$15.00
ISBN: 9780143118763
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Published: Penguin Books - March 29th, 2011

June 2011 Selection: As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America is no longer guaranteed. Historian Judt challenges readers to confront societal ills and shoulder responsibility for the world they live in.


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ISBN: 9780805088380
Availability: Special Order
Published: Holt Paperbacks - June 24th, 2008

May 2011 Selection: Acclaimed as an instant classic upon publication, "Nickel and Dimed" has sold more than 1.5 million copies and become a staple of classroom reading. Chosen for "one book" initiatives across the country, it has fueled nationwide campaigns for a living wage. Funny, poignant, and passionate, this revelatory firsthand account of life in low-wage America--the story of Barbara Ehrenreich's attempts to eke out a living while working as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart associate--has become an essential part of the nation's political discourse. Now, in a new afterword, Ehrenreich shows that the plight of the underpaid has in no way eased: with fewer jobs available, deteriorating work conditions, and no pay increase in sight, "Nickel and Dimed" is more relevant than ever.


$13.95
ISBN: 9780375714573
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - June 1st, 2004

April 2011 Selection: Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, "Persepolis" is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. "Persepolis" paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, "Persepolis" is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.