More than 850 book reviews

Tag Archive for ‘Barack Obama’

Donald Trump: populism, or fascism?

The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, by John Judis @@@@@ (5 out of 5) The unexpected emergence of Donald Trump as a major-party candidate for the White House has triggered a great deal of punditry about how the Republican Party managed to put forward such a bigoted and ignorant… Read More ›

Understanding Wall Street’s great foreclosure fraud

A review of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud, by David Dayen @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Recent events have made us all aware that police officers sometimes act outside the law, not just in fiction but in reality. But what about their bosses and their bosses’ bosses?… Read More ›

A liberal icon finds fault with liberal politics

A review of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, by Thomas Frank @@@@ (4 out of 5) Blame for the widening gap between rich and poor and America is typically laid at the feet of the Republican Party, chiefly through the actions of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W…. Read More ›

Politics: a reading list

I was seven years old when I first became aware of politics. It was 1948, and the presidential race between Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey was underway. With all the wisdom of a seven-year-old, I picked the obvious winner, Dewey. We all know how that worked out. Maybe that’s why I didn’t get actively involved… Read More ›

A terrific novel for political junkies about Africa

A review of The Seersucker Whipsaw, by Ross Thomas @@@@@ (5 out of 5) Clint Shartelle is a honey-tongued Southerner who wears impeccable three-piece suits and drinks like a fish. (Waitaminnit! Do fish actually drink? Whatever.) Shartelle claims to be one sixty-fourth Native American, one-twelfth African-American, and the country’s best political campaign manager. Apparently, he… Read More ›

Five illuminating books every American should read

Stop. I’m not going to make you feel guilty by suggesting you read the Federalist Papers, the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Travels in America, and other works on every historian’s list of seminal books in our past. (After all, how many of us have actually read those books — I mean, actually… Read More ›

Red meat for political junkies: “The Making of the President 2012”

Double Down: Game Change 2012, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann @@@@@ (5 out of 5) For a campaign junkie like me, reading Double Down was sheer pleasure, as was its predecessor by the same authors, Game Change. I’ve been reading book-length accounts of presidential campaigns since Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1960.┬áThis… Read More ›

Surprised by the news about NSA surveillance? Read this book!

A review of Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State, by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. @@@@@ (5 out of 5). A deeply troubling study of the massive military-intelligence complex that has sprung up in the years since 9/11.

Drones, mercenaries, and targeted murder: the new CIA strategy

A review of The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth, by Mark Mazzetti. @@@@ (4 out of 5). A Pulitzer-winning reporter’s inquiry into the profound shift in the CIA’s strategy since 2001, from intelligence-gathering to enhanced interrogation to targeted murder using drones.

The Tea Party may not be what you think

A review of Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party, by Lawrence Rosenthal and Christine Trost. @@@@@ (5 out of 5). A superb collection of scholarly articles that examine the Tea Party from many different angles.