South Washoe DEMS Book Club - Next Meeting May 9, 2019

The South Washoe DEMS Book Club has been meeting monthly since September, 2013. We generally get together about once a month. The exact date for the next meeting is chosen at the end of each meeting. It is a great opportunity to be with a group of nice folks and have some lively discussions on topics of current interest and enjoy some light food & beverages.

The date of our next meeting will be on May 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm (no meeting in April). We will be discussing the book Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

It will be held at the home of Joyce Destefanis & David Penning. They are located in the Saddlehorn community at 14210 Powder River Court (from Thomas Creek Road, turn west onto Saddlehorn Drive and then south onto Powder River Court - see map.)


Leadership: In Turbulent Times
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Leadership: In Turbulent Times Book CoverIn this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership.

Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?

In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope.

Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.

No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon hardships. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.

This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.

REVIEWS
  • "After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians. Insight is her imprint."—USA TODAY

  • "A book like Leadership should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country and ourselves."—The Washington Post

  • "We can only hope that a few of Goodwin's many readers will find in her subjects' examples a margin of inspiration and a resolve to steer the country to a better place."—The New York Times Book Review

The book is available in hardback, paperback, eBook and audio from your local or online bookstores.


We do hope you will join us for this meeting. We will have some refreshments, a good discussion of the book and the issues it raises and, most of all, we always have a good time!

As always, please bring a list of books you would like to discuss in the future! Also, come prepared to enjoy a nice evening with your friends. We hope to see you there!

If you would like to receive our monthly SWD Book Club Reminder Email, or to let us know if you are coming, please email Joyce (joycedestefanis@gmail.com).


Previous Books Read and Discussed by the South Washoe DEMS Book Club

  • March, 2019
  • February, 2019
  • January, 2019
  • November, 2018
  • October, 2018
  • July, 2018
  • June, 2018
  • May, 2018
  • March, 2018
  • February, 2018
  • January, 2018
  • November, 2017
  • Earlier Books

The Fifth Risk
by Michael Lewis


The Fifth Risk Book CoverWhat are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.

Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.

If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system―those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.

REVIEWS

  • “[A] page turner.… [Lewis'] most ambitious and important book.”
    New York Times Book Review

  • “Fascinating―and at times harrowing…. Lewis tells an important and timely story, one that all of us who pay for, care about, and want government to work should hear.”
    NPR

  • “A hymn to the 'deep state,' which is revealed as nothing more than people who know what they're talking about.”
    Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

  • “[A] spellbinding, alarming analysis of the most serious threats to Americans’ safety happening now from inside the U.S. government.”
    Quartz

  • “Displaying his usual meticulous research and fluid prose, [Lewis] makes the federal bureaucracy come alive by focusing on a few individuals within each agency with fascinating―and sometimes heartwarming―backstories.…[A] well-written primer on how the government serves citizens in underappreciated ways.”
    Kirkus (starred review)

  • “Illuminating.… It's relevance to readers won't end with the Trump era.”
    Publishers Weekly

The Doctor's Prescription for What's Ailing America
by Vance Alm. MD


The Doctor's Prescription for What's Ailing AmericaComplacency is Killing Healthcare! We have watched as costs have risen, access has decreased, and quality has deteriorated. We've allowed these things to occur without discussing alternatives. Dr. Alm has spent over twenty years in medicine and believes that it is time to make dramatic changes to medical care provided in the United States. First, he discusses why a change is needed; including a broad discussion of key indicators of health and the staggering costs to the US taxpayer. He presents his plan for how the medical system in the United States could be improved. He presents how care could be provided by the federal government. Providing care through federal facilities by federal employees would provide better care, more effectively and more efficiently. The presentation points out differences in his plan and the current healthcare system; included is discussion of who would be affected if this plan were implemented, both those positively and negatively affected. A primary idea runs throughout the book: there are more problems to the current healthcare system than just who will pay for healthcare. Dr. Alm is concerned about these other problems and addresses physician training, research, need for rural healthcare facilities and the extremely important lack of mental healthcare in this country. This book is not just an effort to point out the problems in the system but also a possible solution to the issues facing healthcare in America. He finishes with some things that the reader can do to improve their own healthcare.

The book is available in paperback from your local or online bookstores.

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in December, 2018)

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About
the World (Politics of Place)

by Tim Marshall


Prisoners of Geography Book CoverIn this New York Times bestseller, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers—“fans of geography, history, and politics (and maps) will be enthralled” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geo-politics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected to refer to a map of the place in question.

All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. In “one of the best books about geopolitics” (The Evening Standard), now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.

Offering “a fresh way of looking at maps” (The New York Times Book Review), Marshall explains the complex geo-political strategies that shape the globe. Why is Putin so obsessed with Crimea? Why was the US destined to become a global superpower? Why does China’s power base continue to expand? Why is Tibet destined to lose its autonomy? Why will Europe never be united? The answers are geographical. “In an ever more complex, chaotic, and interlinked world, Prisoners of Geography is a concise and useful primer on geopolitics” (Newsweek) and a critical guide to one of the major determining factors in world affairs.

REVIEWS

"Quite simply, one of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine: reading it is like having a light shone on your understanding." (The Evening Standard)

"In an ever more complex,chaotic and interlinked world, Prisoners of Geography is a concise and useful primer on geo-politics." (Newsweek Europe)

"Marshall is excellent on some of the highways and byways of geopolitics." (Financial Times)

"This is not a book about environmental determinism – the geography of aregion is never presented as fatalistic; but it does send a timely reminderthat despite technological advances, geography is always there, often forcingthe hand of world leaders." (Geographical Magazine)

"Fans of geography, history and politics (and maps) will be enthralled." (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"Lively and perceptive political and historical analyses are frequent. The chapter on China is excellent; the chapter on Africa combines geography and history in a convincing way; the chapter on Western Europe...is a brilliant narrative of European relations,particularly between France and Germany. The superb chapter on the Middle East makes for a clear indictment of the Sykes–Picot agreements and of their tracing of artificial borders. The chapter on the Arctic is precise and informative ...A very lively, sensible and informative series of country reports in which geography occupies its rightful place along with shrewd historical reminders and political judgments." (Survival: Global Politics and Strategy)

"Marshall's insistence on seeing the world through the lens of geography compels a fresh way of looking at maps—not just as objects for orientation or works of art, but as guideposts to the often thorny relations between nations." (New York Times Book Review)

"This book is especially timely...Landscapes, rugged or otherwise, and what the land holds in resources, exert their own kind of sway that no one, not even a Putin, can surmount. This book grabbed me because of its enormous relevance to our world today." (Booktrib.com)

"A convincing analysis of Russian geopoliticalthinking....Also makes clear the terrible price the world has had to paybecause European officials decided to create nation-states with borders thatcompletely ignored cultural geography." (Washington Post)

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel
by George Saunders


Lincoln in the Bardo Book CoverFebruary 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

REVIEWS

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR • One of Time’s Ten Best Novels of the Year • A New York Times Notable Book

“A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”—Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review

“A masterpiece.”—Zadie Smith

 

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in August & September, 2018)

In the Shadow of Statues
by Mitch Landrieu


In the Shadow of Statues Book CoverThe New Orleans mayor who removed the Confederate statues confronts the racism that shapes us and argues for white America to reckon with its past. A passionate, personal, urgent book from the man who sparked a national debate.

"There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence for it." When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history. His father, as state legislator and mayor, was a huge force in the integration of New Orleans in the 1960s and 19070s. Landrieu grew up with a progressive education in one of the nation's most racially divided cities, but even he had to relearn Southern history as it really happened.

Equal parts unblinking memoir, history, and prescription for finally confronting America's most painful legacy, In the Shadow of Statues will contribute strongly to the national conversation about race in the age of Donald Trump, at a time when racism is resurgent with seemingly tacit approval from the highest levels of government and when too many Americans have a misplaced nostalgia for a time and place that never existed.

REVIEWS

One of Newsweek's "50 Coolest Books to Read This Summer"

“[Mitch Landrieu] has done something, in his speech and his book, that other politicians should emulate. He’s tried to reckon with America’s sins while offering an optimistic, big-hearted and deeply patriotic defense of cosmopolitanism as the source of American greatness.” —
The New York Times

“[A] thought-provoking piece of political writing...Uncomfortable as it might be to think of our country’s history...we have to do so, if we want to live within the truth. Landrieu has shown the way.” —
The Washington Post

"[A] compelling reconsideration of what it means to be a Southerner in contemporary America." —
Esquire.com

"Part memoir and part manifesto, the book follows Landrieu’s political path as well as the evolution of his thoughts on race and history." —
Time.com

"A powerful manifesto." —
Newsweek

"A powerful, welcome manifesto in the cause of a new and better South—and a 'better America.'" —
Kirkus Reviews

"[A] timely message of racial reconciliation." —
National Journal

"An extraordinarily powerful journey that is both political and personal...An important book for everyone in America to read."
Walter Isaacson,#1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo Da Vinci and Steve Jobs

Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the
Women Who Will Run the World

by Jennifer Palmieri


In the Shadow of StBook Cover#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
USA TODAY BESTSELLER

Redefine the expectations for women in leadership roles with this New York Times bestselling volume of inspiring advice by the former communications director for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Framed as an empowering letter from former Hillary Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri to the first woman president, and by extension, to all women working to succeed in any field, Dear Madam President is filled with forward-thinking, practical advice for all women who are determined to seize control of their lives-from boardroom to living room.

As a country, we haven't wrapped our heads around what it should look like for a woman to be in the job of President. Our only models are men. While wildly disappointed by the outcome of the 2016 election, Palmieri argues that our feelings-confusion, love, hate, acceptance-can now open the country up to reimagining women in leadership roles. And that is what Palmieri takes on in this book-redefining expectations for women looking to lead and creating a blueprint for women candidates and leaders to follow. Dear Madam President will turn the results of the 2016 election into something incredibly empowering for graduates, future female leaders, and independent thinkers everywhere.

REVIEWS

"My book explained what happened and where we need to go from here. Jennifer Palmieri picks up the ball and runs with it in this book. It's about being a woman, working for a woman, and telling the stories of the personal and professional ups and downs that all women need to hear as we chart our individual and collective futures." ― Hillary Rodham Clinton

"A powerful, personal, and sometimes painful book written for any woman who has ever thought of becoming a leader. I hope it inspires more women and girls because their voices and their leadership are needed now more than ever." ― Madeleine Albright

"With her searing honestly, Jennifer Palmieri writes about loss, despair, and that flicker of hope that keeps us getting up and striving day after day. America's first woman president should keep this book on her desk and read it every morning." ― Nicolle Wallace

"DEAR MADAM PRESIDENT is a book that every parent should encourage their daughters-and their sons-to read." ― Cory Booker

"Our first woman president, whomever she may be, will no doubt be wise and open enough to seek advice from the best in the business. The advice and insights Jennifer Palmieri has garnered from years on the frontlines of politics and life will make any leader better." ― Maria Shriver

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels
by Jon Meacham


Soul of America Book CoverPulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women’s rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson’s crusade against Jim Crow. Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear—a struggle that continues even now.

While the American story has not always—or even often—been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, “The good news is that we have come through such darkness before”—as, time and again, Lincoln’s better angels have found a way to prevail.

Advance praise for The Soul of America

“Meacham has written this exceptionally fluent and stirring ‘portrait of hours in which the politics of fear were prevalent’ in America out of profound knowledge, respect, and love for the nation. . . . This engrossing, edifying, many-voiced chronicle, subtly propelled by concern over the troubled Trump administration, calls on readers to defend democracy, decency, and the common good.”—Booklist (starred review)

“This is a brilliant, fascinating, timely, and above all profoundly important book.”—Walter Isaacson

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in April, 2018)

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
by Ta-Nehisi Coates


We Were Eight Years in Power Book CoverIn these “urgently relevant essays,” *the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath — including the election of Donald Trump.

"We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including Fear of a Black President, The Case for Reparations, and The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

      *Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

New York Times Bestseller • One of Time’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of the Year • One of USA Today’s top 10 books of the year • A New York Times Notable Book

Essential . . . Coates’s probing essays about race, politics, and history became necessary ballast for this nation’s gravity-defying moment. — The Boston Globe 

How Democracy Die
by Daniel Ziblatt & Steven Levitsky


How Democracies Die Book Cover- NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Cool and persuasive... How Democracies Die comes at exactly the right moment. We’re already awash in public indignation—what we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that.” 

—The Washington Post

Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. 

Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
by Michael Wolf


Fire and Fury Book CoverThe first nine months of Donald Trump's term were stormy, outrageous―and absolutely mesmerizing. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.

In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations:

  • What President Trump's staff really thinks of him
  • What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama
  • Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
  • Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room
  • Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing
  • What the secret to communicating with Trump is
  • What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers

Never before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in December, 2017)

Strangers in the Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
by Arlie Russell Hochschild


    • Strangers In Their Own Land BookcoverA 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR NONFICTION
    • A 2016 NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
    • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    • A NEWSDAY TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR
    • A KIRKUS BEST BOOK OF 2016

One of "6 Books to Understand Trump's Win"
   ― New York Times the day after the election

"This is a smart, respectful and compelling book."

   ― The New York Times Book Review

"Satisfying... [Hochschild's] analysis is overdue at a time when questions of policy and legislation and even fact have all but vanished from the public discourse."
   ― The New York Review of Books

"Hochschild moves beyond the truism that less affluent voters who support small government and tax cuts are voting against their own economic interest."
   ― O Magazine

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country―a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets―among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident―people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream―and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in October, 2017)

Requiem for the American Dream:
The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power
by Noam Chomsky


Requiem for the American Dream Book CoverIn his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts a clear, cold, patient eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They're simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument.

To create Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky and his editors, the filmmakers Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, and Jared P. Scott, spent countless hours together over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2016. After the release of the film version, Chomsky and the editors returned to the many hours of tape and transcript and created a document that included three times as much text as was used in the film. The book that has resulted is nonetheless arguably the most succinct and tightly woven of Chomsky's long career, a beautiful vessel--including old-fashioned ligatures in the typeface--in which to carry Chomsky's bold and uncompromising vision, his perspective on the economic reality and its impact on our political and moral well-being as a nation.

"During the Great Depression, which I'm old enough to remember, it was bad–much worse subjectively than today. But there was a sense that we'll get out of this somehow, an expectation that things were going to get better . . ." — from Requiem for the American Dream

September, 2017

Dark Money Book CoverDark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
by Jane Mayer

August, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy Book CoverHillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J.D. Vance

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in July, 2017)

June, 2017

The Firebrnd and the First Lady Book CoverThe Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott

May, 2017

Nudge Book CoverNudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
by Richard H. Thayer and Cass R. Sunstein

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in April, 2017)

March, 2017

Don't Think of an Elephant Book CoverDon't Think of an Elephant! - Know Your Values and Frame the Debate
by George Lakoff

February, 2017

Lies, Incorporated Book CoverLies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics
by Ari Rabin-Havt

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in October, 2016 thru January, 2017)

September, 2016

Grit BookcoverGrit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in June, 2016 thru August, 2016)

May, 2016

Righteous Mind Book CoverRighteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt

April, 2016

Rise of the Robots Book CoverRise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
by Martin Ford

(NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in October, 2015 thru March, 2016)

September, 2015

The Post American World Book CoverThe Post-American World
by Fareed Zakaria

August, 2015

Elon Musk Book CoverElon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
by Ashlee Vance

July, 2015

The Wright Brothers BookcoverThe Wright Brothers
by David McCullough

June, 2015

Is the American Century Over Book Cover Is the American Century Over?
by Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in April & May, 2015

March, 2015

Islam for Dummies Book CoverIslam for Dummies
by Malcolm Clark

February, 2015

The Family Romanov Book CoverThe Family Romanov
by Candance Flemming

January, 2015

Rise and Fall of Joe McCarthy Book CoverRise and Fall of Joe McCarthy
by James Cross Giblin

NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in December, 2014

November, 2014

Truman Book CoverTruman
by David McCullough

October, 2014

The ROOSEVELTS Book CoverTHE ROOSEVELTS: An Intimate History
by cinematographer, Ken Burns

September, 2014

A Fighting Chance BookcoverA Fighting Chance
by Elizabeth Warren

 

August, 2014

Not For Profit Book CoverNot For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
by Martha C. Nussbaum

NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in July, 2014

June, 2014

The Divide Book CoverThe Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
by Matt Taibbi

 

May, 2014

The Bomb Book CoverBomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin

NOTE: The Book Club did not meet in April, 2014

March, 2014

Cybersecurity & Cyberwar Book CoverCybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know®
by P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman

 

February, 2014

American Nations BookcoverAmerican Nations: A History of the Eleven
Rival Regional Cultures of North America

by Colin Woodard

January, 2014

Outliners Book CoverOutliers: The Story of Success
by Malcom Gladwell

December, 2013

The Abolsultely True Diary of a Part Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie

November, 2013

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
by Malala Yousafzai

October, 2013

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care
by T.R. Reid

September, 2013

How Do You Kill 11 Million People?: Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think
by Andy Andrews