Note, there is an updated and revised 2010 edition. This cover image is from the 2000 edition I got from the library. They may have the newer version too, and I definitely want to check it out (pun intended!).
I had heard the name of Jim Hightower and recognized him as a politician. I had no idea he was so FUNNY! Since he was from Texas I just assumed he was one of the humorless, hostile, conservative types. Turns out he will SKEWER ANYONE with equal delight!
Jim Hightower, America’s most popular populist, is a bestselling author, radio commentator, public speaker, and all-around political sparkplug whose credo is “You can fight the gods and still have fun.” Twice elected to statewide office in Texas, he has long battled the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought to Be: the working families, consumers, the environment, small businesses, and just plain folks.
Though the jacket copy above used the cringe-worthy “folks” that has forever been made vomit-inducing from the W use of it (and followed by Obama continuation of same while speaking in an elegant fully literate way otherwise), I was delighted to read this description, itself amusing.
The title alone perfectly sums up the 2016 election without needing any updating. In fact, it might be even more applicable to 2016. The 17 losers (and I include 45 in particular despite the Electoral concept biting US all in the ass), was astonishing in the shallowness of the candidates, the YUUUUUGENESS of their egos (45!! Unbelievable. Trust me. Believe me. Sad.)
Down for the Count: dirty elections and the rotten history of democracy in America by Andrew Gumbel (2005, 2016)
This is a MUST READ BOOK. Our democracy has been chugging along despite dirty rotten scoundrels, but that is no longer the case. McCarthyism is when I think tipped us over the edge. No, wait, the internment of the Japanese Americans came first. Previously we had been stumbling at least towards some degree of a sense of social justice. But that was killed by Reagan, compounded by Bill Clinton, and destroyed world over by George W. Bush.
Another on the must check out from library again and do a proper review. Listening to a college course lecturer on McCarthyism now on cd so that will be very informative as a background to the future and potential civil liberty crack downs like the Alien and Sedition Act.
Just found this older list that I planned to do short takes on, but now have returned the books and don’t recall much so have to recheck out, but here is the list for your consideration. Some duplicates with other posts may occur if I did manage to do some write ups but I am too lazy too check each one.
For some reason, the links to a lot of the books are gone. I may have missed one or two, but I KNOW I DID NOT MISS all the ones now missing GoodReads links, darn it. So I’m sorry, but I am not going to spend another hour or more redoing them when I don’t know why they disappeared in the first place.
Illustrated Great Decisions of the Supreme Court by Tony Mauro (2000)
That’s not what we meant to do: reform and its unintended consequences in twentieth-century America by Steven M. Gillon (2000)
Blasphemy: how the religious right is hijacking our declaration of independence by Alan Dershowitz (2007)
Better, stronger, faster: the myth of American decline — and the rise of a new economy by Daniel Gross (2012)
Takeover: the return of the imperial presidency and the subversion of American democracy by Charlie Savage (2007)
The Supreme Court on unions: why labor law is failing American workers by Julius G. Getman
(checked out via ILL)
The Concise History of Woman Suffrage: selections from History of woman suffrage, edited by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Edited by Paul Buhle (2005)
The Fight to Vote by Michael Waldman
FICTION The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
The Servant Economy: where America’s elite is sending the middle class by Geoffrey P. Faux (2012)
War is the Force that gives us Meaning by Chris Hedges (2002)
What’s the matter with White People: why we long for a golden age that never was by Joan Walsh (2012)
Writing with intent: essays, reviews, personal prose, 1983-2005 by Margaret Atwood (2005)
A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen (2012)
Ayn Rand Nation: The hidden struggle for America’s Soul by Gary Weiss (2012)
Give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in America by Ari Berman ( 2015)
Great Cases in Constitutional Law by Robert P. George (2000)
One Woman, one vote by Ruth Pollak (2005)
[no image] The ACLU Freedom Files: voting rights by Jeremy Paul Kagan (2005)
[no image] The United States Constitution: Questions and Answers by John R. Vile
The Best Government Money Can Buy? by Francis Megahy (2010)
FICTION The Winter Siege [large print] by Ariana Franklin
Unreasonable Man [Ralph Nader video] by Henriette Mantel (2006)
The New Prophets of Capital: A deft and caustic takedown of the new prophets of profit, from Bill Gates to Oprah by Nicole Ashcroft (2015) [checked out via ILL]
Betting on famine: why the world still goes hungry by Jean Ziegler
[no image] The End of Poverty? Think Again by Beth Portello (2010) – heartbreaking
Empire of Capital by Ellen Meiksins Wood (2003)[checked out via ILL]
F*U*B*A*R: America’s right wing nightmare [cd] by Sam Seder (2006) for the innocents out there, FUBAR stands for Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, and variation of SNAFU, Situation Normal, All Fucked Up
All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the rise of an independent nation by Rebecca Traister (2016)
FICTION Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (2002)
FICTION The Peripheral by William Gibson
I have completely gotten bogged down due to issues with my eyes. There may be a need for me to get a reading machine at this rate. I am going to have to give a bunch up and then come back to this page to re-reserve when I get down to a handful, 90 is simply too many to juggle! I need to stop hitting the reserve every time I see something on BookTV and just do a future to read page so I don’t forget them. A few have already slipped by but a few more I did remember to make a note of them to read later.
Betting on Famine: why the World STILL Goes Hungry by Jean Ziegler (2013) is a compelling read, and I want to do it justice. The pages I did read are terrifying and mortifying. There is considerable discussion about the fact that the Nazi’s deliberately starved people in the concentration camps before they killed them. Since I have seen horrible images of the survivors, I know this to be true. Unbelievably wicked but everywhere everyday children and adults are dying from hunger. Fewer people would be a good start to avoiding the problem in the first place, but that is never going to happen since the various religions believe having children is the whole point of women’s lives.
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines by Michael E. Mann (2012)
I saw this author on Book TV I think. I didn’t understand the part about the “hockey stick” but it is a graph he put together “demonstrating that global temperatures have risen in conjunction with the increase in industrialization and the use of fossil fuels.” from the front jacket copy.
This book is an approachable, good read that has illustrations and extensive notes (pp. 365 to 371 small print) and a bibliography.
“Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age–he was then close to 80–we would all be fighting the ‘Christian Fascists.’ The warning, given to me nearly 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of the leaders in the Christian Right who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors in America had found a mask for fascism in patriotism and the pages of the Bible.”
I had fun in the library stacks yesterday picking up hard copy of an excellent book for the appendices and footnotes (I listened to it on cd). It was “Conservatives without Conscience“ by John Dean, and I checked out of few adjacent books. My post on it is here.
Amusing to find it next to “Funding Fathers: The unsung heroes of the conservative movement.” The conservatives are so convinced of the rightness of their belief system that they name names of who we can hold accountable for the misery of the poor.
I knew this was a book I wanted to read after seeing the author and Jon Stewart talk about it on The Daily Show. It exceeds my expectations in detail (lots of footnotes to love) and excellent flowing prose. Though I often kept reading because the text moved along like any good story, I found myself stopping to look up more information about people or events discussed on the Internet
Finally I just started putting bookmarks for passages to return to for rereading. A sentence on page 72 struck me in particular: “the states were, in the words of the Founding Fathers, “separately incompetent” to address the problem of children in the workplace.”