Kill Switch The Rise Of The Modern Senate And The Crippling Of American Democracy - [PDF] Full eBook Download

Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy

Author : ,

ISBN10 : 1631497782

Publisher : Liveright Publishing

Number of Pages : 336

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 1421

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Book Summary: An insider’s account of how politicians representing a radical white minority of Americans have used “the world’s greatest deliberative body” to hijack our democracy. Every major decision governing our diverse, majority-female, and increasingly liberal country bears the stamp of the United States Senate, an institution controlled by people who are almost exclusively white, overwhelmingly male, and disproportionately conservative. Although they do not represent a majority of Americans—and will not for the foreseeable future—today’s Republican senators possess the power to block most legislation. Once known as “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the Senate has become one of the greatest threats to our democracy. How did this happen? In Kill Switch, Senate insider Adam Jentleson contends that far from reflecting the Framers’ vision, the Senate has been transformed over the decades by a tenacious minority of white conservatives. From John Calhoun in the mid-1800s to Mitch McConnell in the 2010s, their primary weapon has been the filibuster, or the requirement that most legislation secure the support of a supermajority of senators. Yet, as Jentleson reveals, the filibuster was not a feature of the original Senate and, in allowing a determined minority to gridlock the federal government, runs utterly counter to the Framers’ intent. For much of its history, the filibuster was used primarily to prevent civil rights legislation from becoming law. But more recently, Republicans have refined it into a tool for imposing their will on all issues, wielding it to thwart an increasingly progressive American majority represented by Barack Obama’s agenda and appointees. Under Donald Trump, McConnell merged the filibuster with rigid leadership structures initially forged by Lyndon Johnson, in the process surrendering the Senate’s independence and centrality, as infamously shown by its acquiescence in Trump’s impeachment trial. The result is a failed institution and a crippled democracy. Taking us into the Capitol Hill backrooms where the institution’s decline is most evident, Jentleson shows that many of the greatest challenges of our era—partisan polarization, dark money, a media culture built on manufactured outrage—converge within the Senate. Even as he charts the larger forces that have shaped the institution where he served, Jentleson offers incisive portraits of the powerful senators who laid the foundation for the modern Senate, from Calhoun to McConnell to LBJ’s mentor, Richard Russell, to the unapologetic racist Jesse Helms. An essential, revelatory investigation, Kill Switch ultimately makes clear that unless we immediately and drastically reform the Senate’s rules and practices—starting with reforming the filibuster—we face the prospect of permanent minority rule in America.

Filibustering

Author : Gregory Koger

ISBN10 : 0226449661

Publisher : University of Chicago Press

Number of Pages : 272

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 1220

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Book Summary: In the modern Congress, one of the highest hurdles for major bills or nominations is gaining the sixty votes necessary to shut off a filibuster in the Senate. But this wasn’t always the case. Both citizens and scholars tend to think of the legislative process as a game played by the rules in which votes are the critical commodity—the side that has the most votes wins. In this comprehensive volume,Gregory Koger shows, on the contrary, that filibustering is a game with slippery rules in which legislators who think fast and try hard can triumph over superior numbers. Filibustering explains how and why obstruction has been institutionalized in the U.S. Senate over the last fifty years, and how this transformation affects politics and policymaking. Koger also traces the lively history of filibustering in the U.S. House during the nineteenth century and measures the effects of filibustering—bills killed, compromises struck, and new issues raised by obstruction. Unparalleled in the depth of its theory and its combination of historical and political analysis, Filibustering will be the definitive study of its subject for years to come.

Politics or Principle?

Author : Sarah A. Binder,Steven S. Smith

ISBN10 : 0815723512

Publisher : Brookings Institution Press

Number of Pages : 264

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 1739

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Book Summary: Is American democracy being derailed by the United States Senate filibuster? Is the filibuster an important right that improves the political process or an increasingly partisan tool that delays legislation and thwarts the will of the majority? Are century-old procedures in the Senate hampering the institution from fulfilling its role on the eve of the 21st century? The filibuster has achieved almost mythic proportions in the history of American politics, but it has escaped a careful, critical assessment for more than 50 years. In this book, Sarah Binder and Steven Smith provide such an assessment as they address the problems and conventional wisdom associated with the Senate's long-standing tradition of extended debate. The authors examine the evolution of the rules governing Senate debate, analyze the consequences of these rules, and evaluate reform proposals. They argue that in an era of unprecedented filibustering and related obstructionism, old habits are indeed undermining the Senate's ability to meet its responsibilities. Binder and Smith scrutinize conventional wisdom about the filibuster—and show that very little of it is true. They focus on five major myths: that unlimited debate is a fundamental right to differentiate the Senate from the House of Representatives; that the Senate's tradition as a deliberative body requires unlimited debate; that the filibuster is reserved for a few issues of the utmost national importance; that few measures are actually killed by the filibuster; and that senators resist changing the rules because of a principled commitment to deliberation. In revising conventional wisdom about the filibuster, Binder and Smith contribute to ongoing debates about the dynamics of institutional change in the American political system. The authors conclude by suggesting reforms intended to enhance the power of determined majorities while preserving the rights of chamber minorities. They advocate, for example, lowering the number of votes required to end debate while increasing the amount of time for senators to debate controversial bills. Reform is possible, they suggest, that is consistent with the Senate's unique size and responsibilities.

Let them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality

Author : Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson

ISBN10 : 1631496859

Publisher : Liveright Publishing

Number of Pages : 288

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 724

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Book Summary: A New York Times Editors’ Choice An “essential” (Jane Mayer) account of the dangerous marriage of plutocratic economic priorities and right-wing populist appeals — and how it threatens the pillars of American democracy. In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson argue that despite the rhetoric of Donald Trump, Josh Hawley, and other right-wing “populists,” the Republican Party came to serve its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history. To maintain power while serving the 0.1 percent, the GOP has relied on increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to its almost entirely white base. Calling this dangerous hybrid “plutocratic populism,” Hacker and Pierson show how, over the last forty years, reactionary plutocrats and right-wing populists have become the two faces of a party that now actively undermines democracy to achieve its goals against the will of the majority of Americans. Based on decades of research and featuring a new epilogue about the intensification of GOP radicalism after the 2020 election, Let Them Eat Tweets authoritatively explains the doom loop of tax cutting and fearmongering that defines the Republican Party—and reveals how the rest of us can fight back.

The Cynic

Author : Alec MacGillis

ISBN10 : 1476761078

Publisher : Simon and Schuster

Number of Pages : 50

Category : Biography & Autobiography

Viewed : 1149

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Book Summary: From a dogged political reporter, an investigation into the political education of Mitch McConnell and an argument that this powerful Senator embodies much of this country’s political dysfunction. Based on interviews with more than seventy-five people who have worked alongside Mitch McConnell or otherwise interacted with him over the course of his career, The Cynic, which will be published as an original ebook, is both a comprehensive biography of one of this country’s most powerful politicians and a damning diagnosis of this country's eroding political will. Tracing his rise from a pragmatic local official in Kentucky to the leader of the Republican opposition in Washington, the book tracks McConnell’s transformation from a moderate Republican who supported abortion rights and public employee unions to the embodiment of partisan obstructionism and conservative orthodoxy on Capitol Hill. Driven less by a shift in ideological conviction than by a desire to win elections and stay in power at all costs, McConnell’s transformation exemplifies the “permanent campaign” mindset that has come to dominate American government. From his first race for local office in 1977—when the ad crew working on it nicknamed McConnell “love-me-love-me” for his insecurity and desire to please—to his fraught accommodation of the Tea Party, McConnell’s political career is a story of ideological calcification and a vital mirror for understanding this country’s own political development and what is wrought when politicians serve not at the behest of country, but at the behest of party and personal aggrandizement.

The Liar's Dictionary

Author : Eley Williams

ISBN10 : 0735281505

Publisher : Knopf Canada

Number of Pages : 288

Category : Fiction

Viewed : 1276

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Book Summary: An exhilarating, clever, funny debut novel from a prize-winning talent, chronicling the misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman who decodes his trail of made-up words a century later. Will enthrall readers of CS Richardson, Helen Simonson's Major Pettigrew and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement. Peter Winceworth is a lexicographer in Victorian-era London, toiling away at the letter "S" for a multi-volume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Secretly, he begins to insert unauthorized fictitious entries into the dictionary in an attempt to assert some artistic freedom. In the present day, Mallory is a young intern employed by the same publisher. Her task is to uncover these mountweazels before the dictionary is digitized. She also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Why, she wonders, is the change in the definition of "marriage" so upsetting to the caller? And does the caller really intend for the publisher's staff to "burn in hell"? As these two narratives, characters and times entwine, both Winceworth and Mallory discover how they might negotiate the complexities of the nonsensical, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating debut from a formidably brilliant young writer, The Liar's Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity and joy of language.

Burning Down the House

Author : Julian E. Zelizer

ISBN10 : 0698402758

Publisher : Penguin

Number of Pages : 368

Category : History

Viewed : 767

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Book Summary: A New York Times Notable Book! A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice The story of how Newt Gingrich and his allies tainted American politics, launching an enduring era of brutal partisan warfare When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, President Obama observed that Trump “is not an outlier; he is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the rhetoric and tactics of the Republican Party.” In Burning Down the House, historian Julian Zelizer pinpoints the moment when our country was set on a path toward an era of bitterly partisan and ruthless politics, an era that was ignited by Newt Gingrich and his allies. In 1989, Gingrich brought down Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright and catapulted himself into the national spotlight. Perhaps more than any other politician, Gingrich introduced the rhetoric and tactics that have shaped Congress and the Republican Party for the last three decades. Elected to Congress in 1978, Gingrich quickly became one of the most powerful figures in America not through innovative ideas or charisma, but through a calculated campaign of attacks against political opponents, casting himself as a savior in a fight of good versus evil. Taking office in the post-Watergate era, he weaponized the good government reforms newly introduced to fight corruption, wielding the rules in ways that shocked the legislators who had created them. His crusade against Democrats culminated in the plot to destroy the political career of Speaker Wright. While some of Gingrich’s fellow Republicans were disturbed by the viciousness of his attacks, party leaders enjoyed his successes so much that they did little collectively to stand in his way. Democrats, for their part, were alarmed, but did not want to sink to his level and took no effective actions to stop him. It didn’t seem to matter that Gingrich’s moral conservatism was hypocritical or that his methods were brazen, his accusations of corruption permanently tarnished his opponents. This brand of warfare worked, not as a strategy for governance but as a path to power, and what Gingrich planted, his fellow Republicans reaped. He led them to their first majority in Congress in decades, and his legacy extends far beyond his tenure in office. From the Contract with America to the rise of the Tea Party and the Trump presidential campaign, his fingerprints can be seen throughout some of the most divisive episodes in contemporary American politics. Burning Down the House presents the alarming narrative of how Gingrich and his allies created a new normal in Washington.

Inside Congress

Author : Trevor Corning,Reema Dodin,Kyle Nevins

ISBN10 : 0815727348

Publisher : Brookings Institution Press

Number of Pages : 60

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 344

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Book Summary: Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how to work within Congress. The House and Senate have unique rules and procedures to determine how legislation moves from a policy idea to law. Evolved over the last 200 years, the rules of both chambers are designed to act as the engine for that process. Each legislative body has its own leadership positions to oversee this legislative process. To the novice, whether a newly elected representative, a lawmaker’s staff on her first day at work, or a constituent visiting Washington, the entire process can seem incomprehensible. What is an open rule for a House Appropriations bill and how does it affect consideration? Why are unanimous consent agreements needed in the Senate? The authors of Inside Congress, all congressional veterans, have written the definitive guide to how Congress really works. It is the accessible and necessary resource to understanding and interpreting procedural tools, arcane precedents, and the role of party politics in the making of legislation in Congress.

The Last Great Senate

Author : Ira Shapiro

ISBN10 : 1538109794

Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield

Number of Pages : 515

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 1865

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Book Summary: The Last Great Senate is a narrative history of the Senate from 1977 through 1980, the closing years of the progressive Senate of the 1960s and 1970s which compiled a record of accomplishment unmatched in the country’s history. The book recounts legislative battles which present remarkable case studies of the lawmaking process in action.

McCain: The Myth of a Maverick

Author : Matt Welch

ISBN10 : 9780230608559

Publisher : St. Martin\'s Press

Number of Pages : 256

Category : Biography & Autobiography

Viewed : 1599

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Book Summary: John McCain is one of the most familiar, sympathetic, and overexposed figures in American politics, yet his concrete governing philosophy and actual track record have been left curiously unexamined, mostly because of the massive distractions in his official biography, but also because of his ingenious strategy of talking ad infinitum to each and every access-craving media person who happens by. The more he has spouted, the less journalists have bothered trying to see through the fog. McCain gives the public what it wants but can't find -- a flesh-and-bones political portrait of a man onto whom people are forever projecting their own ideological fantasies. It is a psychological key for decoding his allegedly ‘maverick' actions. McCain will quickly lay out in overlapping detail the root cause of the senator's worldview: his personal transformation from underachieving punk to war hawk uber-patriot, in which he used the "higher power" of American nationalism to save his life and soul. McCain looks behind the war hero, behind the maverick reformer. Journalist and pundit Matt Welch brings to this project an investigative eye and a coolly analytical mindset to provide Republicans, Democrats and Independents a picture of the man.

Nixonland

Author : Rick Perlstein

ISBN10 : 9781451606263

Publisher : Simon and Schuster

Number of Pages : 896

Category : History

Viewed : 306

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Book Summary: An exciting e-format containing 27 video clips taken directly from the CBS news archive of a brilliant, best-selling account of the Nixon era by one of America’s most talented young historians. Between 1965 and 1972 America experienced a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know today was born. Nixonland begins in the blood and fire of the Watts riots-one week after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, and nine months after his historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater seemed to have heralded a permanent liberal consensus. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever-and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. Six years later, President Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment borne of that blood and fire, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's, and the outlines of today's politics of red-and-blue division became already distinct. Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland: • Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods, while suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns. • The civil war over Vietnam, the assassinations, the riot at the Democratic National Convention. • Richard Nixon acceding to the presidency pledging a new dawn of national unity--and governing more divisively than any before him. • The rise of twin cultures of left- and right-wing vigilantes, Americans literally bombing and cutting each other down in the streets over political differences. •And, finally, Watergate, the fruit of a president who rose by matching his own anxieties and dreads with those of an increasingly frightened electorate--but whose anxieties and dreads produced a criminal conspiracy in the Oval Office.

Let the People Pick the President

Author : Jesse Wegman

ISBN10 : 1250221986

Publisher : All Points Books

Number of Pages : 272

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 817

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Book Summary: “Wegman combines in-depth historical analysis and insight into contemporary politics to present a cogent argument that the Electoral College violates America’s ‘core democratic principles’ and should be done away with..." —Publishers Weekly The framers of the Constitution battled over it. Lawmakers have tried to amend or abolish it more than 700 times. To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how it works. It deepens our national divide and distorts the core democratic principles of political equality and majority rule. How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose? Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question—and creating a false picture of a country divided into bright red and blue blocks when in fact we are purple from coast to coast. Even when the popular-vote winner becomes president, tens of millions of Americans—Republicans and Democrats alike—find that their votes didn't matter. And, with statewide winner-take-all rules, only a handful of battleground states ultimately decide who will become president. Now, as political passions reach a boiling point at the dawn of the 2020 race, the message from the American people is clear: The way we vote for the only official whose job it is to represent all Americans is neither fair nor just. Major reform is needed—now. Isn't it time to let the people pick the president? In this thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms, Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman draws upon the history of the founding era, as well as information gleaned from campaign managers, field directors, and other officials from twenty-first-century Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, to make a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President he shows how we can at long last make every vote in the United States count—and restore belief in our democratic system.

Freedom From the Market

Author : Mike Konczal

ISBN10 : 1620975386

Publisher : The New Press

Number of Pages : 258

Category : Social Science

Viewed : 1763

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Book Summary: The progressive economics writer redefines the national conversation about American freedom “Mike Konczal [is] one of our most powerful advocates of financial reform‚ [a] heroic critic of austerity‚ and a huge resource for progressives.”—Paul Krugman Health insurance, student loan debt, retirement security, child care, work-life balance, access to home ownership—these are the issues driving America’s current political debates. And they are all linked, as this brilliant and timely book reveals, by a single question: should we allow the free market to determine our lives? In the tradition of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, noted economic commentator Mike Konczal answers this question with a resounding no. Freedom from the Market blends passionate political argument and a bold new take on American history to reveal that, from the earliest days of the republic, Americans have defined freedom as what we keep free from the control of the market. With chapters on the history of the Homestead Act and land ownership, the eight-hour work day and free time, social insurance and Social Security, World War II day cares, Medicare and desegregation, free public colleges, intellectual property, and the public corporation, Konczal shows how citizens have fought to ensure that everyone has access to the conditions that make us free. At a time when millions of Americans—and more and more politicians—are questioning the unregulated free market, Freedom from the Market offers a new narrative, and new intellectual ammunition, for the fight that lies ahead.

Our Man

Author : George Packer

ISBN10 : 0307958035

Publisher : Vintage

Number of Pages : 608

Category : History

Viewed : 306

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Book Summary: *Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography* *Winner of the Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography* *Winner of the 2019 Hitchens Prize* "Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory...Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy... If you could read one book to comprehend American's foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it."--Walter Isaacson, The New York Times Book Review "By the end of the second page, maybe the third, you will be hooked...There never was a diplomat-activist quite like [Holbrooke], and there seldom has been a book quite like this -- sweeping and sentimental, beguiling and brutal, catty and critical, much like the man himself."--David M. Shribman, The Boston Globe Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America's greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence. In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke's diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

Winner-Take-All Politics

Author : Jacob S. Hacker,Paul Pierson

ISBN10 : 1416593845

Publisher : Simon and Schuster

Number of Pages : 368

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 946

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Book Summary: A groundbreaking work that identifies the real culprit behind one of the great economic crimes of our time— the growing inequality of incomes between the vast majority of Americans and the richest of the rich. We all know that the very rich have gotten a lot richer these past few decades while most Americans haven’t. In fact, the exorbitantly paid have continued to thrive during the current economic crisis, even as the rest of Americans have continued to fall behind. Why do the “haveit- alls” have so much more? And how have they managed to restructure the economy to reap the lion’s share of the gains and shift the costs of their new economic playground downward, tearing new holes in the safety net and saddling all of us with increased debt and risk? Lots of so-called experts claim to have solved this great mystery, but no one has really gotten to the bottom of it—until now. In their lively and provocative Winner-Take-All Politics, renowned political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson demonstrate convincingly that the usual suspects—foreign trade and financial globalization, technological changes in the workplace, increased education at the top—are largely innocent of the charges against them. Instead, they indict an unlikely suspect and take us on an entertaining tour of the mountain of evidence against the culprit. The guilty party is American politics. Runaway inequality and the present economic crisis reflect what government has done to aid the rich and what it has not done to safeguard the interests of the middle class. The winner-take-all economy is primarily a result of winner-take-all politics. In an innovative historical departure, Hacker and Pierson trace the rise of the winner-take-all economy back to the late 1970s when, under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, a major transformation of American politics occurred. With big business and conservative ideologues organizing themselves to undo the regulations and progressive tax policies that had helped ensure a fair distribution of economic rewards, deregulation got under way, taxes were cut for the wealthiest, and business decisively defeated labor in Washington. And this transformation continued under Reagan and the Bushes as well as under Clinton, with both parties catering to the interests of those at the very top. Hacker and Pierson’s gripping narration of the epic battles waged during President Obama’s first two years in office reveals an unpleasant but catalyzing truth: winner-take-all politics, while under challenge, is still very much with us. Winner-Take-All Politics—part revelatory history, part political analysis, part intellectual journey— shows how a political system that traditionally has been responsive to the interests of the middle class has been hijacked by the superrich. In doing so, it not only changes how we think about American politics, but also points the way to rebuilding a democracy that serves the interests of the many rather than just those of the wealthy few.

The Ten Year War

Author : Jonathan Cohn

ISBN10 : 1250270944

Publisher : St. Martin\'s Press

Number of Pages : 320

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 1505

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Book Summary: Jonathan Cohn's The Ten Year War is the definitive account of the battle over Obamacare, based on interviews with sources who were in the room, from one of the nation's foremost healthcare journalists. The Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” was the most sweeping and consequential piece of legislation of the last half century. It has touched nearly every American in one way or another, for better or worse, and become the defining political fight of our time. In The Ten Year War, veteran journalist Jonathan Cohn offers the compelling, authoritative history of how the law came to be, why it looks like it does, and what it’s meant for average Americans. Drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews, plus private diaries, emails and memos, The Ten Year War takes readers to Capitol Hill and to town hall meetings, inside the West Wing and, eventually, into Trump Tower, as the nation's most powerful leaders try to reconcile pragmatism and idealism, self-interest and the public good, and ultimately two very different visions for what the country should look like. At the heart of the book is the decades-old argument over what’s wrong with American health care and how to fix it. But the battle over healthcare was always about more than policy. The Ten Year War offers a deeper examination of how our governing institutions, the media and the two parties have evolved, and the dysfunction those changes have left in their wake.

The Most Exclusive Club

Author : Lewis Gould

ISBN10 : 0786735376

Publisher : Basic Books

Number of Pages : 416

Category : History

Viewed : 1813

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Book Summary: The definitive history of the modern United States Senate, and the outsized figures who shaped its role in the twentieth century.

Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time

Author : Ira Katznelson

ISBN10 : 0871406608

Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company

Number of Pages : 720

Category : History

Viewed : 1010

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Book Summary: “A powerful argument, swept along by Katznelson’s robust prose and the imposing scholarship that lies behind it.”—Kevin Boyle, New York Times Book Review A work that “deeply reconceptualizes the New Deal and raises countless provocative questions” (David Kennedy), Fear Itself changes the ground rules for our understanding of this pivotal era in American history. Ira Katznelson examines the New Deal through the lens of a pervasive, almost existential fear that gripped a world defined by the collapse of capitalism and the rise of competing dictatorships, as well as a fear created by the ruinous racial divisions in American society. Katznelson argues that American democracy was both saved and distorted by a Faustian collaboration that guarded racial segregation as it built a new national state to manage capitalism and assert global power. Fear Itself charts the creation of the modern American state and “how a belief in the common good gave way to a central government dominated by interest-group politics and obsessed with national security” (Louis Menand, The New Yorker).

Tomorrow, the World

Author : Stephen Wertheim

ISBN10 : 0674250583

Publisher : Harvard University Press

Number of Pages : 224

Category : History

Viewed : 358

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Book Summary: A new history explains how and why, as it prepared to enter World War II, the United States decided to lead the postwar world. For most of its history, the United States avoided making political and military commitments that would entangle it in European-style power politics. Then, suddenly, it conceived a new role for itself as the world’s armed superpower—and never looked back. In Tomorrow, the World, Stephen Wertheim traces America’s transformation to the crucible of World War II, especially in the months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. As the Nazis conquered France, the architects of the nation’s new foreign policy came to believe that the United States ought to achieve primacy in international affairs forevermore. Scholars have struggled to explain the decision to pursue global supremacy. Some deny that American elites made a willing choice, casting the United States as a reluctant power that sloughed off “isolationism” only after all potential competitors lay in ruins. Others contend that the United States had always coveted global dominance and realized its ambition at the first opportunity. Both views are wrong. As late as 1940, the small coterie of officials and experts who composed the U.S. foreign policy class either wanted British preeminence in global affairs to continue or hoped that no power would dominate. The war, however, swept away their assumptions, leading them to conclude that the United States should extend its form of law and order across the globe and back it at gunpoint. Wertheim argues that no one favored “isolationism”—a term introduced by advocates of armed supremacy in order to turn their own cause into the definition of a new “internationalism.” We now live, Wertheim warns, in the world that these men created. A sophisticated and impassioned narrative that questions the wisdom of U.S. supremacy, Tomorrow, the World reveals the intellectual path that brought us to today’s global entanglements and endless wars.

Rules for Radicals

Author : Saul Alinsky

ISBN10 : 0307756890

Publisher : Vintage

Number of Pages : 224

Category : Political Science

Viewed : 1835

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Book Summary: First published in 1971, Rules for Radicals is Saul Alinsky's impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.” Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.