Public Affairs
Monday, May 24, 7:00 pm

Public Affairs Book Group meets the 4th Monday each month at 7 p.m. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact judytaylor2011@gmail.com

A Promised Land By Barack Obama Cover Image

A Promised Land (Hardcover)


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Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
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Politics and Prose at The Wharf (610 Water St SW)
1 on hand, as of Nov 28 2:19pm
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times • NPR • The GuardianMarie Claire

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.
Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, elected in November 2008 and holding office for two terms. He is the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Michelle. They have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Product Details ISBN: 9781524763169
ISBN-10: 1524763160
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: November 17th, 2020
Pages: 768
Language: English
“A powerful book with lots of insights into great leadership.”—Bill Gates, GatesNotes

“Barack Obama is as fine a writer as they come. . . . [A Promised Land] is nearly always pleasurable to read, sentence by sentence, the prose gorgeous in places, the detail granular and vivid. . . . The story will continue in the second volume, but Barack Obama has already illuminated a pivotal moment in American history, and how America changed while also remaining unchanged.”—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The New York Times Book Review

DEMOCRACY FOR REALISTS, by Achen and Bartels NOTE: Meeting Online

Public Affairs
Monday, April 26, 7:00 pm

Public Affairs Book Group meets the 4th Monday each month at 7 p.m. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact judytaylor2011@gmail.com

Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (Princeton Studies in Political Behavior #4) By Christopher H. Achen, Larry M. Bartels, Christopher H. Achen (Afterword by) Cover Image

Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (Princeton Studies in Political Behavior #4) (Paperback)


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Politics and Prose at Union Market (1270 5th Street NE)
1 on hand, as of Nov 28 1:36pm

Other Books in Series

This is book number 4 in the Princeton Studies in Political Behavior series.

Why our belief in government by the people is unrealistic--and what we can do about it

Democracy for Realists assails the romantic folk-theory at the heart of contemporary thinking about democratic politics and government, and offers a provocative alternative view grounded in the actual human nature of democratic citizens.

Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels deploy a wealth of social-scientific evidence, including ingenious original analyses of topics ranging from abortion politics and budget deficits to the Great Depression and shark attacks, to show that the familiar ideal of thoughtful citizens steering the ship of state from the voting booth is fundamentally misguided. They demonstrate that voters--even those who are well informed and politically engaged--mostly choose parties and candidates on the basis of social identities and partisan loyalties, not political issues. They also show that voters adjust their policy views and even their perceptions of basic matters of fact to match those loyalties. When parties are roughly evenly matched, elections often turn on irrelevant or misleading considerations such as economic spurts or downturns beyond the incumbents' control; the outcomes are essentially random. Thus, voters do not control the course of public policy, even indirectly.

Achen and Bartels argue that democratic theory needs to be founded on identity groups and political parties, not on the preferences of individual voters. Now with new analysis of the 2016 elections, Democracy for Realists provides a powerful challenge to conventional thinking, pointing the way toward a fundamentally different understanding of the realities and potential of democratic government.
Christopher H. Achen is the Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences and professor of politics at Princeton University. His books include The European Union Decides. Larry M. Bartels holds the May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University. His books include Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age (Princeton).
Product Details ISBN: 9780691178240
ISBN-10: 0691178240
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: August 29th, 2017
Pages: 424
Language: English
Series: Princeton Studies in Political Behavior

ONE PERSON NO VOTE, by Anderson NOTE: Meeting Online

Public Affairs
Monday, March 22, 7:00 pm

Public Affairs Book Group meets the 4th Monday each month at 7 p.m. The book group is now meeting online--for details please contact judytaylor2011@gmail.com

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy By Carol Anderson, Dick Durbin (Foreword by) Cover Image

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy (Paperback)

By Carol Anderson, Dick Durbin (Foreword by)


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
1 on hand, as of Nov 28 1:25pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market (1270 5th Street NE)
1 on hand, as of Nov 28 1:36pm

Winter 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List

“Carol Anderson’s White Rage was a revelation, not so much because it explained things we didn’t already know, but by framing the narrative as she did, it became impossible to view the history of backlash against civil rights progress as anything but systematic. To an even greater extent, to read One Person, No Vote is to understand more clearly than ever how the powerful in this country are relentlessly fighting to deprive our most vulnerable citizens of their most fundamental right.”
— Frank Reiss, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, GA

As featured in the documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award Finalist, Longlisted for the National Book Award, NPR Politics Podcast Book Club Choice
Best Books of the Year--Washington Post, Boston Globe, NPR, Bustle, NYPL

From the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of White Rage, the startling--and timely--history of voter suppression in America, with a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin, now with a new afterword by the author.

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. In a powerful new afterword, she examines the repercussions of the 2018 midterm elections. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of White Rage, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bourgeois Radicals, and Eyes off the Prize. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Product Details ISBN: 9781635571394
ISBN-10: 1635571391
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
Pages: 368
Language: English

"One Person, No Vote reads like a speedy sequel of sorts to her previous book, the elegant and illuminating best-seller White Rage . . . Her new book seems to have been written from a state of emergency, in an adrenaline-fueled sprint. Anderson is a stinging polemicist; her book rolls through a condensed history of voting rights and disenfranchisement, without getting bogged down in legislative minutiae. This is harder than it looks . . . This trenchant little book will push you to think not just about the vote count but about who counts, too." - Jennifer Szalai, New York Times

"Anderson has a gift for illustrating how specific historical injustices have repercussive, detrimental influence on contemporary American life. . . . If White Rage is history as even-tempered cultural criticism--it was awarded the 2017 National Book Critics Circle citation in criticism--then One Person, No Vote is history as old-fashioned, coldblooded jeremiad: a lamentation about American democracy in crisis. Throughout One Person, Anderson’s tone, at turns urgent and indignant, seems to arise from the ease with which she can document abundantly--via investigative journalism, popular history and historical scholarship--the GOP’s determined efforts to purge American citizens and cull and homogenize the electorate." - Los Angeles Times

"As the last two national elections demonstrated, many Americans feel angry, frustrated, and confused by a voting system that simply doesn’t work; Anderson (White Rage) traces the ugly history of disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and suppression that disable true democracy." - Boston Globe, "Best Books of the Year"

"Anderson’s description of the perpetual war that blacks and now Latinos have fought to get and keep the right to vote is impeccably researched, deftly written and, sadly, prescient. . . . One Person, No Votes punches above its weight, like a lecture from a professor with superb command of language." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Powerful . . . Her book is a disturbing drill down into how the right to vote is being slowly destroyed with too few of us noticing." - Washington Post

"One Person, No Vote is a careful documentation of the ways in which Republican voter suppression efforts disproportionately and specifically affect minority voters. . . . Anderson’s new book, along with her 2017 volume White Rage, shows how difficult it is to separate out our current political situation from the legacy of Jim Crow’s racial apartheid system. The Republican war on the fairness of American elections is, by its nature, a project that targets one of the core victories of the civil rights movement.” - Vox

"All of the books on this list have present-day implications, but perhaps none more so than this charged dive into voter suppression from the Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. One Person, No Vote looks at this history of this anti-democratic tactic, particularly its racist roots." - Entertainment Weekly.com

"Carol Anderson's prose is unflinching, and she wastes no time as she marches the reader from the openly racist, clear-cutting suppression tactics of the early 20th century toward the carefully veneered, ruthlessly efficient disenfranchisement campaign of the present. Whether you only think about voting on a single Tuesday in November or you're passionately engaged in the fight for the ballot, you will set this book down with the knowledge that it's all so much worse than you thought." - NPR, Best Books of the Year

"Voter suppression and disenfranchisement might be the most serious issue in American politics today. In this vastly important read, White Rage author Carol Anderson unpacks how the 2013 Supreme Court decision to roll back the Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to a storm of government-led racial discrimination and voter suppression." - Bustle, 25 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year

"Through shrewd analysis and by following real voters, Anderson exposes the racial discrimination underlying government-sanctioned laws and practices like photo ID requirements and gerrymandering." - BuzzFeed

"Serves as a gimlet-eyed analysis of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Jim Crow laws." - O, the Oprah Magazine, 14 Books to Read before Heading to the Polls

"From photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures, Anderson details these discriminatory practices and the resistance movement that's fighting to restore every citizen's right to vote." - Teen Vogue, "7 Books That'll Help You Understand America's Voting History"

"Voter suppression is one of the most important threats to American democracy. You might already think this before reading Anderson’s book, but if not, the copious, well-researched evidence she presents here--that shows how Republican politicians have been systematically and purposefully stripping voting abilities from black and low-income voters--is difficult to refute. Immediately relevant and deeply disturbing." - LitHub

"Looking at gerrymandering, voter ID laws, the closure of polling places, and a host of other forms of voter suppression; Carol Anderson brilliantly shows how African Americans have systematically lost their voting rights since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today, as voter suppression disproportionately affect Black voters and our elections, One Person, No Vote is a necessary read that explains how disguised racism continues to impact our political institutions." - Black Perspectives, "Best Black History Books of the Year"

"This whiplash-inducing chronicle of how a nation that just a few short years ago elected its first black president now finds itself in the throes of a deceitful and craven effort to rip this most essential of American rights from millions of its citizens." - Starred Review, Booklist

"The award-winning author of White Rage explores the drive to purge voters of their right to cast a ballot, meanwhile exposing a decades-long plot to disenfranchise people of color. Her title serves as a gimlet-eyed analysis of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Jim Crow laws." - Oprah.com, “27 of the Best Political Books to Read to Process the 2020 Election”

"It is necessary that American students understand the world in which they live so that they do not allow their voices to be suppressed." Starred Review, School Library Connection

"A ripped-from-the-headlines book . . . Anderson is a highly praised academic who has mastered the art of gathering information and writing for a general readership, and her latest book could not be more timely." - Kirkus

"Providing a fascinating historical context for current events, an insightful book to read and consider." - Booklist

"Insightful . . . [Anderson] scrupulously details the history of racially and politically motivated disenfranchisement in the United States. . . . Anyone interested in American democracy or how equality can be not only legislated but realized will find this account illuminating and clarifying." - Publishers Weekly

"A clear, concise, and compelling exploration of racialized voter suppression from Jim Crow through today . . . This book is impeccably researched and perfectly argued. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in politics, policy, and polling." - BookRiot, Best Books of the Year

"In White Rage, a New York Times best seller that won the National Book Critics Circle Award,Emory professor Anderson chronicled efforts since 1865 to block the advancement of African Americans. Here she concentrates on efforts to curtail the African American vote since the 2013 Shelby ruling gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Anderson considers both consequences--e.g., photo ID requirements, poll closures--and means of redress." - Library Journal, Barbara's Nonfiction Picks for September 2018

"Well-timed . . . In a slim volume, Anderson details the outrages of Republican efforts to target largely minority voters and to limit their influence in elections. . . . Blood-boiling stories like these come rapid-fire in Anderson’s narrative, which is also peppered with a brief history of voter suppression dating back to Reconstruction." - Washington Monthly

"In her impeccably timed 2016 best-seller, White Rage, historian and Emory professor Carol Anderson took readers on a jarring and illuminating journey through America’s deep history of structural racism. Her new book, One Person, No Vote, connects that historical legacy with the resurgence of voter suppression that’s capturing headlines in 2018, thanks not only to the ascendance of Trumpism, but the state-level depredations of voting-rights foes like Brian Kemp in Georgia, John Husted in Ohio, and Kris Kobach in Kansas." - The American Prospect

"Reading Carol Anderson’s One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy makes it clear that [voter suppression] is alive and well. With exhaustive research and documentation and compelling narrative style, Anderson conveys how the overtly racist poll taxes, literacy tests, targeted violence and intimidation that evolved after Reconstruction to prevent African-Americans and other minorities from voting have been supplanted by ostensibly colorblind efforts to fight voter fraud and game the electoral system." - Asheville Citizen Times

"Most of us are well aware that there is something fundamentally broken about the way we vote--but not why. In One Person No Vote, Carol Anderson offers up a timely, powerfully written, and comprehensive indictment of the (relatively recent) history of brutal race-based vote suppression, and its many modern iterations--from voter ID requirements and voter purges, to fraudulent election fraud commissions and stolen elections. Along the way Anderson traces the rise and fall of the landmark Voting Rights Act and how the Supreme Court continues to blinker itself to the ways in which American elections are neither free nor fair, and how the dignity of states and white voters continues to be privileged above the franchise itself. A must-read for anyone wondering why voting is the most important issue we continue to misapprehend." - Dahlia Lithwick, Chief Legal Correspondent for SLATE and host of the Amicus podcast

"As Carol Anderson makes clear in One Person, No Vote, the right to vote is under even greater assault today. For the sake of those who fought and died for it, it is up to all of us to insist that this most basic American right be protected. Reading this well-crafted book will arm you with the facts." - Senator Dick Durbin, from the Foreword

"An amazing book . . . a reminder that democracies only work if people participate. And we need to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to participate as our constitution guarantees." - Senator Tina Smith

"Carol Anderson is one of our most incisive and cogent thinkers regarding history's fingerprints on current affairs. With One Person, No Vote she has produced a crucial examination of a critical issue: voter suppression. At a time when democracy is under siege and the worst elements of the racial past are being resurrected we can scarcely afford to avert our eyes from our most pressing challenges. Carol Anderson looks at these issues directly, unflinchingly, and offers us an invaluable insight regarding where we are, how we got here, and how we might navigate our way to safer shores." - Jelani Cobb, author of THE SUBSTANCE OF HOPE

"Some of the most useful [books] have been those that show how so many of the fights that we’re having right now are fights that are constant, that are ongoing, that have been here since the very beginning. Like Carol Anderson’s One Person, No Vote, that looks at the centuries-long battle over voting rights and voter suppression." - Carlos Lozada, author of WHAT WERE WE THINKING: A BRIEF INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF THE TRUMP ERA

"You pay attention to the news and regularly try to stay up-to-date on the latest political happenings, so you’ve definitely heard about voter suppression and how it’s one of the most important issues in modern society. But for many, that’s all they know. If you’re looking to understand the ins and outs of what exactly is being done about voter suppression or what could be done about it, make sure you grab a copy of One Person, No Vote." - GetLiterary, 5 Books to Read if You Want to Become More Politically Engaged

"really fascinating … a good, accessible book" - BookRiot’s “For Real” podcast, “Black History Month Reads”

"Shocking and disturbing . . . an upsetting--but necessary--read." - Street Roots News

"Voter suppression is no accident, and Carol Anderson is here to make that abundantly clear." - BookRiot, “8 Nonfiction Reads About Social Justice”