Staff Pick

Just about anyone would find Shattered (Crown, $28)—Washington Post reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’s fast-moving and detailed account of the trials and travails that beset the 2016 Clinton campaign—an interesting and compelling read. I’d be remiss if I didn’t single out two particular groups of people who would be especially intrigued: campaign wonks on either side of the political aisle, and fans of Greek and Shakespearean tragedies. For liberals weary of re-experiencing any election-related trauma, have faith: Allen and Parnes, who previously authored the positive portrayal of Hillary Clinton in the biography HRC, depict both Clinton and her campaign staff sympathetically, trying as best they can to navigate the minefield that was the 2016 election. Even if you experienced last year as an avid news consumer and continue to be flabbergasted (and/or horrified) by the outcome, Shattered will help shed some light on what may have seemed unexplainable. A must-read read for news junkies everywhere.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553447088
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Crown - April 18th, 2017

Staff Pick

Before writing Devil’s Bargain (Penguin Press, $27) author Joshua Green labeled Steve Bannon “the most dangerous political operative in America.” Now, in his authoritative, readable new book, Green explains just how a bombastic right-wing political extremist bent on “disrupting” the status quo became the most influential strategist behind the campaign and presidency of Donald Trump. Green looks at Bannon’s roots, political and cultural sensibilities, previous ventures (successful and not), and of course… follows the money. Bannon’s rise and his access to financiers who share his extreme views is a cautionary tale, and essential reading one year into the Trump presidency.

Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735225022
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Press - July 18th, 2017

Staff Pick

Extending her ground-breaking work on emotional values to the political sphere, the renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild made ten extended visits to the Louisiana bayou region between 2011 and 2016. There she met with some sixty supporters of the Tea Party. Her goal wasn’t to argue, debate, or change minds—she wanted simply to get a sense of white conservatives’ feelings about current issues, especially those relating to the environment. Strangers in Their Own Land (New Press, $27.95) is her vivid and illuminating report of these discussions, which ranged from fracking to fish fries, sinkholes to Fox News. Viewing the Tea Party as “a culture” not just a politics, Hochschild strove to scale the “empathy wall” that divides people of different beliefs and to understand The Great Paradox: what makes those most in need of government assistance vote against it? Why, in the second poorest state, where 44% of the budget comes from federal funds, where the land and water have been ravaged by petrochemical and other industries, are people so avidly against federal regulation? It’s not that no one notices or cares about these problems; part of it is that they look to their own tight-knit communities for the kind of support progressives expect from the government. Other parts are more complicated, and Hochschild, a keen and respectful listener, lets these local leaders, current and retired factory workers, long-time farmers, Pentecostals, and many more, have their say. And when she returns home, she begins to see Berkeley through their eyes.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620972250
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - September 6th, 2016