Staff Pick

The biggest single danger facing America today, according to recent national intelligence assessments, isn’t terrorism or nuclear weapons but cyber threats. David Sanger of the New York Times has broken some big stories in this area. For one, he revealed Olympic Games, the code name for the most sophisticated cyberattack in history, the American-Israeli effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program with the Stuxnet worm. And with his Times colleague Bill Broad, he described, in 2017, a different cyber effort to neutralize North Korea’s missiles. In The Perfect Weapon, Sanger explores the growing threat and use of cyberwarfare, the full dimension of which goes well beyond what Russia did to the United States in the 2016 election. As Sanger notes, cyber capabilities nowstand to transform military and geopolitical thinking and strategy as much or more than the advent of nuclear weapons did in the 20th century.

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451497895
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - June 19th, 2018

Staff Pick

The Battle for Paradise is essential reading for every American. Into this nearly pocket-sized book, Naomi Klein packs a thorough account of Puerto Rico's struggle to recover after Hurricane María; her report is simultaneously deep enough for those who are familiar with the island's history and politics and accessible enough for those who aren't. Illustrating the visions and strategies of disaster capitalists as well as of grassroots Puerto Rican activists, Klein connects the reader to individuals and organizations doing work on the ground that will almost certainly shape the island's future. Expect to finish more informed, better equipped, and with a keener outlook on justice.

The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608463572
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Haymarket Books - June 5th, 2018

Staff Pick

Amid all the ranting and belligerence, Kakutani’s articulate, rational, and wise voice is a great relief—and a beacon of hope. Her book doesn’t just argue that facts are different from opinions, that words have meanings, that reality and truth do exist—she proves it by drawing on a wide range of historic and cultural touchstones. From the Founders and Lincoln to writers including Arendt, Orwell, Huxley, David Foster Wallace, Neil Postman, and many others, she taps expertise to trace the cultural and political roots of what gave rise to today’s resurgence of populism and demagoguery. “Trump is as much a symptom of the times as he is a dangerous catalyst,” she reminds us, and demonstrates how his disdain for facts, civility, and any perspective other than his own grew from both fascism and postmodernism. She cites chilling parallels between his use of language and Hitler’s, and shows how ideas such as cultural relativity and deconstruction—originally propounded by left-wing academics to subvert master narratives and open history to silenced voices—softened the lines between objective and subjective, and even between science and theory. This dangerous tendency to give equal weight to substance and nonsense has been abetted by technology; social media ensures that the most inflammatory stories get the widest circulation, and filter bubbles isolate people within worlds that confirm their own beliefs. Where the founders emphasized “the common good,” the very idea of consensus is now in tatters, and as community breaks down into factions, Russia has exploited and widened the divisions for its own ends, a process Kakutani dissects in detail. What can save us? Institutions such as the three branches of government, the press, and education; the courage to insist on the truth, as the Parkland students have; and books like this one.

The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525574828
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tim Duggan Books - July 17th, 2018