Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? - Mark Thompson

Staff Pick

Four years ago, in the autumn of 2012, Mark Thompson was about to move from England to the United States to take up his new job as president and CEO of The New York Times. He had spent much of his career at the BBC, his final eight years there as director-general. But before moving to New York, he visited his alma mater, Oxford, where he delivered three lectures on rhetoric and the art of public persuasion. Those talks became the basis of his new book, Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? (St. Martin’s, $27.99). What remarkable timing for a book on the language of politics! But while Thompson does spend time assessing Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, his work is a larger examination of how political language has evolved and how public discourse generally has degenerated, with damaging consequences for public trust and confidence. Freely mixing personal experiences with criticism and opinion, Thompson has produced a book that, as Publishers Weekly put it, “manages to be an exemplary investigation, a history, an autopsy, a practical manual, and a cautionary tale all at once.”

Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? By Mark Thompson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250059574
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 6th, 2016

Arendt and America - Richard H. King

King’s excellent study focuses on Arendt’s work from her 1941 arrival in the U.S. until her death in 1975. Writing in English, Arendt produced classics including On Revolution, The Origins of Totalitarianism, and Eichmann in Jerusalem; King covers the development, reception, and controversies surrounding these and other books, detailing as well Arendt’s fascination with the American Framers and her dismay at the country’s mass consumer society and preoccupation with image management. While he admires Arendt, he gives her critics a hearing and points out her missteps, such as her essay on Little Rock’s school desegregation. Like his subject, King is “a splitter not a lumper,” and his meticulous handling of complex ideas conveys the nuances of Arendt’s thinking.

Arendt and America By Richard H. King Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226311494
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 20th, 2015

Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency - Charlie Savage

For many who follow national security affairs, one of the most vexing questions about the Obama administration has been how, after entering office promising different approaches to fighting terrorism than the Bush administration pursued, it has ended up in a number of cases actually continuing or expanding the Bush policies. New York Times journalist Charlie Savage examines what happened in Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency (Little, Brown, $30), providing the most comprehensive and revealing account so far of how current policies on drones, detentions, military tribunals, surveillance, leak investigations, and other national security matters have evolved. Savage portrays the Obama team as one led largely by lawyers who have focused on adding new legal justifications for existing practices rather than eliminating them. The result, Savage says, is that Barack Obama is likely to be seen “as less a transformative post-9/11 president than a transitional one.”

Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy By Charlie Savage Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316286596
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - June 27th, 2017