The Pastor and the Painter
By Cindy Wockner
At 12.35 a.m. on the 29th April 2015, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were led out in front of firing squad. Strapped to wooden crosses, they prayed and sang, staring straight ahead at their killers. On that day, the Indonesian government did not execute two drug smugglers, they executed a pastor and a painter.But who were Andrew and Myuran?In 2005, the selfish recklessness of youth and lure of drugs, money, fast cars and a better life led them and seven other Australians into a smuggling plot to import eight kilograms of heroin from Indonesia to Australia. Unbeknownst to them all, the Australian Federal Police knew their plan and tipped off the Indonesian police. Charged with drug trafficking, Myuran and Andrew were found guilty and sentenced to death. Andrew was 22 years old. Myuran was 24.Cindy Wockner was the Indonesian correspondent for News Limited when the Bali Nine were caught. For a decade she covered their story and she got to know Myuran, Andrew and their families very well. She watched them transform from angry, defiant young men into fully rehabilitated good people.This is the intimate, and untold, story of Andrew and Myuran; of their childhoods and what turned them to drugs, what happened in their ten years in Kerokoban Prison, the numerous legal appeals, the political fallout and the growing worldwide pleas for mercy that saw vigils held around Australia. It will show their rehabilitation and their focus on helping others - of Andrew's growing commitment to his faith and Myu's burgeoning artistic talent. It will show the boys they were and the men they became in a potent cautionary tale and a poignant reminder of what we all lose when we ignore the power of mercy.
The Plot to Destroy Democracy
By Malcolm Nance
The Price of Greatness
By Jay Cost
An incisive account of the tumultuous relationship between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and of the origins of our wealthy yet highly unequal nationIn the history of American politics there are few stories as enigmatic as that of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison's bitterly personal falling out. Together they helped bring the Constitution into being, yet soon after the new republic was born they broke over the meaning of its founding document. Hamilton emphasized economic growth, Madison the importance of republican principles.Jay Cost is the first to argue that both men were right--and that their quarrel reveals a fundamental paradox at the heart of the American experiment. He shows that each man in his own way came to accept corruption as a necessary cost of growth. The Price of Greatness reveals the trade-off that made the United States the richest nation in human history, and that continues to fracture our politics to this day.
By Quentin Letts
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain, Quentin Letts, comes his blistering new book on how Britain's out-of-touch, illiberal elite fills its boots.'HILARIOUS' Daily Mail'With its vicious takedowns, Quentin Letts' laugh-out-loud Patronising Bastards will have the lefty-elite running scared' The SunNot since Marie Antoinette said 'Let them eat cake' have the peasants been so revolting. Western capitalism's elites are bemused: Brexit, Trump, and maybe more eruptions to follow. But their rulers were so good to them! Hillary Clinton called the ingrates 'a basket of deplorables', Bob Geldof flicked them a V sign, Tony Blair thought voters too thick to understand the question. Wigged judges stared down their legalistic noses at a surging, pongy populous.These people who know best, these snooterati with their faux-liberal ways, are the 'Patronising Bastards'. Their downfall is largely of their own making - their Sybaritic excesses, an obsession with political correctness, the prolonged rape of reason and rite. You'll find these self-indulgent show-ponys not just in politics and the cloistered old institutions but also in high fashion, football, among the clean-eating foodies and at the Baftas and Oscars, where celebritydom hires PR smoothies to massage reputations and mislead, distort, twist. Political columnist and bestselling author Quentin Letts identifies these condescending creeps and their networks, their methods and their dubious morals. Letts kebabs them like mutton. It's baaaahd. It's juicy.Richard Branson, Emma Thompson, Shami Chakrabarti, Jean-Claude Juncker and any head waiter who calls you 'young man' - this one's for you!
By Charlie Savage
Barack Obama promised change from George W. Bush's global war on terrorism. But the Obama administration used drones to kill suspected militants and vacuumed data on Americans' phone calls. Obama criticized Bush's unilateralism and secrecy, but launched wars without going to Congress and presided over an unprecedented crackdown on leaks.With extensive reporting, Savage explores how and why Obama and his legal team--an elite, liberal group who vowed to restore the rule of law--end up accused of entrenching the sweeping powers of the post-9/11 security state. If legitimate, the accusation stands to change the legacy of Obama's entire presidency.
The President's Book of Secrets
By David Priess
"One of the most interesting, exhilarating, and informative aspects of the presidency was my time with the CIA analysts and my PDB briefers." -George W. Bush, correspondence with the author, November 2012.Every day, a member of the CIA presents to the president a report detailing the most sensitive activities and analysis of world events. These can range from the behavior of America's allies to the maneuvering of its adversaries, from imminent dangers to long-term strategic opportunities, and are often based on the words of highly placed sources or the interceptions of astonishingly nimble technologies.This report - for the president's eyes only-forms the basis of the president's assessment of US intelligence and strength. The story of the President's Daily Brief-the PDB, in the jargon-is a window into the character of each president and his administration, and the degree to which his worldview and policy was shaped by the information from the security services.It is a story that could only be told by a trusted insider. David Priess served during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations as an award-winning intelligence officer, manager and daily intelligence briefer at the CIA. The CIA, despite its mission of secrecy, has diligently declassified and posted millions of pages of raw intelligence reports, analytic assessments, and memos from the late 1940s through the 1980s. These agency papers have been awaiting examination in a nondescript corner of the CIA's public website. Many more sit on an antiquated database terminal at the National Archives annex in College Park, Maryland.Few people know such documents exist. Fewer still have made the effort to dig through them as Priess has, hauling in never-before-revealed insights about the PDB. The information base for this book includes largely untapped oral histories, memoirs from PDB recipients and intelligence leaders, publicly released CIA internal studies, and tidbits about key personalities and locations from previously published works.
By Kurt Campbell
There is a quiet drama playing out in American foreign policy far from the dark contours of upheaval in the Middle East and South Asia and the hovering drone attacks of the war on terror. The United States is in the midst of a substantial and long-term national project, which is proceeding in fits and starts, to reorient its foreign policy to the East. The central tenet of this policy shift, aka The Pivot, is that the United States will need to do more with and in the Asia-Pacific hemisphere to help revitalize its own economy, to realize the full potential of the region's dramatic innovation, and to keep the peace in the world's most dynamic region where the lions' share of the history of the 21st Century will be written.This book is about a necessary course correction for American diplomacy, commercial engagement, and military innovation during a time of unrelenting and largely unrewarding conflict. While the United States has intensified its focus on the Asia-Pacific relative to previous administrations, much more remains to be done. THE PIVOT is about that future. It explores how the United States should construct a strategy that will position it to maneuver across the East and offers a clarion call for a cunning and dexterity and ingenuity in the period ahead for American statecraft in the Asia-Pacific region.
People Get Ready
By John Nichols, Robert W McChesney
Humanity is on the verge of its darkest hour- or its greatest momentThe consequences of the technological revolution are about to hit hard: unemployment will spike as new technologies replace labour in the manufacturing, service, and professional sectors of an economy that is already struggling. The end of work as we know it will hit at the worst moment imaginable: as capitalism fosters permanent stagnation, when the labour market is in decrepit shape, with declining wages, expanding poverty, and scorching inequality. Only the dramatic democratization of our economy can address the existential challenges we now face. Yet, the US political process is so dominated by billionaires and corporate special interests, by corruption and monopoly, that it stymies not just democracy but progress.The great challenge of these times is to ensure that the tremendous benefits of technological progress are employed to serve the whole of humanity, rather than to enrich the wealthy few. Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols argue that the United States needs a new economy in which revolutionary technologies are applied to effectively address environmental and social problems and used to rejuvenate and extend democratic institutions. Based on intense reporting, rich historical analysis, and deep understanding of the technological and social changes that are unfolding, they propose a bold strategy for democratizing our digital destiny,before it's too late- and unleashing the real power of the Internet, and of humanity.
By Rick Shenkman
Can a football game affect the outcome of an election? What about shark attacks? Or a drought? In a rational world the answer, of course, would be no. But as bestselling historian Rick Shenkman explains in Political Animals , our world is anything but rational. Drawing on science, politics, and history, Shenkman explores the hidden forces behind our often illogical choices. Political Animals challenges us to go beyond the headlines, which often focus on what politicians do (or say they'll do), and to concentrate instead on what's really important: what shapes our response. Shenkman argues that, contrary to what we tell ourselves, it's our instincts rather than arguments appealing to reason that usually prevail. Pop culture tells us we can trust our instincts, but science is proving that when it comes to politics our Stone Age brain often malfunctions, misfires, and leads us astray.Fortunately, we can learn to make our instincts work in our favour. Shenkman takes readers on a whirlwind tour of labouratories where scientists are exploring how sea slugs remember, chimpanzees practice deception, and patients whose brains have been split in two tell stories. The scientists' findings give us new ways of understanding our history and ourselves,and prove we don't have to be prisoners of our evolutionary past."In this engaging, illuminating, and often riotous chronicle of our political culture, Shenkman probes the depths of the human mind to explore how we can become more political, and less animal.
By Karl E. Meyer, Shareen Blair Brysac
In a world replete with stories of sectarian violence, we are often left wondering: Are there places where people of different ethnicities, especially with significant Muslim minorities, live in peace? If so, why haven't we heard more about them, and what explains their success? To answer these questions, Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac undertook a two-year exploration of oases of civility, places notable for minimal violence, rising life-expectancy, high literacy, and pragmatic compromises on cultural rights. They explored the Indian state of Kerala, the Russian republic of Tatarstan, the city of Marseille in France, the city of Flensburg, Germany, and the borough of Queens, New York. Through scores of interviews, they document ways and means that have proven successful in defusing ethnic tensions. This pathbreaking book elegantly blends political history, sociology, anthropology, and journalism, to provide big ideas for peace.
By Laurie Oakes
Laurie Oakes is the most influential political journalist in Australia - if he says something has happened, the rest of the media (especially the Canberra Press Gallery) believe him, and report it as news. He has worked in Canberra as a political reporter for 39 years and reported on 19 federal elections and regularly finds the big story way ahead of everyone else. Currently the national political editor for the Nine Network he is the man who interviews all the big names. From 1987 to December 2007 he wrote a weekly column for the Bulletin and since its demise he has been writing a column for the Saturday Daily Telegraph in Sydney and the Herald Sun in Melbourne. POWER PLAYS is a selection of 150 of the very best and most timeless of Laurie Oakes's columns - that sum up the important events or people, and that shed light on the past and present. This book is both an examination of the high points (and some of the low ones) of the past 20 years of national politics - and a fascinating look behind the scenes.
The Political Brain
By Drew Westen
The Political Brain is a ground-breaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more "dispassionate" notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists,and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on "the issues," they lose. That's why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt,and only one Republican has failed in that quest. In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions. Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said,or could have said,in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years,such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how,
Plundering the Public Sector
By David Craig
In their crusade to modernise public services, New Labour are giving vast amounts of taxpayers' money to management and IT systems consultants. They are everywhere - the Inland Revenue, MoD, Education Department, NHS and Downing Street. But are these management wizards giving us schools and hospitals that will be the envy of the world, or are they just siphoning off billions that should have been spent on the frontline services? And the biggest and most expensive consulting catastrophe of them all may still be yet to come - up to GBP 30 billion taken out of patient care to pay for the new NHS computer system. Isn't it time to ask how our money is really being spent?
By Victor Kamber
A thoughtful exploration of the current state of political campaigning and how it is ruining American politics.
Principles For A Free Society
By Richard A. Epstein
The country's leading libertarian scholar sets forth the essential principles for a legal system that best balances individual liberty versus the common good.
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
By Gore Vidal
The United States has been engaged in what the great historian Charles A. Beard called "perpetual war for perpetual peace." The Federation of American Scientists has catalogueed nearly 200 military incursions since 1945 in which the United States has been the aggressor. In a series of penetrating and alarming essays, whose centrepiece is a commentary on the events of September 11, 2001 (deemed too controversial to publish in this country until now) Gore Vidal challenges the comforting consensus following September 11th and goes back and draws connections to Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. He asks were these simply the acts of "evil-doers?" "Gore Vidal is the master essayist of our age." , Washington Post "Our greatest living man of letters.",Boston Globe "Vidal's imagination of American politics is so powerful as to compel awe.",Harold Bloom, The New York Review of Books
The Privatization Decision
By John D. Donahue
What government activities should be contracted out to private companies? This thoughtful book by a Harvard policy analyst shuns global answers and explores how to examine individual cases.