By Robert K. Brigham
The American war in Vietnam was concluded in 1973 under the terms of a truce that were effectively identical to what was offered to the Nixon administration four years earlier. Those four years cost America billions of dollars and over 35,000 war deaths and casualties, and resulted in the deaths of over 300,000 Vietnamese. And those years were the direct result of the supposed master plan of the most important voice in the Nixon White House on American foreign policy: Henry Kissinger.Using newly available archival material from the Nixon Presidential Library and Kissinger's personal papers, Robert K. Brigham shows how Kissinger's approach to Vietnam was driven by personal political rivalries and strategic confusion, while domestic politics played an outsized influence on Kissinger's so-called strategy. There was no great master plan or Bismarckian theory that supported how the US continued the war or conducted peace negotiations. As a result, a distant tragedy was perpetuated, forever changing both countries. Now, perhaps for the first time, we can see the full scale of that tragedy and the machinations that fed it.
Rule Makers, Rule Breakers
By Michele J. Gelfand
'A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? ... Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives.'Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture' - Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal'This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you' - Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work
Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope
By Kerry Kennedy
By Royce Kurmelovs
Reporting from the backrooms and corridors of Parliament House in Canberra to the streets of post-industrial Burnie in Tasmania, the struggling rural communities of Gippsland and the Queensland heartland, Royce Kurmelovs captures with perceptive, real-time analysis the rise of Australian populism.The people and places he profiles tell the story of those independent political figures who have tried to take power from the outside and those who feel abandoned by both the left and right of politics. Overshadowing it all is the controversial figure of Pauline Hanson, a woman who came back from oblivion to become a powerbroker just as the country breathlessly watched the election of Donald Trump and wondered whether the same could happen here. ROGUE NATION is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what is happening to politics in this country, and what the future might hold.
The Red Web
By Andrei Soldatov, Irina Borogan
The Internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown. Perhaps both.On the eighth floor of an ordinary-looking building in an otherwise residential district of southwest Moscow, in a room occupied by the Federal Security Service (FSB), is a box the size of a VHS player marked SORM. The Russian government's front line in the battle for the future of the Internet, SORM is the world's most intrusive listening device, monitoring e-mails, Internet usage, Skype, and all social networks.But for every hacker subcontracted by the FSB to interfere with Russia's antagonists abroad-such as those who, in a massive denial-of-service attack, overwhelmed the entire Internet in neighboring Estonia-there is a radical or an opportunist who is using the web to chip away at the power of the state at home.Drawing from scores of interviews personally conducted with numerous prominent officials in the Ministry of Communications and web-savvy activists challenging the state, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan peel back the history of advanced surveillance systems in Russia. From research laboratories in Soviet-era labor camps, to the legalization of government monitoring of all telephone and Internet communications in the 1990s, to the present day, their incisive and alarming investigation into the Kremlin's massive online-surveillance state exposes just how easily a free global exchange can be coerced into becoming a tool of repression and geopolitical warfare. Dissidents, oligarchs, and some of the world's most dangerous hackers collide in the uniquely Russian virtual world of The Red Web.
By Carolina De Robertis
Letters of hope, passion and courage, written in the wake of Trump's election, from some of our best-loved writers, including Junot Díaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Mona Eltahawy, Claire Messud, Celeste Ng, Hari Kunzru and Jane Smiley.RADICAL HOPE is a collection of inspiring letters - to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in supermarket queues, to any and all who feel discouraged by contemporary politics - written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists in reaction to Trump's election. Including letters by Achy Obejas, Alicia Garza, Aya de León, Boris Fishman, Carolina De Robertis, Celeste Ng, Cherríe Moraga, Chip Livingston, Claire Messud, Cristina García, Elmaz Abinader, Faith Adiele, Francisco Goldman, Hari Kunzru, iO Tillet Wright, Jane Smiley, Jeff Chang, Jewelle Gomez, Junot Díaz, Karen Joy Fowler, Kate Schatz, Katie Kitamura, Lisa See, Luis Alberto Urrea, Meredith Russo, Mohja Kahf, Mona Eltahawy, Parnaz Foroutan, Peter Orner, Reyna Grande, Roxana Robinson and Viet Thanh Nguyen.
By Robert Macklin
'This is what an SAS career is really like'AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE MAGAZINE Elite SAS Patrol Commander Stuart 'Nev' Bonner takes us inside the extraordinary and dangerous world of secret combat operations in this explosive, behind-the-scenes look at life inside the SAS. A world where capture means torture or death, and every move is trained for with precision detail to bring elite soldiers to the very peak of fighting ability. In a career spanning twenty years, fourteen of them in the SAS, Bonner shares with us the inside story of being out in front - and often behind enemy lines. From patrolling the mountains of East Timor to covert operations in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, from sweeping into the Iraqi desert ahead of invading US forces to cripple Saddam Hussein's communications to patrolling in war-torn Baghdad and being in the middle of the disastrous Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan - this is a no-holds-barred account of what it's like to live, eat and breathe SAS. Now part of the HACHETTE MILITARY COLLECTION.
By Lawrence Lessig
In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government-driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission-trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted-but redeemable-representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness. While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In REPUBLIC, LOST, he not only makes this need palpable and clear-he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.
By Terry M. Moe, William G. Howell
Our government is failing us. From health care to immigration, from the tax code to climate change, our political institutions cannot deal effectively with the challenges of modern society. Why the dysfunction? Contemporary reformers single out the usual suspects, including polarization and the rise in campaign spending. But what if the roots go much deeper, to the nation's founding?In Relic , William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe point to the Constitution as the main culprit. The framers designed the Constitution some 225 years ago for a simple, agrarian society. But the government they created, with a parochial Congress at its centre, is ill-equipped to address the serious social problems that arise in a complex, postindustrial nation. We are prisoners of the past, burdened with an antiquated government that cannot make effective policy, and often cannot do anything at all.The solution is to update the Constitution for modern times. This can be accomplished, Howell and Moe argue, through reforms that push Congress and all its pathologies to the periphery of the lawmaking process, and bring presidents,whose concern for their legacy drives them to seek coherent policy solutions,to the centre of decision making. As Howell and Moe reveal, the key to effective government for modern America is a more powerful presidency. Relic is a provocative and essential book for our era of political dysfunction and popular despair. It sheds new light on what is wrong with our government and what can be done about it, challenging us to reconsider the very foundation of the American experiment.
The Red Web
By Andrei Soldatov, Irina Borogan
A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 A NPR Great Read of 2015The Internet in Russia is either the most efficient totalitarian tool or the device by which totalitarianism will be overthrown. Perhaps both.On the eighth floor of an ordinary-looking building in an otherwise residential district of southwest Moscow, in a room occupied by the Federal Security Service (FSB), is a box the size of a VHS player marked SORM. The Russian government's front line in the battle for the future of the Internet, SORM is the world's most intrusive listening device, monitoring e-mails, Internet usage, Skype, and all social networks.But for every hacker subcontracted by the FSB to interfere with Russia's antagonists abroad,such as those who, in a massive denial-of-service attack, overwhelmed the entire Internet in neighbouring Estonia,there is a radical or an opportunist who is using the web to chip away at the power of the state at home.Drawing from scores of interviews personally conducted with numerous prominent officials in the Ministry of Communications and web-savvy activists challenging the state, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan peel back the history of advanced surveillance systems in Russia. From research labouratories in Soviet-era labour camps, to the legalization of government monitoring of all telephone and Internet communications in the 1990s, to the present day, their incisive and alarming investigation into the Kremlin's massive online-surveillance state exposes just how easily a free global exchange can be coerced into becoming a tool of repression and geopolitical warfare. Dissidents, oligarchs, and some of the world's most dangerous hackers collide in the uniquely Russian virtual world of The Red Web.
The Rebel of Rangoon
By Delphine Schrank
One of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015 An epic, multigenerational story of courage and sacrifice set in a tropical dictatorship, The Rebel of Rangoon captures a gripping moment of possibility in Burma (Myanmar)Once the shining promise of Southeast Asia, Burma in May 2009 ranks among the world's most repressive and impoverished nations. Its ruling military junta seems to be at the height of its powers. But despite decades of constant brutality,and with their leader, the Nobel Peace Prize-laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, languishing under house arrest,a shadowy fellowship of oddballs and misfits, young dreamers and wizened elders, bonded by the urge to say no to the system, refuses to relent. In the byways of Rangoon and through the pathways of Internet cafes, Nway, a maverick daredevil Nigel, his ally and sometime rival and Grandpa, the movement's senior strategist who has just emerged from nineteen years in prison, prepare to fight a battle fifty years in the making.When Burma was still sealed to foreign journalists, Delphine Schrank spent four years underground reporting among dissidents as they struggled to free their country. From prison cells and safe houses, The Rebel of Rangoon follows the inner life of Nway and his comrades to describe that journey, revealing in the process how a movement of dissidents came into being, how it almost died, and how it pushed its government to crack apart and begin an irreversible process of political reform. The result is a profoundly human exploration of daring and defiance and the power and meaning of freedom.
The Right Way To Lose A War
By Dominic Tierney
For a century, the United States steadily accumulated a string of military triumphs. But since 1945 the onslaught of failures and stalemates in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan has exposed the country's inability to change course after battlefield setbacks---with grave consequences for thousands of American soldiers and our allies. THE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE A WAR provocatively explains how America can draw failed campaigns to a close without compromising its core values through three specific steps---surge, talk, and leave. THE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE A WAR is an essential guidebook for life in an era of unwinnable conflicts, a book made necessary not only by Iraq and Afghanistan, but the future quagmires that may yet come.
Rebuild the Dream
By Van Jones
In Rebuild the Dream , green economy pioneer Van Jones reflects on his journey from grassroots outsider to White House insider. For the first time, he shares intimate details of his time in government-and reveals why he chose to resign his post as a special advisor to the Obama White House. Jones puts his hard-won lessons to good use, proposing a powerful game plan to restore hope, fix our democracy and renew the American Dream. The American Dream means different things to people, but the centre of gravity is always the same: an ordinary person- who was not born with great wealth, but who is willing to work hard and play by the rules- should be able to find employment, live in a good community, make progress financially, retire with dignity, and give his or her children a better life. That dream is fading. On Main Street, too many people are working harder than ever-while falling further behind. They play by the rules, but cannot succeed. At the same time, other Americans, including the worst of Wall Street, break every rule, but cannot fail-because someone has already decided that they are"too big&rdquo to fail. The American Dream has been turned upside down and inside out. It is time to set things right. As the first Obama administration official to write a book about his experiences, Jones offers a unique perspective. In explaining why the 2008"hope&rdquo bubble burst, he unveils the seven biggest mistakes made by the White House and its supporters. He explores the origin and fate of the movements that helped to elect President Obama, as well as those that have challenged and shaped his presidency. Along the way, Jones systematically reveals surprising parallels between Obama's people-powered campaign, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. At this pivotal moment, Jones argues that we must make our economy respect the 99% and work for the 100%, not just the 1%. He proposes serious solutions that fit the scale of our problems. Rebuild the Dream sets forth bold ideas inspired by the progressive values that made the twentieth century the"American Century.&rdquo It shows how key public policies and investments can create millions of good, American jobs. America is still the best idea in the world. The American middle class is still her greatest invention. Rebuild the Dream is dedicated to the proposition that-with the right strategy- both can be preserved and strengthened for generations to come.
By Andrew Breitbart
Known for his network of conservative websites that draws millions of readers everyday, Andrew Breitbart has one main goal: to make sure the "liberally biased" major news outlets in this country cover all aspects of a story fairly. Breitbart is convinced that too many national stories are slanted by the news media in an unfair way. Breitbart burst on to the national media scene thanks to his coverage of the ACORN controversy, where a local ACORN community group leader was videotaped giving business advice to a "gentleman" who ran a prostitution ring. When the major news media at first tried to bury the story, Breitbart used his extraordinary marketing savvy to make sure the story got full national attention. More recently, Congressman Anthony Weiner took on Breitbart, claiming that scurrilous photos of Weiner were being sent on the internet by the conservative right. In a new chapter in RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, Breitbart details how "Weinergate" was entirely the personal fault of Congressman Weiner, and how Weiner derailed his own promising career by trying to implicate Breitbart and conservative journalists.In short, RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, Breitbart talks about the key issues that Americans face, how he has aligned himself with the Tea Party, and how one needs to deal with the liberal news world head on. Along the way, he details his early years, working with Matt Drudge, the Huffington Post, and so on, and how Breitbart developed his unique style of launching key websites to help get the word out to conservatives all over. A rollicking and controversial read, Breitbart will certainly raise your blood pressure, one way or another.
The Road to Freedom
By Arthur C. Brooks
Entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and upward mobility: These traditions are at the heart of the free enterprise system, and have long been central to America's exceptional culture. In recent years, however, policymakers have dramatically weakened these traditions,by exploding the size of government, propping up their corporate cronies, and trying to reorient our system from rewarding merit to redistributing wealth.In The Road to Freedom , American Enterprise Institute President Arthur C. Brooks shows that this trend cannot be reversed through materialistic appeals about the economic efficiency of capitalism. Rather, free enterprise requires a moral defence rooted in the ideals of earned success, equality of opportunity, charity, and basic fairness. Brooks builds this defence and demonstrates how it is central to understanding the major policy issues facing America today.The future of the free enterprise system has become a central issue in our national debate, and Brooks offers a practical manual for defending it over the coming years. Both a moral manifesto and a prescription for concrete policy changes, The Road to Freedom will help Americans in all walks of life translate the philosophy of free enterprise into action, to restore both our nation's greatness and our own well-being in the process.
The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited
By Stephen Armstrong
You think that the recession isn't biting? Look again. You think that the riots in August 2011 were unpredicted? Think again. 75 years after George Orwell's classic expose on life in the North, Stephen Armstrong returns to find that many things have changed, but not always for the better. Here he finds how young girls go missing because of the intransigence of the benefits systems, how fragile hope can be in the face of poverty and why the government stands in the way of a community helping itself. In his journey, taking in Bradford, Sheffield, Liverpool and Wigan, Armstrong reveals a society at the end of its tether, abandoned by all those who speak in its name.
By Max Blumenthal
Over the last year, award-winning journalist and videographer Max Blumenthal has been behind some of the most sensational (and funniest) exposes of Republican machinations. Whether it was his revelation that Sarah Palin was "anointed" by a Kenyan priest famous for casting out witches, or his confronting Republican congressional leaders and John McCain's family at the GOP convention about the party's opposition to sex education (and hence, the rise in teen pregnancies like that of Palin's daughter), or his expose of the eccentric multimillionaire theocrat behind California's Prop 8 anti- gay marriage initiative, Blumenthal has become one of the most important and most constantly cited journalists on how fringe movements are becoming the Republican Party mainstream. Republican Gomorrah is a bestiary of dysfunction, scandal and sordidness from the dark heart of the forces that now have a leash on the party. It shows how those forces are the ones that establishment Republicans-like John McCain-have to bow to if they have any hope of running for President. It shows that Sarah Palin was the logical choice of a party in the control of theocrats. But more that just an expose, Republican Gomorrah shows that many of the movement's leading figures have more in common than just the power they command within conservative ranks. Their personal lives have been stained by crisis and scandal: depression, mental illness, extra-marital affairs, struggles with homosexual urges, heavy medication, addiction to pornography, serial domestic abuse, and even murder. Inspired by the work of psychologists Erich Fromm, who asserted that the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings, Blumenthal explains in a compelling narrative how a culture of personal crisis has defined the radical right, transforming the nature of the Republican Party for the next generation and setting the stage for the future of American politics.
The Reagan I Knew
By William F. Buckley Jr.
No two people were more important to American conservatism in the postwar era than William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Buckley's writings provided the intellectual underpinnings, while Reagan brought the conservative movement into the White House. They met in 1961 when Reagan introduced a speech by Buckley. When nobody could turn on the microphone, Reagan climbed out a window, walked along a ledge to the locked control room, broke in, and flipped the correct switch. Buckley later described this moment as a nifty allegory of Reagan's approach to foreign policy: the calm appraisal of a situation, the willingness to take risks, and then the decisive moment leading to lights and sound." For over thirty years, the two men shared jokes and vacations, advised each other on politics, and counseled each other's children. The Reagan I Knew traces the evolution of an extraordinary friendship between two American political giants.
Radicals for Capitalism
By Brian Doherty
On Wall Street, in the culture of high tech, in American government: Libertarianism,the simple but radical idea that the only purpose of government is to protect its citizens and their property against direct violence and threat, has become an extremely influential strain of thought. But while many books talk about libertarian ideas, none until now has explored the history of this uniquely American movement,where and who it came from, how it evolved, and what impact it has had on our country. In this revelatory book, based on original research and interviews with more than 100 key sources, Brian Doherty traces the evolution of the movement through the unconventional life stories of its most influential leaders, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman,and through the personal battles, character flaws, love affairs, and historical events that altered its course. And by doing so, he provides a fascinating new perspective on American history,from the New Deal through the culture wars of the 1960s to today's most divisive political issues. Neither an exposé nor a political polemic, this entertaining historical narrative will enlighten anyone interested in American politics.
By Cybelle Fox, David Harding, Jal Mehta, Katherine S. Newman, Wendy Roth
In the last decade, school shootings have decimated communities and terrified parents, teachers, and children in even the most family friendly" American towns and suburbs. These tragedies appear to be the spontaneous acts of disconnected teens, but this important book argues that the roots of violence are deeply entwined in the communities themselves. Rampage challenges the loner theory" of school violence and shows why so many adults and students miss the warning signs that could prevent it.