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I’m sorry, there are no salons this weekend. But next weekend we have: Saturday – John Dean / The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It; Hosted by James Robenalt, author of, The Harding Affair. Sunday – Pau LeBlanc, Debby Smith,
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan
It’s an honor to moderate today’s discussion of Rick Perlstein’s new book, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. For American history buffs and scholars alike, Rick’s work needs little introduction. He’s the acclaimed author of three major works on the rise of conservatism in the postwar United States (Before the Storm, Nixonland, and now The Invisible Bridge), whose journalism, criticism and writings on history have appeared in The Nation, Rolling Stone and countless other publications.
Not just do his books hit the best-seller lists and make the end-of-year best-book roundups, they have become part of the canon, required reading for aspiring American political historians—appearing on the syllabi for graduate seminars, a necessary part of the rite-of-passage hazing ritual for graduate students known as the comprehensive exam, and thus filtering down into the undergraduate lecture courses that introduce the college students of this country to twentieth-century American history.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Erica Chenoweth, Maria J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict
In Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan review the scholarly literature on campaigns of popular and usually nonviolent resistance to undemocratic regimes in modern nations, including Iran, Burma, Palestine, and Israel. A table at the end and an on-line appendix refer to many other instances of nonviolence.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Daniel Schulman, Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty
Mainstream political understanding in the United States is increasingly informed by the perception that our elections and lives are being determined by the outsized spending of millionaires and billionaires we will never meet. The poster boys of plutocracy are the subject of this year’s book by Mother Jones senior editor Daniel Schulman in Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty.
With a timely release, considering our current national zeitgeist and upcoming midterm elections, Sons of Wichita has been received and celebrated with a twist: Schulman’s tomb of “Kochology” has been received with surprise for its non-condemning tone. The Daily Show host Jon Stewart joked “these Koch brothers almost seem human,” in an interview with Schulman.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Deena Stryker, Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring
Ms. Stryker surely has an FBI/CIA/NSA file as thick as a Beijing phone book, and from the perspective of the 1%, deservedly so, which makes her a true modern day heroine in my eyes. Her life story is one of the most fascinating, adventurous, rebellious and romantic ones that I’ve ever vicariously experienced, reading her autobiography Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel, and one that I will not soon forget.
Using vignettes and case studies, Michael Arria’s book tells the story of many liberal’s favorite cable news network: MSNBC. Chronicling the likes of Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, a bit of Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann, the book offers the very first critical examination, in book form, of the “Lean Forward” network.
As Arria notes, it is easy to mock and ridicule Fox News and the corporate conservative media. “For years now, Fox News has been beaming out images of people falling into orchestra pits, red meat for its rabid base, as well as liberals who love to hate on it.” Indeed, an entire “progressive movement” (related: a token of success in said movement is an appearance on MSNBC) echo chamber has been created around bashing media meant for consumption for conservatives.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Joe Burns, Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor’s Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today
If we want a stronger public sector labor movement that engages in militant and broad-based social action on behalf of both its members and the people they serve, then a focus on engaging the community is a must. Joe Burns’ book provides some guidance on how we can do that in a way that remains rooted in the values of justice and equality in the workplace that the labor movement has stood for since those textile workers in Lowell, MA walked off the job in the early 19th century. These are values that my father, who came up as a nuclear marine machinist at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, instilled in me as a young boy, and that my grandmother, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, instilled in him all the same.
(This Salon has been canceled) FDL Book Salon: Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America
Journalist Jon Mooallem has watched his little daughter’s world overflow with animals butterfly pajamas, appliquéd owls—while the actual world she’s inheriting slides into a great storm of extinction. Half of all species could disappear by the end of the century, and scientists now concede that most of America’s endangered animals