FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ian Haney López, Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class
Many Americans believe the election of our first black president signaled the entry into a post-racial America from which racial prejudices of the past have been eliminated. Author Ian Haney López convincingly challenges this notion in his latest book Dog Whistle Politics. Far from being over, he argues racism continues to permeate key aspects of American political life without overt racist references.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nicolas Lampert, A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements
Can art change the world?
This is a question I ask myself whenever I see Dave Gibbons’ drawing of a Guy Fawkes mask repurposed on the streets as an official face covering of global unrest. It’s a question gallerists ask themselves about how to keep their spaces relevant, and one that Pussy Riot fought with when they shoved their way onto that altar and spat pure punk into Putin’s face.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Gareth Porter, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare
In his precise and definitive account, Porter dissects the politics of the Iranian nuclear scare – how the U.S. national security complex needed a new threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how Israeli politicians invoked the “existential” threat from Iran to deflect attention from the Palestinian issue, how the Iranians, though rejecting the notion of building a bomb, nevertheless believed that a nuclear enrichment program would be a “latent deterrent” against threats from outside.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dean Starkman, The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism
It’s pretty well known that the near-meltdown of the American financial system and economy in 2008 shocked virtually every Very Serious public player and prognosticator, from Alan Greenspan to Wall Street Journal reporters and editorialists and the Street’s own carnival barkers, like CNBC’s Jim Cramer. But why were they shocked?
Working together can be rough. Imagine every team project that you’ve ever taken part in, especially those that cut across normal workflows. The complexities of keeping your own boss informed of what’s going on, interacting with the rest of your team and making sure they’re pulling their weight, and insuring that your own personal goals are met in completing the project, all of it. Now multiply those issues by roughly a thousand, and include the fact that the decisions made are literally matters of life and death. If you can manage that, you begin to see the challenges that Stephen Saideman lays out in NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone.
There is no Salon today – enjoy the Superbowl! Bev
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Hugh Wilford, America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East
One of the most enduring changes in American government occurred in the years after the Second World War, when the United States created its first permanent foreign intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Authorized by the National Security Act of 1947 and built from the bones of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA had an immediate impact on American activities in all regions of the globe, especially the Middle East.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Larry Getlen, Conversations with Carlin: An In-Depth Discussion with George Carlin about Life, Sex, Death, Drugs, Comedy, Words, and so much more
Author Larry Getlen gives a comprehensive account of a great man and his unique set of values. Conversations with Carlin feels intimate, but is broad in scope and even dense in certain areas. However, Carlin’s relaxed tone and verbal dexterity make reading it seem as if you are having some immortal yet casual exchange with the man himself.
A book this broad-ranging is valuable for a variety of purposes. Political junkies will find many great anecdotes that they have never encountered before. There are many well-drawn sketches of important senators of the past, from Dirksen to Mansfield to Conkling to Sumner. People interested in understanding how contemporary Senate practices in various areas evolved can turn to the relevant chapters. History, political science, and civics teachers will find useful examples to give students entree into previous eras. Anyone who reads the book will have a better, more multi-faceted understanding of the Senate and its role in American politics.
FDL Book Salon Welcomes Lloyd C. Gardner, Killing Machine: The American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare
Lloyd Gardner’s new book is an in depth historical analysis of President Obama’s foreign policy during his first 5 years in public office. In 2008, many Americans had deep trust that President Obama was going to bring significant change into the White House and guide our country to a place of more “rightful” and lawful foreign policy strategies by putting an end to torture, drawing down the illegal Iraq War, and closing down Guantanamo prison. President Obama promised the American public more transparency and accountability, and adherence to the rule of law, without “looking back”.