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This table is where we put the books we think should be shaping public discussions of current events and important books in the news or behind the news.
After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan
Rall, Ted

An unflinching account—in words and pictures—of America’s longest war by our most outspoken graphic journalist

Ted Rall traveled deep into Afghanistan—without embedding himself with U.S. soldiers, without insulating himself with flak jackets and armored SUVs—where no one ... (more)

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Case Against the Supreme Court

A preeminent constitutional scholar offers a hard-hitting analysis of the Supreme Court over the last two hundred years

Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, shows... (more)

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Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
Scahill, Jeremy
A New York Times bestseller
Now also an Oscar-nominated documentary

In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and... (more)

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Economics: The User's Guide
Chang, Ha-Joon

In his bestselling 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang brilliantly debunked many of the predominant myths of neoclassical economics. Now, in an entertaining and accessible primer, he explains how the global economy actually works—in real-world ... (more)

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Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind - And Changed the History of Free Speech in America
Healy, Thomas

No right seems more fundamental to American life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from th... (more)

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Hate Crimes in Cyberspace
Citron, Danielle Keats

Most Internet users are familiar with trolling—aggressive, foul-mouthed posts designed to elicit angry responses in a site’s comments. Less familiar but far more serious is the way some use networked technologies to target real people, subjecting them, by name and address, to vicious, often terri... (more)

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Kafka's Law: The Trial and American Criminal Justice
Burns, Robert P.
The Trial is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception of the system. It’s supposed to be a fantastic allegory, but it’s reality. It’s very important that lawyers read it and understand this.” Justice Anthony Kennedy famously offered this assessment of the... (more)

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Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013
Chomsky, Noam

Praise for Noam Chomsky's Hopes and Prospects:

"A revelation. . . . This is a book woven through with hope and awe at all the people who slip beyond imperial control and establish real democracy . . . a treasure-trove."—The Independent

In this collection of essays f... (more)

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No Future for You: Salvos from the Baffler
Summers, John, et al.

There's never been a better time to be outside the consensus -- and if you don't believe it, then peer into these genre-defining essays from The Baffler, the magazine that's been blunting the cutting edge of American culture and politics for a quarter of a century. Here's Thomas Frank on the upwa... (more)

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Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
Fukuyama, Francis
The second volume of the bestselling landmark work on the history of the modern state

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, David Gress called Francis Fukuyama’s Origins of Political Order “magisterial in its learning and admirably immodest in its ambition.” ... (more)

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Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single Superpower World
Engelhardt, Tom

Praise for Tom Engelhardt's The United States of Fear:

"Tom Engelhardt, as always, focuses his laser-like intelligence on a core problem that the media avoid. . . . A stunning polemic."—Mike Davis

Praise for The American War of War:

"A tour de force."—Jeremy S... (more)

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Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
Giroux, Henry A.
"Henry Giroux says we are inundated with statistics that should shock, and are complacent in the face of information that should make us ashamed. No one has been more passionate or eloquent in trying to rouse us from that torpor. Now, even as the arteries of democracy harden further from the br... (more)

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Boo, Katherine
In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport... (more)

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